Even though learning loss usually happens during summer vacation, it can also occur at winter break. The winter break tends to be long, and the period before the break is extremely exciting; and often involves activities that interrupt the regular classroom routine.
Teachers are challenged to fit into school events, rehearsal and concerts, which minimizes a studying time. Students feel exited over with the Christmas holidays, first snow, winter sport activities. Teachers must work much harder to keep students’ focused on learning. Teachers assign less homework around the winter break. All this results in sliding of students’ reading and spelling skills, and recently learnt vocabulary.
Before and during the winter vacation, teachers and parents look for opportunities to enhance students’ learning. With primary school learners, one of the most effective ways to achieve this is to provide a fun hands-on activities that enable students to put theory into practice. High school students can spend time watching educational movies; or working on a project.
Below are the top 3 activities that can help your students avoid winter slide.
1. Winter Diary. Ask your students to write a paragraph about exiting moments that are happening to them during the winter vacation. Encourage parents to assist by helping their children with picking a “topic” to write about. Writing every day, or even weekly, helps keep students’ written language skills sharp while having an entertaining and creative activity during the holidays! Students may also benefit from using a dictionary and altering some frequently used words and phrases to new one. This can make students’ writing more exciting while mastering new words and phrases.
2. Video Games. Even though it is good to reduce the time that kids spend with the computer, there are many video “games”, like Ultimate Spelling (a huge resource for spelling games), SpellingCity and Starfall Learn To Read, which stimulate students’ learning. Ask parents to have their children complete an education exercise or game first prior using the computer for entertainment. You can find a large number of effective educational games, movies and courses available on the web. Though every task takes less than ten minutes to complete, you will see a great effect on your stuents’ learning abilities.
3. Reading. The vast majority of teachers suggests that regular reading is the best method for preventing losing English reading and speaking proficiency during winter vacations. Consistent reading keeps cognitive skills sharp. Encourage your students to read books or magazines of interest daily so they will stay engaged. After winter break, ask students to tell the class about the books they have read.
How do you avoid learning loss during and after winter break? Please, share your thoughts in the comment section below!