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May 22, 2023

Making the Most of Summer School With Pear Assessment

As the normal school year sunsets and summer school appears on the horizon, summer school teachers and school leaders can make the most of summer school with Pear Assessment. There are several things to keep in mind to ensure an awesome summer school session…with a little help from Pear Assessment (formerly Edulastic)!

Tracking student progress

It’s essential to track student progress during summer sessions that may only run between two to 10 weeks. Since summer instruction time is limited, it's crucial to make the most of it! Teachers can use edtech like Pear Assessment to monitor real-time submissions, evaluate student performance, and adapt in-class instruction as needed.

​​For example, at Egg Harbor Township, teachers were able to use online assessment to track student progress during their short 12-day summer school program. Dr. Charles Fredericks, Supervisor of State and Federal Programs noted, “Our new superintendent wanted to get data quicker, so we decided to do these summer school assessments online. Our goal was getting data into the hands of the teachers within 48 hours.”

Conducting daily check-ins to make sure students are picking up the concepts and ideas they should be making progress on is vital to ensuring success. Online assessment tools such as Pear Assessment can help by providing immediate data and reports to guide instruction.

Don’t be boring!

Summer school instruction should be engaging and fun, and teachers can use edtech to spice up the learning process. From gamification to outdoor classrooms and project-based learning, there are many different approaches. For instance, Pear Assessment allows instructors to include multimedia and interactive features using the text editor to make assessments more exciting. 

Teachers can also use the "Present" mode in Pear Assessment to anonymize student names and hold friendly competitions. Create a separate class for these types of group activities, then split the class into five groups and have one student account for each group. From there, challenge students to work together to complete a short quiz. Project the Assessment report page in “Present” mode and they can see their group progress appear as they move through each question for an exciting challenge.

Consider depth of knowledge (DOK)

Don’t just jump right in! Starting with lighter DOK level 1 or 2 questions and ending with more challenging DOK level 3 or 4 questions can help students avoid feeling overwhelmed by the summer school session. If you aren’t already, familiarize yourself with DOK so you can accurately construct and evaluate student work this summer. Here, you’ll find the best ways to craft assessments or how long to make your assessment for solid results.

Get moving

Finally, teachers can pair instruction with physical activity to keep students engaged and active during summer school. By combining physical movement with learning, teachers can harness the power of the brain-body connection and help students stay focused and energized.

Finding ways to treat instruction like an extracurricular activity can better engage both students and teachers. Plus, research shows pairing physical activity with lessons can boost test scores.

Ideas for applying these concepts might include:

  • moving debates to get students thinking, talking, and out of their chairs
  • asking students to convey new concepts through art, song, or dance
  • hands-on engineering projects that encourage students to build solutions
  • participating in citizen science to bolster STEM topics and real-world applications

You can also use Pear Assessment for stations, where students move from one to the next to submit their responses on Pear Assessment, or to create a fun scavenger hunt that ensures they aren’t just sitting at their desks all day.


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Ileana Betancourt

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