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The Math Skills Sharpeners

Updated: May 19, 2022

Summers and math skills can be like water and oil. We have the solution.


One of the most highly anticipated moments of the year in any school is the arrival of the summer recess. The promise of fun and relaxation is hard to ignore after months of demanding school work. However, this fun and relaxation come at a price. A study published in the American Educational Research Journal found that the average student lost 17%–34% of the prior year's learning gains during summer break, as well as that students who lose ground in one summer are more likely to also lose ground in subsequent summers. Any teacher will tell you it feels more like a loss of 80%–90%. Believe it or not, some have even forgotten their own name when they return to school the following school year!.


A study published in the American Educational Research Journal found that the average student lost 17%–34% of the prior year's learning gains during summer break, as well as that students who lose ground in one summer are more likely to also lose ground in subsequent summers. Any teacher will tell you it feels more like a loss of 80%–90%.

Mathematical skills seem to be the one that suffers the most. Froebel Bilingual School has been able to mitigate this problem with a solution called: The Math Skills Sharpeners. These are intended to give continuity to the mathematics learning process by providing opportunities for students to practice the skills taught during the previous academic year to help them maintain their competence and minimize or eliminate the reteaching of the same skills the following year. Some noticeable points to consider are:


· The instrument reflects the instruction given during the past year, not the instruction from previous years, if there were differences. It makes no sense for a student to practice skills that they were not taught.

· The instrument follows the chronological order of the instruction given during the year.

· The Math Skills Sharpener don’t have ALL of the previously taught skills, just the most important or challenging.

· The instrument is arranged in such a way that students can work in four exercise sets per week during the eight weeks of the summer break. Each activity is prepared in such a way that the student shouldn’t have to spend more than 15 to 20 minutes to complete it.


It must be emphasized, that a modicum of discipline is necessary. Disregarding the sharpener's workflow at any moment, to rush to work on the document at the very last minute, defeats the purpose of this solution. Following the guidelines will contribute to successfully minimize or eradicate the effects of the summer break on our students.


The Math Skills Sharpeners will be available for download in the Parents section of this website the first week of June 2022.

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