Four Tips for Exact Path Summer Learning

Apr 10, 2024
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Summer learning can be an effective way to keep students moving forward and ensure they maintain essential skills while school is paused. Whether you’re looking for a way to create a formal summer school program or let students autonomously work on their own schedule, we’re unpacking four tips to help you use Exact Path summer learning and avoid the summer slide.

1. Think It Through: To Assess or Not to Assess

One key to a successful Exact Path implementation over the summer months is making sure your students have individualized learning paths at their learning level. The best way to start is by administering Edmentum's adaptive diagnostic assessment. Use the assessment to benchmark specific strengths and needs across our entire K–12 learning progression and confirm that learning will start in the right place.

If you recently assessed students toward the close of the school year and already have a good idea of where learning should start, or you generally feel like you need more time to assess, there are other options.

For one, you can auto-generate an on-grade learning path that reviews all skills from the grade level students just completed. This gives them an opportunity to revisit and reinforce everything they recently learned to support a successful start to the upcoming school year.

Additionally, if you’d like to meet students where they are, you can check in with the knowledge map to see how they have been tracking during the previous school year. If things look good, let them keep working through their required skills during the summer months. Finally, you can manually edit learning paths by domain for small one-off tweaks.

If you’re looking for ways to help students address unfinished learning or acceleration needs from home, use the assessment with our at-home diagnostic administration guide. To prepare, you may want to carefully communicate to both students and parents just how this assessment works. Remember that a computer-adaptive test is not about earning a score of 100 percent.

Rather, the assessment is about figuring out what students know and don’t know so that instruction begins at the right level. That means parents or guardians may negatively affect students’ learning paths when they help them with difficult problems. Encourage students to make their best guess when they need to. The testing algorithm will adapt in real-time to deliver appropriate questions that zero in on each student’s strengths and needs.

If you’re leveraging data from one of our assessment partners—NWEA or Renaissance—ensure that spring testing is complete so students can start working right away. Remember that each fresh assessment administration means that students can receive an updated learning path, ensuring that the curriculum they’re set to work on best fits their unique academic needs.

2. Set Up Exact Path Summer Learning Challenges

A little friendly competition goes a long way. If you want to keep things interesting over the summer months, consider setting up challenges in Exact Path for your students. Challenges allow teachers to define and set customized goals for specific learners or classes. These goals can be based on time-on-task or skill mastery to encourage engagement in a variety of ways.

Students can monitor the challenges they need to work on and watch their challenge badges accumulate as they meet each learning goal. You also may want to check out our Exact Path contest toolkit for tips and guidance to create your own summer learning competition using built-in challenges and trophies as your guide.

To keep engagement steady throughout the summer, try setting up weekly challenges so students have small, achievable goals that frequently reset. Another option for this feature is to add something to help sweeten the deal—you can customize prizes to tie into earning challenge badges.

For in-person summer programs, celebrate students’ accomplishments and allow them to show off their certificates earned for each badge they earn. If summer learning happens in a less structured, more self-directed environment, work with teachers in the next grade level to help follow up on learning gains made over the summer and consider partnering on incentives that can be given out when school resumes. This flexible feature allows you to decide the level of encouragement each student needs.

3. Build Exact Path Summer Learning Assignments

While your students will automatically have on-target content to work on in their learning paths, layering in assignments will help you ensure that your learners focus on specific standards and skills you think are important during the summer months. Use this feature to make sure students can engage with the curriculum for the next grade level or, conversely, use assignments to help address unfinished learning and remediate skill gaps.

No matter your path, the assignments feature allows you to search for lessons, educational videos, and printable worksheets by skill or standard.

4. Create Family Buy-In

So, how do you ensure that your grand plans for summer learning won’t be for naught? Gain buy-in from families, of course.

Once you’ve outlined your expectations or recommendations for students over the summer, communicate them to your students’ families. Help parents and guardians understand that interruptions to in-person learning over the past few school years only further confirm the need for summer acceleration and enrichment for all students.

Try sending home our editable summer learning parent letter in English or Spanish. You can even customize it to add in your own suggested summer plan or incentives for staying on track.

We also recommend checking in with parents to assess their access to technology during the summer months. You might consider customizing printable packets for students with limited options to support learning.

For more tips that will brighten summer learning, check out our top 10 tips for summer school success.

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