Why Summer School?
Done right, summer school is a great opportunity for students to make major strides in achieving mastery of key conceptual areas in just a few week's time. In a recent study, it was found that the average student loses between 17-34% of the prior year's learning gains over the summer, and if a student is subject to summer learning loss then they are more likely to fall into a pattern of learning loss in subsequent summers! Summer school is a great opportunity for students and educators to focus on specific needs in a more relaxed environment with smaller groups, pace that keeps up learning momentum, and less urge to play catchup with peers.
In the wake of the pandemic, summer school is relevant to more students than ever. As knowledge gaps have appeared as a consequence of remote and hybrid learning environments, it's been difficult to follow students' progress. For these students, it can become challenging to succeed next year if they haven't achieved the prerequisite knowledge, and the best solution might be summer school.
Summer School done right
A common belief is that students who spend time on below grade-level content will eventually catch up to their peers. We don't find this to be true. By increasing the learning pace with the purpose of covering more topics, there is a risk of the material not sticking before moving on to the next one. Instead, staying on grade-level helps students to focus on getting a deeper conceptual understanding of key topics and avoid playing catch-up.
Quality over quantity
By focusing on quality and instructional rigor rather than quantity and pace, we can avoid making students feel overwhelmed and discouraged. A clear focus on key conceptual areas and learning journeys based on individual student needs makes sure that the time is spent in the most impactful way.
Individualized learning journeys
Whether already known upfront, or mapped out through a pre-assessment in the beginning of the program, a clear understanding of the students' knowledge gaps are key for a successful summer school program. Once this knowledge is obtained, we can address individual learning gaps by dividing students into smaller groups based on commonalities and plan lessons accordingly.
Designed with equity and accessibility in mind
Going into summer school, we expect students to be engaged and to put their best effort into their work. For this to be true, it's of course important that we hold ourselves to the same high standards and provide a program with relevant content that all students can identify themselves in. This allows them to build math confidence and see themselves as doers of mathematics. It's also important that we provide the best possible setup where accessibility doesn't create barriers for student learning.
Magma Summer Program
The Magma Summer Program is a comprehensive, teacher-led math summer program for grades 3-8, focused on learning recovery through rich grade-level curriculum and building math fluency. Our program is designed to ensure that each individual student is as ready as their peers for new learning opportunities in the coming school year.
As we see a clear need after the pandemic, this summer we open up Magma Summer Program for free for all educators! Learn more and sign up here.