Everyday Ways Students Can Sharpen Math Skills

Studies show students lose anywhere from one to three months of math skills through the summer, regardless of their socioeconomic status. In the article “Summer of 4+2,” Sarah Pitcock, an official with the National Summer Learning Association, says, “We see a lot of summer reading lists, but I don’t think we’ve seen a tipping point in terms of math loss awareness.”

However, there are many tools and opportunities for students of all ages to get involved with math during the summer that doesn’t necessarily have to feel like they’re sitting in an algebra class on a beautiful summer day. In the article “Summer of 4+2,” teachers suggested the following activities:

  • play card games
  • have kids find the best price for products at the grocery store
  • let them calculate the tip at the restaurant
  • invent a game with the numbers on license plates

When students use math in an everyday environment, not only do they get to experience the real world application of what they are learning in school, they also sharpen their math skills in a way that doesn’t feel like math. My new book Dollars and Sense: How to Be Smart About Money is another great way for teens to learn about their finances while learning the mathematical, critical thinking, and practical skills involved. Each chapter has a Real-World Math problem and Put Your Math into Practice exercise, as well as additional online resources, that ask students to solve the problems of a maturing adult.

Stay tuned for more on Dollars and Sense as the release date nears.

References:

“Summer of 4+2,” – http://articles.boston.com/2011-07-31/yourtown/29836257_1_national-summer-learning-association-math-skills-summer-reading-lists/2

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