Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. ~Chinese Proverb
The “summer slide” is what happens when students minds sit idle for three months while on summer vacation. Many parents do not realize how much educational ground their children could lose during the three-month break. Many parents make their children read over the summer when they go to the pool or beach but they often forget about math. Math skills decline more over the summer than any other academic skill, according to researchers from Duke University. Some students lose up to 3 months of learning.
What as educators can we do?We can inform the parents about the ‘summer slide’ so they are also aware that students need to be working on academic skills all summer.
Educators can easily get the word out about what the summer slide is and how to avoid it by sending it home with the students in their last report cards, in a newsletter, email. Or teachers can also post the information on their website, Facebook/Twitter page etc. Here are 8 resources educators can give parents to help avoid the math summer slide….
1. Read math stories- Kill two birds with one stone and combine math with reading to improve both numeracy and literacy skills. Try this website for some math books to try. http://bit.ly/9MXY3E
2. Connect math to the real world- Ex. Have your child add items at the grocery store. Such as apples are $3.99 a bag, about how much will two bags cost us?
3. Play Traveling Math Games- such as guess my number or gas prices rounding. It’s almost a guarantee that while you are driving you will run into some type of gas station. When you do, have your children round the prices to the nearest number of your choice. For example, you drive by and it’s $2.41 per gallon, have them round to the nearest tenth.
4. Cook Together- There is lots of measuring and fractions in cooking! Have your child measure a cup and see how many ounces are in it.
5. Games- Play these classic board/card games with the whole family to add math into your summer:
– Bingo or War for K to identify numbers.
– Life, Monopoly or Payday for students 3rd grade and up to work on adding and subtracting money.
– Battleship for students in 4th and 5th grade to work on coordinate points.
– Chess, Clue or Checkers for strategy and problem solving in grades 1st and up.
Don’t forget games such as Sudoko, 24 or many card cards such as Go Fish.
6. Websites: Try playing these games on the internet for virtual math fun.
7. Apps- Download these free Apps to keep your math skills sharp:
– Adding Apples: This app lets students practice adding using apples as manipulatives while earning coins for trophies.
– Coop Fractions: This app has multiple fraction games that kids can use to practice their fraction skills. The students love that the chickens ‘poop’ eggs, which are the fractions.
– Virtual Manipulatives: This app focus is on fraction, decimals and percent manipulatives. It gives a visual tool to allow students to see how different math measurements are equivalent, allows students to write and allows you to even email your answers to others.
– Square 9 Lite: This app practices facts (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing). It is a great way to practice facts without flashcards! Bet the timer and move up levels of difficulty.
8. Journal or Blog: Have student write about their summer academic fun in any subject area to also practice writing in content area. This will also help the student reflect on the subject area after they have had the experience.