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Parent and teacher resources for preventing summer slide in math

May 29, 2020 - Posted in Education by DeVonne Risher Smalls
photo of calculator, ruler and tablet showing math calculations

From our Educator Guest Blogger Series

“If you don’t use it, you will lose it.” 

This quote holds true for so many aspects of life…but especially for a math student enrolled in a traditional school for nine months, from mid-August until May or early June.

 

Most students only really receive about six or seven months of new learning.  The first month or so is usually devoted to reviewing prerequisite material needed as the foundation for the current course, and the last month or so is devoted to reviewing for, and the administration of, year ending school and state assessments.  According to a newsletter from the Harvard Graduate School of Education [1], on average, students will lose 2.6 months of math learning during the summer.  So, if my math is correct, the average math student is retaining only approximately 3.4 – 4.4 months of new learning.  Thus, repeating the cycle of teachers having to review once school begins, to prepare for the current course they are teaching.  So, what can teachers and parents do during the summer to change and reverse this? 

Suggestions to help prevent summer slide for math students

  • Create opportunities for students to practice math in real-world scenarios like estimating the cost for the family to have a movie night out, adjusting a recipe to yield more or less servings, helping to prepare and cook a meal, measuring a room for carpet or furniture placement, budgeting for monthly expenses, etc.
  • Play games that require and review basic math skills including board games, card games, online math games.
  • Find or create a math problem of the day to review, challenge and promote new learning for students.  Your student could also create problems for you to solve.
  • Have your student teach you something they learned in school.  If they can explain it so you understand it, they have mastered it for themselves.
  • Consider enrolling your student in a math summer camp or online course to review previous learning and learn new concepts for the upcoming course.

Resources for preventing summer slide for math students

Resources to prevent summer slide for students K-12, and even a few for college students can be found here on my Padlet.  Most are free, but some may require registration or a small fee.  For your convenience, selected resources are listed below according to the grade band.

All grade levels, K – College

The Best Online Interactive Math Games for Every Grade Level

Practice makes perfect, and math proficiency at all levels definitely takes practice. From basic addition and subtraction to advanced algebra and geometry concepts, these online interactive math games provide a fun way to practice important skills. Oh, and the best part? They are all available for free on the web!

48 Ultra-Cool Summer Sites for Kids and Teachers

Here is a list of great sites for kids and teachers to keep you happily productive and learning this summer.  Teachers, check out #5, 14, 15, 33, 34, and 46Parents and Students, check out #7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 33, 39, and 41.

Illuminations Math Tools
Interactive demonstrations and activities of various math topics for K-12.

BrainPop Math Topics
Dozens of animated movies on various math topics that will keep your attention focused! Each topic/concept also has a quiz, activity page, an experiment, a timeline, and a short comic-strip. Can watch two movies free daily, or buy a yearly subscription for unlimited access.

MashUp Math
Our video lessons are made using animation software and are created to meet the specific needs of visual learners.  You can get Free K-12 Math Resources, Lesson Plans, and Activities in your inbox every week. Sign-up for our weekly newsletter and start getting free stuff today!

ALEKS
Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course.  ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.

Elementary School: K – 5

Splash Learn
Get personalized learning path fit for catching up, enrichment or regular practice.  Interactive games and rewards motivate children to learn and improve their scores.  Get real-time Progress dashboard that pinpoints trouble spots.

Calculation Nation
The games of Calculation Nation® are organized around content from the upper elementary and middle grades math curriculum. By becoming a citizen of Calculation Nation®, your child or student will play online math strategy games that allow them to learn about fractions, factors, multiples, symmetry and more, as well as practice important skills like basic multiplication and calculating area, all while having fun.

Math Playground
A large collection of interactive word problems, math games and puzzles for elementary school students.

Prodigy
With a diagnostic test to place students in the correct grade, embedded assessments, and automatic differentiation, Prodigy ensures that each one of your students succeed at their own pace.

Adapted Mind
AdaptedMind identifies each student's strengths & weaknesses with a special pretest: determining the best starting point for them. Our algorithm then creates a customized learning plan, and as students continue to practice: it automatically adjusts the difficulty of the math. Using data, we find and address learning gaps. So as each student progresses, AdaptedMind administers assessments on old & new skills alike: assuring a robust mastery of all topics!

Khan Academy
Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons covers math K-8 and more. It is all free for learners and teachers.  Students practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning.

Middle School: 6 – 8

Calculation Nation
The games of Calculation Nation® are organized around content from the upper elementary and middle grades math curriculum. By becoming a citizen of Calculation Nation®, your child or student will play online math strategy games that allow them to learn about fractions, factors, multiples, symmetry and more, as well as practice important skills like basic multiplication and calculating area, all while having fun.

Prodigy
With a diagnostic test to place students in the correct grade, embedded assessments, and automatic differentiation, Prodigy ensures that each one of your students succeed at their own pace.

Adapted Mind
AdaptedMind identifies each student's strengths & weaknesses with a special pretest: determining the best starting point for them. Our algorithm then creates a customized learning plan, and as students continue to practice, it automatically adjusts the difficulty of the math. Using data, we find and address learning gaps. So as each student progresses, AdaptedMind administers assessments on old & new skills alike: assuring a robust mastery of all topics!

Khan Academy
Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons covers math K-8 and more. It is all free for learners and teachers.  Students practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning.

Desmos
Free online graphing calculator.

Geogebra
Free online dynamic online geometry tool.

High School: 9 – 12

Khan Academy
Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons covers math 9-12 and more. It is all free for learners and teachers.  Students practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning.

College Board
SAT and AP exam practice and preparation, along with college planning.  Get the Problem of the Day and practice tests.

ACT Test Prep
Information for students and parents about college planning resources and ACT webinars.  The site includes test prep, registration and study tips.

Desmos
Free online graphing calculator.

Geogebra
Free online dynamic online geometry tool.

Virtual Algebra Tiles
Interactive activities to learn how to use Algebra Tiles to model and explore a variety of problems from modeling expressions to completing the square.

References:

[1]  http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/16/06/summer-math-loss (by Leah Shafer, June 24, 2016)

Bio:

DeVonne Risher Smalls is the owner of Smalls Educational Coaching and Consulting, LLC, and an adjunct instructor for the COE at the University of South Carolina, helping to prepare the next generation of great math teachers.  She has 30+ years of experience in education and conducts professional development and coaching for novice and veteran teachers, specializing in secondary mathematics.  Previously, she served as the Secondary Math Instructional Coach for Richland County School District One, following an extraordinarily successful career as a math teacher at WJ Keenan High School in Columbia, SC.  She is National Board Certified and was a State Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching.  You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at secsquared@gmail.com.

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