SAVVAS INSIGHTS TEAM | MARCH 17, 2022
SAVVAS INSIGHTS TEAM | MARCH 17, 2022
Summer learning this year will be more critical than ever. So we asked a group of Savvas authors and experts in their fields to provide ideas to help educators maximize the short window of time they have to accelerate students' learning this summer.
Start with Building Connections, Community, and Engagement
Zachary Champagne ›
As we think about building inclusive and welcoming summer programs for our students, I believe there are two foundational ideas that must exist to help students move forward: 1) Make sure the time is of high interest and fun. 2) Focus on connection with and among students in spite of the fact that they’ll only be together for a short amount of time. Ultimately, we want to build summer programs that are enticing for students. This not only will help with buy-in, but more importantly, will help students accelerate their learning.
Build Confidence in Math Learning One Objective at a Time
Juanita Copley ›
Trying to be “better at math” is an overwhelming idea. This summer, assign your students a small but specific objective for each of them to learn every day. For example, one student’s objective could be to learn eights in multiplications. If they see they can learn one thing at a time, it will build confidence and make math learning more joyful. At the end of the day, ask them to present the idea that they learned to an audience. Being able to explain what they learned to others helps them retain the idea. Have them keep a journal of what they learned to bring with them into the next year.
Teachers as Warm Demanders
Robert Q. Berry III ›
Teachers support students’ sense of agency in the values they communicate, such as having high expectations and showing care for learners. Warm demanders overcome the passivity of low expectations and a low sense of agency through care. Once teachers know and understand their students’ identities, histories, experiences, and cultural contexts, they can connect these meaningfully with mathematics.
Bring Wonder, Joy, and Beauty into High School Math Instruction
Eric Milou ›
High school mathematics can potentially cultivate in students a sense of wonder, beauty, and joy — and doing so is an important but often neglected purpose for teaching mathematics. Let’s use summer learning to show students the wonder, the beauty, and the joy of mathematics, and that mathematics helps us understand the world.
Teach Math in Context Using Theme-Based Units
Juanita Copley ›
Often students see math as “stuff” that really isn’t important to their daily lives. I found that if I teach math in real-life contexts, leveraging the students’ previous experiences, and integrating it with other content areas, e.g., science or art, students were actually excited about math. They see a purpose to their learning. An example of a theme would be restaurants. You can teach a variety of mathematical ideas like fractions and decimals through shopping for food, cooking, selling, sharing the food by advertising, etc.
Using Media Literacy in Summer Learning
Ernest Morrell ›
Help students develop their analytical skills by engaging them in deep readings of the media they consume. Some of my favorite activities include students selecting their favorite songs and analyzing them for content and themes. What do these songs say about you? If you could change any of the lyrics to make them “better,” what would you do? I also ask students to analyze the video games that they play. What does it mean to be a hero? Who is cool? We can ask students to analyze commercials and digital advertisements as well.
Four Key Elements for Reading and Writing Success
Kelly Gallagher ›
When planning summer instruction for your ELA students, remember that the ultimate goal is to develop the reading and writing habits needed for success outside of school, either in college and/or in work. Incorporating the following four key elements into your instruction will help students develop those habits, building better readers and writers: 1) Increase the volume of their reading and writing. 2) Build choice into the curriculum. 3) Model the skills employed by excellent readers and writers. 4) Provide meaningful and timely feedback while students are acquiring these skills.
What Can You Learn with a Smartphone?
Elfrieda H. Hiebert ›
Books are often viewed as competing with smartphones, but smartphones can be used to gain knowledge and proficiencies in many domains, such as music, art, cinema, architecture, history, botany, interior design, geography, and so on. Using smartphones to discover and learn about new topics doesn’t happen naturally. So by setting the task and structure for learning about something of great interest to students — a passion project — teachers can support their students’ learning over the summer.
Encourage Responsibility for Learning Through Choice Reading
Ernest Morrell ›
The summer is an ideal time to let students choose what they would like to read. If there is a summer reading component to your summer learning plan, offer one or two common texts and let students choose the others. I like to have assignments that encourage responsibility for learning, but are also short and fun (e.g., creating a soundtrack of contemporary songs to accompany a text students read or writing a media trailer to promote the book). I would also encourage students to read genres that are new to them (e.g., YA fiction, graphic novels, mysteries, fantasy novels, etc.).
Use Journals to Help Students Understand Themselves and the World
Elfrieda H. Hiebert ›
Encourage students to use a journal to write down what they observe over the summer. This is a great way to document their growing awareness of the world. Observations can include encounters with animals or people, sights glimpsed through a window, or unusual signs or slogans. Additionally, follow-up should be part of any summer learning project. When school starts again, teachers might invite students to pick a snippet from their journals that describes their favorite part of the summer break.
To get an in-depth look at these ideas, download the free ebook: Ideas and Strategies to Help Teachers Move Learning Forward This Summer.
In Case You Missed It
We explored why the Science of Reading is the secret to successful early reading instruction. Read the blog.
Champagne is currently a lead elementary teacher and math specialist at The Discovery School in Jacksonville, Florida. He taught elementary math and science for 13 years and had received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). He wasalso named the Duval County Teacher of the Year and a finalist for Florida Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of Savvas Learning Company’s enVision® Mathematics.
Eric Milou, Ph.D.
Dr. Milou is a professor of mathematics at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. Dr. Milou has taught at Rowan for the past 21 years and served six terms as the president of the Rowan University Senate from 2007 to 2013. He was the recipient of the Max Sobel Outstanding Mathematics Educator Award in 2009. He is one of the authors of Savvas Learning Company’s enVision® Mathematics and enVision® A|G|A.
Juanita Copley, Ph.D.
Dr. Copley is the former program coordinator of Early Childhood in the College of Education. She directed the Early Childhood Mathematics Collaborative, a professional development project that involved hundreds of beginning and practicing teachers. She has written and edited eight books about early childhood mathematics. She is an author for Savvas Learning Company’s enVision® Mathematics.
Robert Q. Berry, III, Ph.D.
Dr. Berry is the Samuel Braley Gray professor of mathematics education and the associate dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia, and the immediate past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Dr. Berry is a two-time recipient of NCTM’s Linking Research and Practice Publication Award and received the University of Virginia’s All-University Teaching Award in 2011. He is an author for Savvas Learning Company’s enVision® Mathematics.
Kelly Gallagher, M.Ed.
Gallagher is a former secondary English Language Arts teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. He is further known for his work with districts across the country in service to literacy education, which led him to leadership roles with California State University, Long Beach, and the International Literacy Association. He is an author for Savvas Learning Company’s myPerspectives® and iLit™.
Elfrieda H. Hiebert, Ph.D.
Dr. Hiebert is president and CEO of TextProject, a nonprofit that provides resources to support higher reading levels. She is also a research associate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Hiebert has worked in the field of early reading acquisition for 45+ years. She is an author for Savvas Learning Company’s myPerspectives® and myView Literacy®, as well as an advisor on SuccessMaker®.
Ernest Morrell, Ph.D.
Dr. Morrell is an award-winning literacy education scholar and author of two core Savvas programs: myView Literacy® and myPerspectives®. He is also the Coyle Professor in Literacy Education and the associate dean for the Humanities and Equity in the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame.