Summer is Coming - Get Ready for the Slide

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As the school year comes to an end, students get excited about relaxing, having fun and enjoying the warmer weather. As they hit the playground and run for the slide, their memory and learnings from the school year begin to slide. So how do we prevent “slide” over the summer?

“In their overview of the summer slide, Quinn and Polikoff offer a few key facts:

  • Learning and achievement are perishable. The average student loses a month of academic-calendar learning each summer.

  • The impact of the summer slide contributes to a more pronounced achievement gap.

  • Research has found a link between socioeconomic status and the loss of reading skills experienced over the summer.

  • Studies show older students lose more over the summer than younger ones.

  • Students see greater academic dips in math than in reading.”1

Here are some things that can be done to slow the knowledge “slide”:

Head to the library. Read, read, read… select a book that interests the child. Reading improves English capabilities and increases word knowledge. Reading can be interactive by having discussions with the family – providing summaries or reading together for the younger ones. As writing is being more emphasized in school, a short book summary could be written to keep up the practice.

Keep the communication going. In addition to reading with the child or reviewing books together, communicate with your children. Ask about their day, incorporate items that are being studied – colors, letters, numbers, animals, history, civics, etc. Connect with an instructor or educational coach to provide support.

Complete work over summer. There are many options to get assigned work over summer break. Schools or libraries may supply summer projects. Also many after-school supplemental educational programs offer assignments for summer.

Do work at home. While there are many options to do homework over the summer, utilizing online versions of programs can be very supportive. The more interactive, the more likely children will spend some of their summer break doing online studies at home.

Implementing a strategy can prevent the “slide” of your child’s knowledge over summer. Contact your local Eye Level Center to discuss how their summer programs can help.

 


  1. Ariel Goldberg, 2018,  What Summer Slide Actually Means-and 5 Ways to Fight it

Summer Learning Loss: Hold on to Math

It is broadly known that students lose academic progress over summer break. This is frequently referred to as “summer learning loss” or “summer slide”. While there are significant losses that can be measured, math shows the most loss.

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“As you can see in the graphs, summer learning loss is clearly observed in both math and reading in each summer term between third and eight grade. In the summer following third grade, students lose nearly 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent of their school-year gains in math. By the summer after seventh grade, students lose on average 36 percent of their school-year gains in reading and a whopping 50 percent of their school-year gains in math. In other words, summer learning loss increases with age through elementary and middle school.” 1

Here a few ways to hold on to math over the summer:

·         Discover Math: Math is all around us and together with your child you can have fun discovering math. Count the front doors as you walk around the block, use measuring cups to explore volume while at the beach or pool, watch license plates while on a road trip to play math games, let your imagination run wild as you discover math together.

·         Online Math apps: There are several online apps that can help with math:

o   Math Champ - available for iPads and iPhones, Math Champ is a challenging and innovative gaming app that allows students to test their math skills.

o   Eye Level Math Online – available on any browser, Eye Level Math Online is a fun interactive math game that covers addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

1 Megan Kuhfeld, July 16, 2018  Summer Learning Loss: What We Know and What We’re Learning

How to Prevent Learning Loss Over the Summer in Math

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Almost everyone remembers to read over the summer with their children to keep up with literacy skills, but what are you doing for your child to keep up their mathematics skills? According to researchers at Duke University, math skills decline the most compared to other academic skills with some students losing up to three months’ worth of learning (Mukisa, Math Insider). Here are 8 great tips to help prevent the “Summer Slide” and might help to increase your child’s mathematical thinking. 

1. Read a Math Story. As mentioned, most children are continuing to read over the summer, so why not read a math story together? My favorites include the Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan. This book series is appropriate for students in grades 1-8. For younger children (Pre-K-2), consider reading “How Much is a Million?” by David M Schwartz or “The Math Curse” by Jon Scieszka. 

2. Play a Game. Anything with dice or cards are great games to play with kids. Playing with dice with help children automatically recognize numbers up to six and addition facts up to twelve. To work on subtraction facts, have your child roll only one die at a time. For example, if your child is seven spaces away from winning and he rolls a 4, he will begin to intuitively know that he needs a three to get to the desired location. With cards, students will recognize numbers up to 10. Even younger children can work on their skills such a similarities and differences. For older children, you can introduce them to other classic games such as chess or checkers. 

3. Math Websites. There are so many great resources available to you online. You can find a game about anything and everything! Prodigy is a great game for students in grades 1-8. If you are looking for something more academic, check out Khan Academy. Khan Academy has material for all ages from three to ninety-three. I go on myself sometimes to brush up on my calculus skills or to increase my computer programming knowledge. 

4. Let Children Use Real Money. Money is such an important part of everyday life, and it is crucial that children get exposed to the value of money. If your give your daughter a five-dollar bill to buy her $1.75 drink, let her figure out how much money she should get back. She can even determine the different ways to make $3.25. Even young children understand the power of money and they will feel important if they are permitted to help. 

5. Bake. Baking involves a lot of math, from measuring the ingredients to telling time. Although it might take longer or be a bit messier to bake with your child, it is worth the memories that are created. Then at the end, you have something delicious to eat that your child will be proud of! You can try having your child help you cook vegetables, too. Maybe she will be more likely to eat them. 

6. Set a Lemonade Stand. If your child has practice dealing with money and baking, now is a great time to put these skills to use and set up his own lemonade stand. He can go to the store and buy the supplies, determine how much he needs to sell to make a profit, measure the lemonade to put into pitchers and cups, multiply if someone buys more than one cup, and then provide exact change to his customers. Maybe you will even inspire the next Alex, who gave the profits from her lemonade to childhood cancer research. She raised $2,000 at the age of 4 and over a million dollars by the age of 8. 

7. Visit a Museum. You are looking for something to keep your son entertained and a museum is the perfect place to go. Of course, you can go movies and the playground again, but there are more educational places that you can visit. Take advantage of this time so that he will associate learning with something fun. 

8. Help Plan a Trip. Since you already planning a trip to visit grandma and family vacation to the Grand Canyon, why not let your child help? You and your daughter can pick out the flight and then she can determine the total cost by multiplying by the number of people in your family. She can let you know what time you need to arrive at the airport so that you are two hours early and help determine what time that means you should leave your house. Your son can help you map the miles between all the great National Parks near the Grand Canyon and can make a gasoline budget based on the fuel efficiency of your car and the price of gas. He can even determine when and where are the best spots to take breaks based on how much gasoline fits in the car’s fuel tank. 

Whatever you decide to do, try to be conscious of your child’s education throughout the summer and incorporate fun activities to instill the value of learning!