Tips for improving academic performance in the face of the challenges of learning gaps
As the students begin to walk back to school, many will catch up when it comes to learning essential skills like reading, writing and remembering what they have learned.
The Coronavirus pandemic closed schools at an unprecedented rate, forcing many students to learn remotely for the first time. The chaotic year certainly created gaps in learning, and we are only now beginning to see the real impact it has had on students.
It is clear that many students will have to fill big gaps this year, especially when it comes to the fundamental skill of reading. One study estimates that kindergarten students’ literacy learning may have slowed down by up to two-thirds during school closings.
New research from the University of Pennsylvania suggests that adding science to the mix can help accelerate early reading and writing skills. Scientists assessed more than 1,500 kindergarten students and found that students who participated in a program that combined reading and science classes performed better than those who learned those subjects separately.
To incorporate this into the home, read to your kids for at least 30 minutes each day and include books on animals, insects, and other science topics.
Related: ‘We’re still in a pandemic’: expert shares tips to help kids get back to in-person learning
With many students learning remotely in the past year, most kids have typed and slipped far more than writing.
A new study from Johns Hopkins University has found that adults who learn new information learn faster when writing it by hand than by typing it or watching a video on it. Researchers say that writing by hand creates a stronger representation in your mind – essentially “scaffolding” to support learning.
Although this study was conducted in adults, previous research suggests the same is true in children. If the students are having a hard time learning something, a good old pencil and paper can help.
Experts say it’s also important not to underestimate a good night’s sleep.
New research from “National Jewish Health” found that one of the benefits of online learning was that students slept more than when they attended school for in-person learning.
At least nine hours of sleep is recommended for middle school students and at least eight hours of sleep is recommended for high school students.
Previous studies have shown that adequate sleep improves memory retention and recall by 20-40%.
Related: Tracking Michigan School Districts and Colleges Requiring Masks for the 2021-2022 School Year
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