As a math educator, you probably face the same question at the end of every school year—how do I keep students learning over summer? This year you might be extra concerned and even more focused on finding effective solutions. If so, here are five easy-to-implement ways to keep students moving forward (while still allowing them to enjoy the summer break).
1 – Project-based activities
When you think of project-based learning, math might not immediately come to mind. However, according to a recent EdWeek article, project-based learning is actually very effective in helping students retain and apply math principles in the real world. After all, the entire idea behind project-based learning is to gather evidence, recognize patterns, and draw conclusions. In math this is done by using numbers, variables and diagrams. A great example of how to apply this approach is through the use of ratios.
Here’s how it works:
- Ask students to gather information from a newspaper (or internet) and make a price list of items from local stores. (Even just one or two products, like a gallon of milk, will do.)
- Have them calculate and compare the price differences for the same products at other stores.
- Students will discover the ratio, determining which store offers the best deal. (Parents will love you for this one if it helps save a few dollars during the next shopping trip.)
2 – Hands-on learning activities
Like project-based activities, hands-on learning activities help students understand math concepts from a real-world perspective. The lesson plans below are the perfect demonstrations for use in class or at home.
3 – Math games
Who doesn’t love games? Math games help students practice math facts and retain information—all while having a little fun. Check out these games that can include the whole family:
4 – Knowledgehook
Knowledgehook is math software designed to teach math in a fun and innovative way. For students, Knowledgehook is similar to playing an online game, but the benefits for teachers are pretty amazing. The platform allows teachers to create game shows, assign independent work, track student progress, and easily identify students in need of additional support. Parents can also create a Knowledgehook account to keep tabs on student progress during the school year while adding additional support at home. And (this is one of the best parts) you can use all of these features for an unlimited amount of time, absolutely free.
5 – Webinars for inspiration
Professional development is always a good way to gain insight, inspiration and learn new strategies. NascoEducate.com has an expansive library of professional development opportunities, and a full calendar of new webinars added each month. Below are two previously-recorded math webinars on Math Games and At Home Math Projects, to help give you additional ideas.