The current school curriculum has achievement gaps. This is the reason summer learning has been receiving more attention. A student gets personalized attention in summer programs which is good for their learning process. A high-quality engagement program can accelerate a student’s academic performance. This makes the students an achiever and their confidence shoots up. But at the same time designing an efficient summer school curriculum is tough for the educators. The curriculum has to be short, precise, and engaging as time is limited in summer programs. Moreover, it also has to meet the needs of a diverse student group. Hence, it takes a lot of effort in designing these courses.
If you are planning to create a summer class curriculum, then you will have to take an innovative and a creative approach. There are certain best practices in developing a unique and engaging summer enrichment program for students. In this article, we have compiled some best practices by using which you can create an effective summer school program.
The summer school focuses on personalized learning. Students struggle with traditional curriculums, as those are poorly structured. There is no focus on individual contribution and assessment. Thus it is important to do a formative assessment of students participating in the program. By doing an assessment before the summer program, you will get clarity on the student’s knowledge and skills. This will help you in adding individual prescriptions in the curriculum. Each student will benefit from this and the goal of the summer program will be met.
Define the learning goal
Once you have clarity on the students joining your summer program, you can start listing the skills that you would like to teach to them. The students should be able to demonstrate those skills by the end of the program. Try to focus only on one topic so that you can teach those skills effectively in the stipulated time.
Create a self-contained curriculum
Students from diverse backgrounds will join the summer programs. They will have different strengths, weaknesses, and learning rates. Your curriculum should be self-sufficient in a way that students are able to learn on their own. By using new technologies and tools you can enable independent learning in the students. The learning process becomes more effective if the students get enough time and tools to focus on the concepts.
The school curriculum mostly lacks extracurriculars due to which some students aren’t able to grasp concepts easily. Theoretical knowledge isn’t enough to teach concepts. Your curriculum should bring in extracurricular activities that can teach the practical aspects as well. incorporate elements related to arts, technology, etc. based on the topic that you are teaching. Take them out on a day tour and show them the practical implementation of theoretical concepts. This will make your session more fun and interactive. Students will enjoy this new learning experience.
Assignments and assessments
The homework shouldn’t be similar to what is generally given in the school. You will have to be creative in giving assignments. You can ask students to make slides or record a video as part of an assignment. Instead of giving them long worksheets, take the assessment through multiple choice questions or short answers. This will help you in giving them immediate feedback.
Since the focus of a summer school program is to make the learning more interactive, a simple structure will do the trick. Add more interactive teaching elements and activities using the available tools and projects. The use of these elements will also help you in guiding the students and giving them personalized attention.
Take a new approach
To make the summer program more interactive, fun, and engaging, you can try a lot of new things. You can invite speakers to talk about the topics that you are teaching in class. Getting real-world information will increase your student’s motivation. The addition of new technologies and tools will be helpful in keeping your students interested and engaged. Try creating a different learning experience for kids, which they can use during the normal school curriculum as well.
It is never easy to change things, but if you question the status quo, you will definitely find something to improve. Be thoughtful and creative in designing the summer school curriculum if you wish that your students achieve their goal and go back home with smiling faces.