3 Strategies to Encourage Summer Independent Practice

Published: May 22, 2020, 5:16 p.m.

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This school year has come to an end in a different way than ever before and summer/COVID slide is going to be inevitable in some shape or form once school resumes.

Parents & Guardians are looking for ways to keep their kids learning in addition to any summer plans. This is what is so beneficial about having access to USATestprep throughout the summer months. It can be used anytime, anywhere with any internet-capable device.

Many schools have ended the year and students may not look at their account for any activities you have assigned. To encourage summer use the best place to start is by sending an email to all of your students’ parents/guardians.

  1. You can send the parent/guardian introduction letter if they have not previously received it or as a simple reminder on how the platform works and let parents/guardians know it's available as a great way to practice.
  2. Suggest a few of the following strategies as ways for their kids to practice during the summer without a tutor or workbooks because they will still have access to the platform.

Strategy #1: Independent Student Practice

Students can go to their page and make their own choices on what to work on.

  • Students can follow their own individual learning path working from their subject area practice page.
    • Example: Variation of the Green Dot Challenge: Suggest having students work on one standard a day that did not receive a green dot.
  • Students can work through a variety of scaffolded activities to practice and review standards
  • Students can also work up or down a grade if they would like. If your school has access to other grade levels or content areas (For example: A 4th-grade student wants to practice 5th-grade content) they can work on those as well to be even more prepared and prevent summer/COVID slide
  • USATestprep also has built-in accommodations including audio-read aloud and Spanish translation if needed.
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Strategy #2: Star Challenge

Teachers can set summer learning goals based on lowest-scoring standards to earn the star instead of just a green dot, which signifies mastery of a standard.

  • This is a variation of independent practice
  • Look at your progress reports for the year and locate the lowest areas for the class and then look at the skills they will need to have for next year.
  • You can also look at the progress report to find the students who scored lowest on particular standards and assign them to particular students as ones they can work on over summer.
  • Encourage students to work through the entire standard until they get a star in order to demonstrate full mastery of the standard.

Side Note: If you have already promoted 5th graders or 8th graders they won’t be able to access their account.

Tip: Encourage or suggest parents/guardians create some type of acknowledgment or incentive for their students to be motivated to get on and utilize the platform.
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Strategy #3: 2+ Assignment Grouping

Build a course of activities for students to work on at their own pace, which is located in the assignment builder.

  • Incorporate a variety of activities and assignments in the order you want them completed.
  • Add some fun by adding a game in the middle or at the end.

Is Summer School an Option?

If your school is having a variation of summer school then you can utilize the following options on USATestprep to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and do credit recovery.

As resources may be limited in scope, start by giving them a diagnostic to get data and an idea of where they will need to focus. Then use the data to create practice folders or direct students to practice pages to work on areas of weakness.

  • Independent Strategies listed above
  • Start with the Green Dot Challenge for daily or weekly goals
  • Utilize the Star Challenge if you want them to complete all the activities under each standard.

More Blogs to Check Out:

5 Things Every Parent/Guardian Needs to Know About USATestprep

How Will You Measure Learning Gaps When Kids Return to School?

USATestprep Summer Housekeeping Checklist