Archive for the ‘Elementary Math’ Category

21st Century Math

Progress-is-impossible-without-changeChange is hard, but necessary.  This year, we have made a significant change in our math curriculum.  I feel it is important to convey the reasons for these changes, especially to parents who may not be aware of all the behind-the-scenes stuff that we in education work through everyday.  Please take a few minutes to view this video explanation of the shift to digital that we have made with math practice.  If you are skeptical about a lack of worksheets coming home or technology in general, I hope it will help you see a little bit more of the picture.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions!


“I Hate Math”

Ever hear these words coming from your son or daughter as they struggle through their homework?  Many students develop a dislike for math through the years that has a negative, circular effect on their learning.  They don’t like math, and math doesn’t like them.  Although they may actually have good mathematical reasoning and computation skills, they may never experience success because of this barrier.

Stanford University has developed a course that helps change this – “How to Learn Math”.  It is an online course for k-12 teachers and parents to help them know how to improve student engagement with math.  The course began July 15, but will likely be offered again given the 20,000 people who have already enrolled.   During the 2012-2013 school year, Stanford will offer a student version of this course as well.

Follow the link below for more information.  There are some other great articles on this site that you may find helpful as you work to be involved in your child’s education.

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Preventing Summer Slide

4fe09d91e31c3.preview-620Ever hear of “summer slide”?  It’s a phenomena  that has been happening for …. well, forever.  It is the fact that student seem to lose a degree of their reading comprehension abilities, math skills and other content knowledge over the long summer break from school.  You can blame the scorch of the sun or the chlorine in the pool, or you can the research behind why it happens, but the real question is what are you going to do to stop it? 

The answer is pretty simple, really.  Keep your child using those skills.  Even just a few minutes a day with a book or in math practice will do the trick  – and this blog can help!  Check the resources section for posts about lots of different programs, many of which are FREE, that you can use at home to keep your child from losing the progress he or she has made over the last year.  The number one place I’d recommend starting is with the Achieve 3000 Summer Reading Contest.  All Southwest Parke students that just finished grades 3-12 already have accounts that will remain active through the summer months.

If your child isn’t too excited about the idea of continuing the work they were doing in school, make it more fun!  Go to the library and let him or her pick out some books.  No pressure, no test… just reading for the love of reading.  It will go a long way if you model that love of reading too, Mom and Dad!   Don’t forget math, either.  There are tons of great math gaming websites that will have your kid begging to practice math skills without even realizing it!

So… have a great summer full of family fun, but don’t forget to take a few minutes each day to keep those skills sharp.  You’ll be amazed at the difference when next school year starts.

Here are some articles to help you prevent academic loss in your son or daughter this summer!

How To Make Summer Reading Effective

10 Ways To Prevent Summer Slide

Stop Summer Academic Loss

  Don’t Fall Back:  Summer Literacy Acceleration

Math Resources

Here are some wonderful sites that will help your child learn math concepts and practice skills.  Those marked with a $ involve a paid subscription.

$ Lymboo Math – This site was designed by a father with a computer programing background who wanted to give his children better math practice at home to supplement what they were getting in school.  It begins with an assessment, then works students through a personalized track of levels, giving them more practice where they need it and less where they show quick mastery.  The unique part of this program is that it also gives a periodic “spiral review” where students are asked to demonstrate that they’ve still got it!  It also changes the context of questions, so students have to really learn the skills and not just memorize responses.

$ ALEKS – Exceptional personalized math instruction that extends through grade 12 skills.  We have ALEKS subscriptions at school, so communicate with your son or daughter’s math teacher about using ALEKS at home.

 Adapted Mind – This is a terrific site that will provide your son/daughter with personalized lessons by grade level (1st through 6th Grade).  Students begin with a short assessment and are then given problems based on the skills they need to learn.  Video lessons accompany each skill being practiced.  Parents receive a report via e-mail of the skills their child has mastered and areas of difficulty.

IXL – Similar to Adapted Mind, but covers Pre-K through Algebra, so it is good for older students as well.

Basic Fact Practice

Secondary Math

  • Math Expression – math videos, study tips, practice questions and step-by-step instructions for Algebra and Geometry skills
  • Sumdog – practice math skills through Algebra level in a game format
  • Wolfram Mathworld – extensive interactive instruction for advanced math skills
  • Khan Academy – great site for video lessons of math concepts.
  • Calc Chat – see Calculus problems worked through in detail.  Live chat is sometimes available for help as well.
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