Summer break is right around the corner but is the progress you have made with your students’ at risk? Using effective learning strategies before summer break to reinforce student knowledge before summer break can be just what you need to do these last few weeks of school. From peer teaching to memory aids, these tips are perfect for engaging students during the end of the school year.
Effective Learning Strategies Before Summer Break
Summer break is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation for both teachers and students. However, sometimes what we have taught students can kind of “disappear” in those few months. That’s over when you use these 9 effective learning strategies before summer break.
- Spaced Repetition
- Active Learning
- Real-World Connections
- Peer Teaching
- Visual Aids
- Memory Aids
- Regular Assessment
- Engaging Storytelling
- Encouragement of Curiosity
Using Spaced Repetition
Repetition is a powerful tool, but it’s a delicate balance. If you do too much repetition, your students may become bored. However, if you use spaced repetition it becomes an effective learning strategy before summer break. When you use spaced repetition, every week or two you focus on key concepts. Don’t worry about students being bored with repeated information. You can use interactive games and quizzes to spice it up.
For example, you can use spaced repetition using a resource like Spiral Review packs from our Review in a Snap™ resources. These come with 40 weeks of no-prep printables that are a comprehension resource for spiraled math and ELA review. All of these are designed to be effective learning strategies before summer break and are aligned to the standards.
Not only are these no-prep exercises, they are stinkin’ simple directions so your students can do them independently which gives you time to watch a few cat videos, solve world hunger, or just relax. If this sounds great, make sure you check out our Spiral Review for your students.
Active Learning as Effective Learning Strategies Before Summer Break
We always want our students to be active participants in their learning. As a matter of fact, when they are active in their learning, that’s when they learn the most. Encourage students to join in on hands-on activities, group discussions, and problem-solving exercises. The more involved they are, the more they will understand and remember.
You can do this by setting up math and literacy centers where students can practice their skills in a fun and engaging way. For example, you could create a math center where students work on puzzles or play games with dice, tiles, or other math manipulatives to work on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and more! You can do the same with literacy centers. Have students read and analyze texts or have them create their own stories to give them ownership.
If you’re short on time (or creative energy), make sure you check out our math and literacy bundles for kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade. These centers are perfect for effective learning strategies before summer break because there are so many activities within the centers you can use to engage students.
Keep in mind, active learning doesn’t always mean physical activities. Sometimes, simply encouraging students to ask questions and be “present” in their groups and whole class instruction can be enough to prompt deeper learning. You can promote this idea by incorporating think-pair-share activities or debates to keep students thinking critically about materials. This will help you create a collaborative classroom environment that fosters learning and encourages safe participation.
Make Real World Connections
Anytime you can make anything connect to the real world, you 100 percent should! Connecting lessons to real-world examples like local events or everyday situations are fantastic learning strategies to use before summer break. When you make connections, students remember what you taught them when they see or experience what you connected it to you because you made it practical for them.
You can use activities like science experiments or problem-solving exercises in groups. For example, you can have students work in groups to design and build a bridge out of popsicle sticks and glue. You can also have them brainstorm creative solutions to social problems in their school or community. This gets students personally involved and they are more likely to remember the skills they used.
Become Peer Teachers for Effective Learning Strategies Before Summer Break
Sometimes students need to hear it from someone else to make it really click. Sometimes the best person for that job is their peers! The fourth for effective reading strategies before summer break you should be using is all about pairing kids up to help each other out. If you pair students up and teach each other, you are giving them the opportunity to be the teacher for the day. You can let them sit at your table and use the teaching materials you normally would to teach a lesson. Not only does this reinforce understanding, it also helps them develop communication and collaboration skills.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes using pictures like diagrams, charts, and graphic organizers can be effective learning strategies before summer break. These tools help students process information more effectively and create mental connections that last beyond break.
One way to use diagrams and flowcharts effectively is to illustrate complex concepts and processes. For example, if you’re teaching the water cycle, you can create a diagram that shows how water evaporates, forms clouds, and falls back to the ground again. Have students use an interactive notebook to create their own version of the water cycle that they can share with a small group or the class.
Another way to use visual aids as effective learning strategies before summer break is to use multimedia in your lessons. Show students educational videos or animals about how difficult concepts or processes are done or used. This can also be an effective way to make connections. You can also use multimedia to create interactive presentations using Prezi or PowerPoint which allow you to incorporate images, videos, and more!
Using a variety of visual aids can cater to different learning styles and help students understand the material even better!
Use Memory Aids as Effective Learning Strategies Before Summer Break
While we don’t want to rely on memorization for everything, some things you just have to know to be able to do more difficult tasks. Using memory aids are effective strategies before summer break will help students recall important facts and concepts. For example, you can use mnemonic devices to trick the brain into remembering important information.
A mnemonic device is using a rhyme, acronym, or other memory trick to remember hard to recall information. For example, you can teach students the acronym “ROY G BIV” to help them remember the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue indigo, and violet). Another effective strategy is using memory games like matching or flash cards. These can help students remember key vocabulary words and concepts.
Another great way to incorporate memory aids into your lessons is by using visual imagery. When you have vivid visual images that go with your material, students can recall information with ease. For example, if you’re teaching about the different types of clouds, you could always encourage students to visualize a fluffy white sheep or a wispy white scarf. These are great way to incorporate several effective strategies before summer break!
Assessing is an important part of the classroom. But an assessment doesn’t have to be a sit down test. You can give students low-stakes quizzes and assessments often to reinforce learning and identify areas of need. By giving low-stakes quizzes and assessments, you can see the gaps and fill them in using any of these effective learning strategies before students go on break.
While these assessments can be multiple choice questions or short answer responses, they don’t have to be done alone. You can assess as a class, in small groups, or individually. If you don’t have time to do a more formal assessment but feel the need to assess, you can also use exit tickets that students respond to at the end of each class period. All of our math and literacy centers come with exit tickets to help you assess your students’ learning.
Who doesn’t love a good story? I know I do and most students do too! If you use storytelling to present information in a more engaging and memorable way, students are bound to remember it more. You can transform your lessons from lectures to captivating narratives using relatable characters to illustrate ideas and concepts. Your students will be hooked, and the lesson will last long into the summer.
Creating a story for a lesson doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’s take the American Revolution as an example. You can create a story that follows a fictional character living through the events of the time period that students have investment in. Maybe you can incorporate them and let the students choose the path the character takes once in a while. You can also use multimedia elements like images or videos to help students visualize the story and better understand the material.
You can also get students involved with storytelling by having them role-play or use simulations. Having your students act out different scenarios or historical events immerses them in the learning which is a great way to make the information stick. For example, you can have students act out different characters from an event like the Boston Tea Party. While this can be fun, make sure your students aren’t acting out traumatizing events. Never ask students to take on the role of someone who is being marginalized, enslaved, or treated inhumanely. This is not only not ok for students to experience, it can also minimize the experiences of those who had to live these moments.
Our final tip is all about fostering curiosity. To create a classroom where students are free to ask questions, they need to be comfortable. When students get to ask questions, it leads to deeper understanding of the material. Plus, you create lifelong learners.
You can encourage curiosity by allowing students to do independent research for projects and presentations. For example, you could have students choose a topic they are interested in and create a presentation to share with their class. By allowing students to look into what they care about, you can tap into their natural curiosity and encourage them to take ownership of their learning.
Using effective learning strategies before summer break is an important part of your last few weeks of school. You want to make sure students are retaining the information they have worked hard for over the summer, and you can do that with all of these useful tools. By helping students remember more over the summer, you’re creating lifelong learners who are ready to keep asking questions.