The Importance of Summer Learning

Summer learning programs can help students improve their academic outcomes. Studies show that vacation from school results in lost knowledge and skills, especially in math and reading (on average, students lose about 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer) (Cooper, 1996). This loss, compounded over time, contributes to the achievement gap between students who require more time to process information and their peers. Longitudinal studies indicate that the effects of summer learning programs endure for at least two years after participation and that students who attend summer learning programs have better outcomes than their peers.

Students who undertake summer learning can:

  • Master material that they did not learn during the previous school year, reverse summer learning loss, and even achieve learning gains
  • Benefit from individualized instruction or coaching
  • Boost/increase their confidence for the next year
  • Establish good work habits
  • Close the achievement gap
  • Develop essential skills and helpful learning strategies
  • Prepare for the next year’s transitions and curriculum
  • Set academic goals for the next year
  • Catch up and learn at their own pace

READING PROGRAMS

At Evoke, we understand the science behind how the mind reads and the importance of developing phonological awareness skills at an early age. Our goal is to teach evidence-based reading skills to students that can be applied to any reading genre and enhance their ability to read independently.

WISE READING® Remediation Program, Grades 1–3

Students in French immersion, dual track, and English programs who are challenged by the acquisition of early reading skills will benefit from the WISE READING® Remediation Program, which helps students increase their decoding skills and phonological awareness. The WISE READING® Remediation Program, based on the doctoral research of Nancy Wise, delivers phonological and phonemic awareness for struggling French immersion readers ages 5–7. The 18 hours of multi-sensory, play-based instruction are delivered in English and can also help students in English and dual-track schools. Students work with trained Evoke instructors in a 60-minute, one-to-one format. Prior to the commencement of the program, and at the end of the 18 hours, students will undergo a pre-reading assessment aimed at identifying gaps in their pre-reading skills and providing the instructor, student, and family with a record of student improvement. Dr. Wise has successfully tested the program with French immersion learners since 2008. These immersion studies clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the remediation program to facilitate reading acquisition in both French and English, and reading gains have also been shown to last well beyond the completion of the program.

Reading Connections Program, Grades 1-6

Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. It provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Motivation and engagement are critical factors in learning to read, so our tutors incorporate activities, evidence-based strategies, and games into their one-to-one instruction, in addition to using guided oral instruction. This program is offered for one hour, three times a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) and gives students the opportunity to practice their decoding skills through guided oral reading. Students may sign up over summer for as many weeks as they would like (we offer flexibility around summer vacations). Time on task is important to reading development, so we encourage students to register for as many weeks as possible.

Reading Comprehension Strategies Program, Grades 4–12

Delivered in 5 ninety-minute sessions, this program is for students who struggle with reading comprehension or who would like to deepen their understanding of what they read. Strategy instruction improves reading comprehension. This program is offered in eight one-hour sessions and delivered one-to-one. Students will receive strategy hand-outs and will learn the science of reading. Specific evidence-based strategies are taught to students and can be applied in any reading situation and to any reading genre to help readers make sense of text.

WRITING STRATEGIES

Writing Foundations, Grades 4–12

Evidence-based research shows that struggling writers can improve their skills dramatically if they receive the detailed, explicit instruction they need. (Graham & Harris, 2005.) Such strategies can improve the writing skills of students with learning disabilities and are equally effective for individuals who just need extra help. Available in 8 one-hour sessions, our Academic Writing Foundations program teaches students the strategies that assist with every phase of the writing process, from brainstorming and goal setting to proofreading and revision—strategies that have been researched and proven to work with students at all levels. Together, the student and tutor will identify the greatest roadblocks to the student’s writing, and choose the writing strategies that will best address their challenges. Our strategies are evidence-based, and introduced gradually as the student demonstrates understanding. Our goal is to help students communicate more effectively.

MATH REMEDIATION AND SKILL DEVELOPMENT

Students struggle in math and have gaps in their learning for a variety of reasons: lack of self-efficacy, challenges with focus and staying on task, mindset, problems processing information at the same rate as their peers, and inadequate practice to master concepts and skills. To succeed in math in higher grades, it is critical that students master lower-level math skills. At Evoke, our math programs give students the extra time to learn these important skills and concepts and address their learning deficits, bridging the gap for students who are behind in math and ensure that the learning gap doesn’t widen.

Developing and Enhancing Number Sense, Grades 1–4

Cognitive science experts have found that the development of number sense plays as critical a role in mathematics learning as phonemic awareness does in reading development. Number sense is a person’s ability to use and understand numbers. Available in 10 or 18 one-hour sessions and delivered one-to-one, this program is suitable for students in Grades 1–4 who are struggling with the academic content of math and require remediation and who would also benefit from some enrichment to help them develop stronger number sense. The program begins with a math diagnostic, which allows the tutor to pinpoint the specific concepts and curriculum expectations with which the student is struggling. This information also helps to guide our tutors so that they may effectively and efficiently bring the student up to grade level.

