7 Tips for Creating Engaging Summer Enrichment Activities
Educational studies have proven time and time again that learning loss is a real phenomenon.
In just a few short months away from the classroom, many students experience that dreaded summer slide for themselves. Of course, once they return to school in fall, they’ll have to spend several weeks relearning previous skills just to catch back up. And that’s a huge waste of time for both teachers and students who could be working on new skills right away during the upcoming school year.
Fortunately, summer learning loss and constant reteaching year after year are not inevitable occurrences. When students are given quality instruction during the summer months and provided with comprehensive learning materials for enrichment purposes, they can actually start the new school year off ahead—ready and willing to learn from day one.
To help your students make the most of summer vacation this year, it’s imperative that you provide them with enrichment activities that keep them engaged and working continuously on the mastery of grade-level standards. And here are 7 tips that can help you do just that.
How to Create Engaging Summer Activities
1. Work Backwards
The most important step in creating engaging summer activities that students find success with is to start by working backwards. Ask yourself where you would like your students to be by the end of the summer, the end of the month, the end of the week, and the end of the day. Doing so will help you narrow down which standards, in particular, your students should master right now.
2. Build Upwards
Looking at where your students are now and which standards you’re going to target next is the precursor to building upwards. Similar to taking baby steps, scaffolding will allow you to break up skill development tasks into smaller, easier-to-manage chunks that your students can complete successfully.
3. Think Variety
No matter how fun your summer enrichment plans are, students won’t want to complete the same tasks over and over again. So build in a lot of variety with a combination of hands-on activities and digital learning opportunities. You can also break up monotony with whole class, small group, and intervention pairings.
4. Tap Into Student Interests
Students are naturally drawn to the topics that interest them most and the different types of reward systems you put into play. Designing enrichment activities around these student interests increases their engagement level and encourages a higher academic result.
5. Utilize the I Do, We Do, You Do Model
Using the I Do, We Do, You Do teaching model helps students gain confidence in their own ability to try something new. As you demonstrate the skill for them, practice the skill with them, then provide feedback as they practice the skill on their own, they learn far more than they would without this perceived safety net.
6. Use Assessments Wisely
Assessments are a teacher’s best friend because they provide important data which you can then use to pivot in any direction based on your students’ current needs. By using assessments wisely in class, you can discover what level your students are at now, how they compare to other students in their grade level, whether or not they understand today’s lesson, and how much learning took place during a unit.
7. Review What You Already Have
Designing the perfect summer enrichment activities for your students doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Many of the lesson plans you already have will work just fine—either as stand alone activities or in conjunction with others.
Academic Success with Measuring Up Products
Having a comprehensive and well-designed curriculum at your fingertips will go a long way toward creating summer enrichment activities that engage students in their learning.
The Measuring Up line of products from Mastery Education is one such curriculum that pairs incredibly well with summer enrichment programs and integrates with any curriculum you already have. Having these products at your disposal will make building summer enrichment units all the more easy.
Measuring Up Reach are instructional ebooks that are customized by location. They provide lessons based on specific grade-level standards in your particular state, which helps you work backwards in your planning. They also come with built-in scaffolding, so building upwards becomes a much simpler process. Plus, each of the included lessons are blended learning opportunities which can be taught as whole class, small group, or intervention, creating a sense of variety.
Measuring Up MyQuest is the online portal for students. Full of activities based on interesting topics, Measuring Up MyQuest also takes gamification to a whole new level with rewards tokens, leader boards, and other built-in fun. The practice activities found therein are also designed around gradual release and are adaptive in nature, providing corrective feedback as students work.
Lastly, Measuring Up Insight is the assessment component. With plenty of pre and post assessments to choose from, as well as exit tickets and state practice tests, teachers can quickly gather important data on all of their students.
Summer Enrichment Activities for Students
With the right guidance and materials, students can find academic success each school year—without losing ground over summer. Enrichment activities are meant to integrate with your current curriculum and do so in a fun way that excites kids and keeps them learning. And using high-quality, targeted instructional materials, like Measuring Up, make it easy for both teachers and students to make that happen.