Avoiding the Math Summer Slide
by Logan Juve Janicula, Integrated Special Education Program Specialist
It’s that time of year again: ice cream cones in the sunshine, sand between our toes, and the summer slide. No, we don’t mean the fun contraption at your local park; rather, we mean the amount of learning kiddos may lose during the summer months. Last year, we shared creative ways to increase literacy at home during the summer. This year, we’re tackling a new beast: math regression.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, most students lose about two months of mathematical computation skills over the summer months. In fact, students are more likely to forget what they have learned in math over the summer than they are to lose those reading and writing skills.
With the help of parents, caregivers and siblings, all students can come back even stronger mathematicians after a summer at home. While promoting reading and writing is always important, here are a few ways that you can keep your child’s mind engaged in math skills this summer, too!
1. Get Informed
With the school year coming to a close, parent-teacher conferences are the perfect opportunity to understand what your child’s data mean. Ask her math teacher specific questions about her math performance, including the standards that she demonstrates strength in and those that require more support. To further understand what the standards mean, check out the Parent-Teacher Association’s grade-level guides here. You can find worksheets aligned to these standards (to use or for information) here.
2. Get Online
Does your Rocketeer want to hang out with Jiji this summer? Now she can! Many of Rocketship’s Online Learning Programs (OLPs) can be accessed from your home computer or tablet. Ask your child’s teacher for more information! If you don’t have access to Rocketship’s OLPs, check out these low-cost apps! While we know your scholars will want to be outside this summer, why not sneak in a little computer time while the chicken is on the grill or practice fractions before packing up the car to head out for the weekend?
3. Get Creative
If screen time isn’t in the cards for you this summer, here are a few strategies and games to build skills and prevent regression over the summer. The best part? Your kiddo may not even realize she’s practicing math!
- All Star Math: Whether cheering for Warriors on TV or watching the Earthquakes at Avaya stadium, sports games are a perfect time to practice math. Try out some of these questions to promote your child’s math skills:
- What shape is the field (or court)? How do you know?
- How many more points does the losing team need to catch up?
- How many players have scored points? What’s the average per player?
- How much time is left in this half (or quarter)? How much time is left in the game?
- If that player scores five points, how many points will the team have altogether?
- On the Road: Whether you’re headed to the grocery store or to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, road trips offer a fun opportunity to practice math skills. Test out some of these questions the next time you’re on the go:
- How many miles have we travelled so far? How many miles do we have left?
- If our car gets 20 miles per gallon and there are ten gallons in the tank, how far can we travel before we have to stop again?
- If gas is $3 per gallon and we need 12 gallons, how much will we spend? What will be the total?
- Math Wars: Do you have a budding card shark in your family? Take advantage of her interest in games by playing a math card challenge! There are only three rules to remember:
- Remove face cards from the deck. The Ace represents 1.
- Evenly deal a deck of cards between two players.
- Each player places one card face up. The first person to call out the product (or sum/difference) of the two cards wins the hand. The player with the most cards in the end wins!
Share your favorite math games and apps ➟ @RocketshipEd
Logan came to Rocketship in 2013 after spending three years in a neighboring district in east San Jose. She learned about Rocketship’s inclusion model and knew within her first days as a Rocketeer that she was in the right place to influence change for all students. Logan is most inspired by her students who seem to inherently understand that learning can be messy and difficult, but who are willing to jump in headfirst anyway. Logan lives with her husband and her dog in sunny Santa Cruz and spends her extra time playing on the beaches or hiking underneath the redwood trees in her backyard.
Follow Logan on Twitter: @loganjuve
Published on May 28, 2015
Read more stories about: Parent Experience.