Math Remediation, Grades 5–7

Available in 10 or 18 one-hour sessions delivered one-to-one, this program is suitable for students in Grades 5–7 who are struggling with the academic content of math and require remediation. The program begins with a math diagnostic that allows the tutor to pinpoint the specific concepts and curriculum expectations with which the student is struggling. This information also helps to guide our tutors so that they may effectively and efficiently bring the student up to grade level. The tutor will revisit earlier grade level instruction to remediate learning gaps in the student’s lower level math.

Math Tune-Up, Grades 8–12

Available in ten or eighteen one-hour sessions, remediation for this program includes reviewing the student’s completed grade level, identifying gaps in learning, and ensuring that the student has a solid understanding of the current material before moving on to the next grade. The program begins with a diagnostic assessment and is available in 10 or 18 one-hour sessions, delivered one-to-one. Math is like a hierarchy, and having a solid understanding of current grade concepts will assist the student in navigating the curriculum in their next grade. The tutor will focus on re-teaching skills and concepts that the student will need to transition successfully into that grade.

COACHING, LEARNING STRATEGIES, AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTION SKILL DEVELOPMENT

Our coaching and mentoring programs:

  • support clients to help them define and achieve their learning objectives
  • support students through transitions
  • help students achieve their academic goals
  • close the gap between ability and achievement
  • provide students with the balance of support and challenge they need in order to learn
  • pave the way for learning to occur
  • improve the overall learning experience for the student
  • focus on the development of a set of skills that will serve an individual throughout their academic career

Postsecondary Planning Program

Students managing learning differences and other demands on their time are frequently at a disadvantage when it comes to guidance counselling. Many students are unsure of their options and have difficulty organizing their approach, getting adequate time with counsellors, and identifying their strengths and interests. Our academic mentors understand that the post-secondary environment is competitive and that it is extremely important for students with learning disabilities to pursue their education and career goals at an institution that fits their needs and abilities. At Evoke Learning, we alleviate anxiety for our students (and their families) by helping them ensure that they have the prerequisite courses and experiences to make successful career choices. Our mentoring sessions are student-centered, and we ask our clients open-ended questions to discover what inspires, motivates, and engages them. We move beyond traditional standardized questionnaires to give students an early, personalized, thoughtful, and comprehensive plan for thriving in a post-secondary environment.

Postsecondary Planning is comprised of three, 90-minute sessions held at intervals to give each student time to conduct research in between sessions. Each meeting focuses on a different aspect of career and pathway development.

Coaching for Students Who Procrastinate

Researchers estimate that in North America, more than 70 percent of students procrastinate in school. Many suffer from poor academic performance, decreased well-being, negative emotions, and reduced life achievements. Coaching and counselling have been identified as successful interventions in decreasing student academic procrastination. Our student coaching program provides five ninety minute sessions of coaching conversation with a professional academic coach. Coaches discuss the myths and brain science behind procrastination, explain how to self-advocate, work with the student to set realistic and concrete goals, increase student motivation and hope, encourage self-reflection and self-control, review how to manage setbacks, and recommend customized strategies. Students with self-regulation challenges may find it helpful to follow this program with Evoke mentoring support, during the school year, to help the student move into action.

Academic Foundations

Evoke’s Academic Foundations (12 one-hour sessions) introduces students (Grades 6 through postsecondary) to key foundational concepts necessary for academic performance. Informed by current neuroscience, the program focuses on both academic skills and non-cognitive factors, such as procrastination, the science of success, and the ability to learn from mistakes. Students are introduced to information, strategies and tools that will help them navigate next year’s academic curriculum and enhance their learning, organizational and study skills. Students will engage in conversations about how the brain functions, how we learn, how information is processed and stored, and how memory impacts learning. Individualized strategies and approaches will be developed for students to apply in their upcoming academic career. This information is particularly helpful for those students with executive functioning challenges.

Transitioning to Postsecondary Education

In the move to college or university, students often lose the essential supports they received in high school. As a result, many struggle, both academically and emotionally.

We offer personalized coaching focused on the development of metacognitive skills. Our coaches identify effective strategies and solutions that help students bridge the gap between ability and performance. Coaching focuses on increasing the individual’s ability to plan, prioritize, and organize efficiently and effectively, and emphasizes a proactive approach to learning. Our holistic program supports students in their transition by helping them to:

  • Create a vision for the kind of experience they want to have
  • Determine what they want from college or university
  • Define their goals
  • Create and implement action steps to help achieve their goals
  • Ensure they have the resources they need to make a successful transition

Through coaching, students learn to develop key academic strategies such as planning, time management, self-advocacy skills, stress management, and organization. Sessions can also be used to address test and exam strategies, assistive technology, accommodations, note-taking, and study and memory strategies.

Coaching can begin in the summer months leading up to the transition. The program is provided in eight, 60-minute, sessions.