What is the COVID slide?
Due to the early school shutdowns from coronavirus, researchers project the loss of learning to be greater than the one students face due to the summer slide. “The COVID slide” is expected to be much worse because traditional learning in schools ended much earlier than they normally would. Instead of a slide beginning in mid-June, the learning loss due to the pandemic started in mid-March. As schools rushed to shift towards online learning platforms, students were having difficulty staying engaged and adjusting to remote learning.
Preliminary results show that students did not adjust well to remote learning. The levels of engagement were down and attendance was poor for online learning. Teachers also lacked a sufficient way of evaluating how students were absorbing information during the shutdown. As a result, the quality of education suffered a decline as teachers were still learning how to adjust their curriculum to remote learning.
Who is affected?
The learning losses due to the COVID slide are projected to be as high as 50% in math and 30% in reading according to research performed by the Northwest Evaluation Association. During a typical summer slide, students in third to eighth grade are projected to lose up to 30% of their gains in math and up to 15% of their gains in reading. Furthermore, the learning forecasts project steeper losses in learning for younger children because earlier grades are a more pivotal period of development. Math gains for students moving from fifth to sixth grade are projected to be among the worst for all grade levels. These students are projected by the NWEA to retain on average 19% of their math gains.
How did past disruptions affect children's learning?
Some potential longer-term impacts can be anticipated based on data from the school disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina. Research performed by the Rand Corporation revealed that the median amount of time missed by Louisiana students was five weeks. 20% of students ended up missing more than seven weeks of school. Many students required remedial learning the following school year due to the hurricane. Interviews conducted by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, showed that it took several years of individualized attention to resolve the worst cases of learning loss in children.
Ways to address the COVID slide?
One way to help your child during the summer is through reading. Daily reading practice can help your child enhance their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Reading also provides mental health benefits like lowered stress and increased memory, which can be helpful during these challenging times. Additionally, getting your child to read can serve as a way to help limit their increased screen time during these school closures.
Another way you can help your child is by practicing math with them. With math expected to be the subject with greatest learning loss, it is important to ensure your child continues developing their math skills during this prolonged absence from school. Mental math is essential to your child's brain development and helps build your child's ability to concentrate and absorb information. An effective method of incorporating mental math into your child's routine is to ask a few simple problems daily. Daily repetition helps reinforce mental math in a way that doesn't feel forced and complicated.
You can also help your child by setting goals. Goals can keep your child motivated and willing to learn through the summer months. Thanks to improvements in technology, there are many virtual resources your child can access to build upon what they've learned over the course of the school year. In addition to these goals, it's good to set a routine for your child so they can have a consistent learning experience at home.
How Math Genie can help?
Here at Math Genie, our teachers use differentiated instruction methods to help your child based on their unique needs. Our online class ratios are 1:4 and our teachers keep parents up to date with their child's progress. So far the reviews of our online classes have been overwhelmingly positive. Parents noted a smooth transition to the online platform and that the teaching methods were similarly as effective as in-person classes. Our teachers have been credited with keeping students engaged and challenged during the school shutdown.