How to prevent learning loss
by Judianne Jayme
A two-month summer break is very much welcomed by both students and educators – but the biggest challenge related to this time off is what some call “Summer Slip.” This slip is the result of the lack of daily routine and explicit learning and instruction. The hard work we do over 10 months, the content we learn, slips from our memory.
Do you remember how to explain Bernoulli’s Principle and its role in helping an airplane with lift? Unless you work in the aerospace industry, you most likely don’t – although you most likely learned this at some point in your schooling.
We lose what we don’t practice often.
While content is important, it’s the skills, mindset and process of learning that has been my focus in recent years with students. After all, content is all around us, but it’s the curiosity of the learner that drives the actual learning. If they learn how to find and observe interesting problems around them, they must also learn how to discover the answer.
Parent Tip: No Telling!
I feel as though I stress this almost every article I write. Don’t tell your children the answers to everything. Additionally, don’t answer all their questions with, “I don’t know.”
I know, I know. You’ll get asked seemingly a million questions each day. I’ll remind you that I have sixth graders. The amount of questions (and repeat questions) I get asked daily requires a lot of patience on my part.
Learn to see questions not as a way for them to be lazy, but as a sign of their curiosity. Take the moment to teach over the summer, in the subtlest of ways.
“What time is it?” “Why do worms come up after the rain? “Why is the sun still up at 9:00 pm.m in the summer?”
The answer is steady: How could we find out?
Not only does this teach them to find answers for themselves, it also gives them strategies to find the solution. The fact that it’s their questions also fuels the importance of self-driven education. This is inquiry – they’re curious so they will naturally want to find out the answer. They just need our support.
Be consistent. The more you do this, the more they get into the habit of learning answers over the summer.
Again, the content they learn at school is important, but they need the foundation of being a learner to also see success in their education.
Thank you for following Year Three of Empowering Through Education. I will be using my summer break for my own curiosity – exploring the world! You can follow my adventures on my travel blog, Judi Meets World (http://www.judimeetsworld.com).
You can also find me at various community events this summer with my Dalagita project, Culture Card, the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival and Folklorama. To connect with me, you can continue to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be resuming this column in September for the 2017-2018 school year. Have a happy, healthy and safe summer!
Judianne Jayme is an educator teaching sixth grade and a division-wide mentor in the Winnipeg School Division.