Like many parents, you might be concerned about the possible learning loss experienced by your children during the recent school shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Especially with math (from kindergarten math all the way to AP Calculus and AP Statistics), where gaps can be greater than other subjects.
In fact, Pew Research indicates that an average of 2 out of 3 parents are concerned about learning loss, with 28% of parents indicating they are very concerned.
It has been well known and documented the effects of learning loss due to summer vacation. Based on recent research, there is data that suggests the learning loss will be even steeper this year due to kids not being able to attend school in person. Schools must address this issue, but there are things that parents can do in the meantime.
This blog post will provide you with 15 strategies that can be used to help alleviate the learning loss caused by the shutdown of schools this year. Not only that but also utilizing these strategies can help boost your child’s confidence, which could have been damaged by their negative experiences with at-home learning.
As a professional math tutor, I have listened to many parents expressing similar concerns about their child’s potential learning loss.
No matter what the grade level, there are strategies that can help reduce or eliminate this learning loss. Here are some strategies you as a parent can put in place, broken down by grade level:
High School Math (Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Precalculus, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics)
1. Watch videos of complete solutions to math problems. One strategy is to listen to the problem, pause the video, and then attempt to work out the solution first, and then play the rest of the video to check for the correct solution.
2. Download activities from Khan Academy, Teachers Pay Teachers, and Desmos (an online graphing calculator), They are organized by math course and topic.
3. Use free practice worksheets (including the answers) by subject are available through Kuta Software.
Elementary and Middle School Math
4. Talk about math with your children. If they are lacking confidence, encourage them by sharing that math achievement is not about natural ability so much as consistent effort.
5. Find ways to add math to daily activities
· Calculate the volume of water in a city pool
· Calculate the sales tax and discounts at the grocery store
· Calculate the average miles per gallon for your car
· Create a “what if” scenario such as “what if the sales tax was 9%”?
· Give them a little cash so they can figure out on their own what they can afford to buy
6. Allow teens to get involved with planning a family trip
· Contributing ideas to set a budget
· Calculating fuel needs and costs
· Computing distances between stopping points
7. Get a detailed assessment report from a reputable company, such as LetsGoLearn.com. For a nominal fee, you can get a report detailing which areas of math your child may need to have extra help. It even drills down to the specific topic to focus on. The report will show if they are below or above grade level for each topic. They also point you to specific videos you can watch. If your child doesn’t connect well with videos, perhaps you can watch the videos together.
8. Have a professional teacher or tutor review the assessment report with you. They can recommend specific resources to help students master material. They will often provide this service free of charge. Contact http://www.maxmathtutoring.com for more information.
9. Use Kuta Software worksheets to bolster any weak math skills as indicated on LetsGoLearn’s K7 ADAM assessment. Kuta software worksheets are free and include answer keys so you can check your child’s work.
10. Get help if you feel overwhelmed understanding the steps in this process. At Max Math Tutoring, I have guided many kids from struggling to confident in math. Contact me at http://www.maxmathtutoring.com for a free consultation. You can register for my free download entitled “5 Strategies for Overcoming Test Anxiety”.
11. Encourage your child to get a summer job that involves using math every day.
12. Arrange for your older children to tutor younger kids in math. Teaching someone else helps lock in what they have already learned.
13.Play math-oriented games such as “24”. This game is excellent for exercising kids’ mental math skills. The game consists of a deck of square cards. Each card has a single-digit number displayed along each side of the card. The object is to use any combination of math operations to achieve a final answer of 24. For example, if you draw a card containing the numbers 8, 0, 7, and 4, one possible answer would be (7-4) x 8+0 = 24. You could make it into a contest with other kids, create teams, and offer prizes. Play board games that involve math, such as Monopoly. You can find an extensive list of mathematical board games at https://blog.mindresearch.org/blog/big-list-mathematical-board-games
14. Create real-world problems that line up with the child’s interests.
· Have them calculate basketball free throw percentages
· Have them make a scale drawing of a basketball court
· Have them determine the lines that are parallel or perpendicular on a tennis court
15. Have them collect data on something they enjoy. For example, weather data. When I was a kid, I wrote down the high and low temperatures each day and then calculated the average daily high and low temperatures for each month. (Today, there are apps that do all that for you!)
I welcome your comments, ideas, and questions!
For additional strategies, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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