The summer holidays are now well underway, which means you are currently enjoying that there are currently no uniforms to wash or any school lunches to pack. The summer break is a time for fun and relaxation, but it’s also a time when children’s academic gains that they make throughout the year are lost.
When the school doors close for the summer, many children struggle to access educational opportunities. Summer Learning Loss (or Summer Brain Drain) is the loss in academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer holidays. Extensive studies show that children, who are fluent readers and who love to read for fun during the summer holidays, may actually improve their literacy skills. However, children with less fluent reading skills and who never read during the long break can actually regress by two months.
In mathematics, the learning loss is even greater! On average, children lose about 2.6 months’ worth of grade level equivalency in mathematical skills during their summer break! What’s more, children only need to spend 2 – 3 hours per week using educational resources during the summer break to prevent any learning loss!
Studies have found that all children, regardless of background, made similar improvement during term time. It is during the long summer break that differences occurred: children from wealthier backgrounds had better access to the kinds of activities that keep their brains active, be that summer camps, physical activity programs, formal tutoring or simply more conversation with adults. In short, summer brain drain affects all children, but unfortunately is much more apparent with children from less-wealthy families.
Summer Learning Loss Facts:
- Equivalent of one month of overall learning is lost after summer break
- Six weeks are spent re-learning old material to make up for summer learning loss
- Two months of reading skills are lost over the summer
- 2 – 3 hours a week during the summer break is need to prevent any learning loss
- As early as Reception summer learning loss can be recognized
- Two months of all subject focused learning is all it takes to improve specific learning skills
- Two thirds of income based achievement gap is attributed to summer learning loss
- It can take up to 2 months from the first day of school for a student's brain development to get back on track.
How can you prevent the learning loss?
When it comes to helping to stop the flow of learning loss, parents have a key role to play. Learning loss is much less pronounced, if there at all, in families that provide learning opportunities. As a parent, we know that you want your children to have a break from formal learning this summer but it is also important for you to understand the importance of learning and try and introduce the opportunity to keep their brains active.
- Reading - Reading can help build children’s literacy skills as well as vocabulary and writing skills.
- Story Writing - Writing stories is a great way to improve children's written language skills and easily gives them a fun and imaginative activity.
- Days Out - Exciting days out to museums, zoos, and historical sites provide great learning opportunities for children.
Develop Math Skills
Thanks to the 10ticks Home Learning System, the power to stop Summer Learning Loss is literally at your fingertips. For just £9 you can give your child access to thousands of maths worksheets, video guides and tests, along with hundreds of games and activities. With so many maths resources, you will have the flexibility to use the System in a way that will benefit your child best.
We have an exclusive 3 month Summer Learning Loss offer available to you but you must act quickly as this offer will expire 05/08/2016. Simply select how many users you wish you purchase for and click on the appropriate link below.
How do you help your children avoid Summer Learning Loss?...
by Ian Fisher
Every summer we update the worksheets and website with the work we have done over the past 12 months. This gives me time for reflection on the year and to look back at our achievements.
Writing for 10ticks is extremely rewarding; there are no constraints on what we do. We do it because we love it. We do it because we know it will make your life easier and motivate your students into finding mathematics fascinating. We can put time and effort into crafting a successful worksheet for the benefit of time starved teachers. In this blog I will look over some of the worksheet ideas produced for our new edition.
As a quick digression, the worksheet seems to have become an unpopular bedfellow for the teacher over the last decade. It has been given bad press because of the hastily prepared sheet of work, possibly hand written, with reams of questions and no progression, photocopied and given out to a class as a last minute homework, and just for the sake of tick-boxing the homework given box. I have heard of head teachers banning the use of worksheets in their schools. Should we now call our worksheets a digital maths resource, so that we are not tagged with the label? This short-sightedness is the equivalent of saying, “ I have seen a bad text book, so we will not use text books in our school”. Ludicrous.
Yes, I believe practice is an important element to learning. Our consolidation worksheets have sets of questions to allow time for this, along with structured, graduated progressions. More able pupils may work on odd numbers, or down columns, and those that need consolidation can work through more. The worksheets have been likened to a lesson plan in their progression. Our texts are successful because of this .... but there is much, much more to 10ticks than just consolidation questions. Variety is just as important. That is why we have games, puzzles, investigations, Action Maths, Calculated Colourings etc, all linked to specific mathematical concepts, so the teacher can focus on delivering a skill in a variety of ways. It has been shown that this wide variety of delivery mechanisms actually helps teacher development by thinking about pedagogy. I could go on, but a short digression has now become a long rant, so enough.
This year we have added over 270 worksheets to the 10ticks collection and I want to highlight one or two of my favourites. We do have a new Search tool that will help you navigate through this vast, rich resource.
As a side note, for those of you referencing 10ticks into schemes of work, use the comment field, as this doesn’t change from year to year. Page numbers and Years will, depending on the whim of the government at the time.
Frequency Trees (search M16.162 then onwards) is a brand new area. We have developed this from scratch. It is a graduated series of worksheets, linking frequency trees with two way tables and probabilities. The progressions are easy to follow, allowing for instant student success.
The Monty Hall Problem (search M16.113) is a very famous problem that can be solved easily by running a trial with the whole class. Will you win a car or a goat?
Roman Numeral Matchstick Puzzles (search M16.64) is a delightful page of puzzles that involve moving matchsticks around to solve questions in Roman numerals format. Great fun.
The last question of the sheet, Sec D 6)., is obviously a trick question, which can be answered gleefully by spinning the sheet around 180 degrees.
BIDMAS Snake (search M16.78) is a question that hit the news this year. It is a question that was given to third graders (8 year olds) in Bao Loc, Vietnam. See how your class fares.
There is alot of introductory algebra in the update. Stars and Circles (Algebra) (search M16.253) is a typical start to algebra, replacing a star and circle with numbers to solve the questions. Also look at Balancing Shapes (search M16.86) for a starter to solving equations. Algebraic Expression Diagrams (search M16.95) is a visualisation method for algebra. It is consistent with the way multiplication is taught using grids.
Algebraic Pyramids (starting Algebra) (search M16.255) looks at number pyramids, and finding generalisations for different pyramid sizes. We do this by using polygon shapes, rather than numbers, to see how many of each polygon appear in the top block. You should find a generalisation for the 3-block base, 4-block base and 5-block base, before guessing what it will be for a 6-block base. To find a link between the generalisations it may be wise to cover Pascal’s triangle immediately before this topic.
OK, I could go on, but won’t. There is a plethora of enrichment material this year: puzzles, games and investigations, so go and explore these new materials. My apologies to those worksheets that didn’t get a mention by name - I hope you weren’t offended....
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