We need to talk about summer vacation. We know your students have been working hard this past school year, so it might be tempting to let them off the hook over the long break. Kids need time to be kids. We get it. However, many students experience summer learning losses when math, reading, and homework are put on the back burner.
In fact, a study published by the American Education Research Journal shows that the average student loses between 25 and 34 percent of each school-year math gains during the following summer.
So how do we find the right balance? On one hand, you want your students to enjoy all that the summer season has to offer, but on the other hand, you don't want them playing catch up when the new school year starts.
That's where ST Math can help. Encouraging your students to play ST Math with their penguin friend JiJi will be easier than cracking open math textbooks from school years past. If you need some ideas on how to encourage mathematical thinking over summer vacation, we've got you covered. Here are some resources to keep everyone learning math while having some summer fun:
Download our Summer Usage Calendar
Summer tracking printables are available on our website like this ST Math Summer Usage Calendar. Your children can use it to track their minutes every time they play ST Math. A recent study released by Proving Ground, part of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, found increasing ST Math usage by more than 10 minutes per week correlated to significantly higher math gains on multiple state standardized math assessments. Setting aside ten extra minutes for your child to solve puzzles with JiJi is easy. All you need to access ST Math is a Wi-Fi connection and a compatible device, so the whole family can play from the couch or by the pool.
MathMINDs Games and Stories
One of the simplest ways to spark your child's mathematical curiosity is by finding real-life examples of math in the world around us. Our MathMINDs games and stories do exactly that by offering several interactive, effortful, and absorbing programs that deepen our collective understanding and enjoyment of math. Explore tons of math concepts, such as comparing numbers by comparing lemur ages, positive and negative by flipping your caterpillars on branches to attack, number sense and recognition by recalling which cows are yours, and much more.
Has your child ever shown a budding talent for game design? Take a break from screens and run your own Play.Create.Share. project then enhance it with one of our ongoing Game-a-thons. We are on a mission to produce a free family math night kit featuring only student-made work. Submit your own games by May 31, 2021, for a chance to be featured! See our Student Cork Board for examples.
Developing our MathMINDs
Developing Our MathMINDs is a series of conversations and resources about math that is intended to be a journey of growth with families over several weeks. MIND's Lead Mathematician and Product Director Brandon Smith and Content Development Manager Nina Wu talk about learning at home and opportunities for changing our relationship with math. Start here with “Summer Math,” and then check out all of the MathMINDs series offerings at the bottom of the blog post.
We encourage you to incorporate these activities to keep math learning top-of-mind all summer long. We also hope that you take time to rest and make lasting memories with your families. Have a great summer!
Want to share these activities with your community? Download the flyer below:
About the Author
Parker is MIND's Content and Community Specialist.