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3 Ways Elementary Students Can Avoid ‘Summer Slide’

I’m at my local library, and it’s the summer before 3rd grade. I’m excitedly jamming the elevator button before my mom and sister even make it in. As we ride up from the parking garage, I imagine the new Pokémon graphic novels I could find, or maybe the checking out the new Magic Tree House that finally is back on the shelves. I always looked forward to the trips to the library. My summers were great, and part of that was my biweekly trip to the library. I loved engaging in a community space but fast forward to 2021, and our summers look a little different. The world is different now; community spaces are not as easily accessible. We can’t interact with our friends the same way we could have 18 months ago. The pandemic has changed how we learn and engage with learning. So the question is – how can students keep learning during the summer?

1. Online Learning Programs
Whether it’s math facts or basic reading skills, the programs students used through our schools are simple and incredible ways to stay engaged with our learning. Many of these programs work on mobile devices. Also, they don’t require a large time commitment. You can practice math facts for 15 minutes a day and read one book a day and you are continuing to grow, even when school isn’t in session.

2. Practice your ELA Skills… and watch a movie
It doesn’t matter if you’re reading a book and writing a paper or just catching up on your favorite TV shows. There are ways to practice your skills you’ve been honing in ELA.

  • Keep a journal or diary, and write down what you do every day. Or, you can write down any thoughts you have! Just writing even a little each day will make you feel more confident when you are back at school.
  • Build your focus/stamina by sitting through an entire movie instead of watching over multiple days.
  • Retell the episode of the TV show you watched to a stuffed animal or a family member.
  • Click here for a resource by Rocketship’s Stephanie Storlie that shows you how to give a good retell!
  • When watching a TV show or movie, explain to your family why the characters are doing what they are doing. You can practice describing the characters and providing your own input on them.
  • Click here for a resource on character analysis!


3. Math is everywhere! Engage with it.
When you realize that math is everywhere, you can practice your math skills every single day… without even picking up a flashcard.

  • Practice finding elapsed time. This is an important skill not just in school but in your life.
  • How long did you sleep? Look at the start time when you went to bed and the end time when you woke up. Find the change
  • How long did it take for you to set up the table for dinner?
  • How long did you play outside today?
  • Practice math when you cook.
  • Have you ever needed to put half of something in a recipe? Or double? If you are making something with your family, try to help out with measuring out ingredients to practice your measuring skills.

Find math in sports.

  • If you are playing basketball, remember that each shot made is either 2 or 3 points. You can practice skip counting and adding just by playing basketball!
  • You can practice subtraction in many sports situations. How many points are you winning/losing by? How many more points do you need to get to 10? 20? 100?

Learning doesn’t just happen in the walls of a school or during the hours when you’re online with your teacher. Learning can happen all of the time. It can happen almost everywhere. It can happen by yourself and with others. Maybe it might be a while before you are riding on an elevator with your family or walking around your local library. But right when you take a well-deserved break from school, don’t forget that learning never stops!

Published on April 23, 2021

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