As the 2019-2020 school year comes to an end, teachers and students cannot help but wonder what the next school year will bring. Virtual learning took everyone by storm, and suddenly we were in a 100% virtual education situation. With curriculum left to be taught and loose ends in the air, we all jumped in. Surprisingly, virtual teaching has created an opening for students who were shy or not engaged in the classroom to come out of their shell. More than five students have gained significant confidence. The playing field was leveled, so to speak, and they are now able to ask for help or give help when needed. These students have now been able to create a history of being the one with the answer and the one who can help. Some of these students are now grasping the content in a way they previously could not.
On the other hand, and as a whole, we have lost momentum, time and opportunities to teach. Because of this, many students will be behind next year. Families can help their children to maintain the skills they do have by reading 20 minutes per day every day and talking about the book. Students can also read the book to a sibling or friend and then discuss it. All subjects require practice to improve and even sustain their current level, so it is crucial; that students practice math during the summer. Math is so readily available to everyone, and it fits into everyone’s life in meaningful ways. Consider letting your child pay for an item at the store with cash and coins, so they can have [practice counting money. Another idea is to plan the grocery list and ask them to write down the items with the prices (or estimate of price). Then add up the total needed before going to the store. Another idea is to play hopscotch with sidewalk chalk (use variations such as: even odd, add five add three, and so on).
The foundation skills needed for math need to be developed over time and with consistent practice. They cannot be developed in one semester or even one school year alone. Consider taking a few minutes of each day for Math and Reading….. it may be inconvenient at first, but it will pay off in the long run.