Slowing the Summer Slide–Part II: Math

summer slide, mathematics, achievement gap, Imagine MathAs we discussed in a previous post, the typical American student enjoys a three-month break from school for summer vacation, providing well-deserved rest from the rigors of academia.

But studies suggest the summer fun may also come at a price.

According to a 2011 study by researchers at the RAND Corporation called “Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning,” summer break – albeit necessary and beneficial in many aspects – could potentially set some students back two to three full months of grade-level equivalency if not supplemented with additional summer learning support.

The RAND study also indicates that the summer slide is more pronounced in mathematics, a subject in which learning decay occurs more rapidly over summer vacation simply because of math inactivity. Students may read over summer vacation, but few practice their math skills. Read more »

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Memorize Your Times Tables, Dear

Imagine Learning, math facts, Big Brainz, multiplication, times tables, solve problem, students, teachers, times tablesSix in every ten Americans report having difficulty solving some type of math, and 30 percent of Americans say they would rather clean the bathroom than solve a math problem.

Yet 93 percent of Americans say that developing good math skills is crucial to having a successful life.

So why would anyone dislike something that brings success?

Most Americans develop their attitudes about math from others. For example, if parents don’t enjoy math, they may pass that attitude forward to children.

Perhaps parents or teachers nag too much. “Memorize your times tables!” they might say, “Work harder!”

Or, perhaps nagging isn’t to blame. Maybe students feel inadequate during math class because they’re just missing out on some key fundamentals.

Whatever the reasons, no one can really deny the importance of mathematics. Math is important in everyday life! Read more »

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Big Brainz Math Games: The Easy Way to Automaticity

 

writing out multiplication tables

 

If you’re a teacher, you may notice that some students who struggle with reading also struggle with math automaticity.

Can such students recall math facts when they move on to more challenging math tasks? And how do you know that your students are completely fluent?

In January 2016, Imagine Learning acquired Big Brainz, a Utah-based company known for its effective math-fact fluency software. If you’ve never heard of Big Brainz before, this blog post will describe what the software is and how it helps students become fluent in math facts. Read more »

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