Summer is coming!!! Do you have a plan on how to keep your students engaged in mathematics over their 6 to 8 week summer? I know, I know, getting a middle school kid to do anything is a chore! Getting them off their screens for a moment to talk is asking a lot. But students, regardless of socio-economic backgrounds, lose 2 to 3 months of math knowledge over the summer. I know, that is huge!! That means teachers must re-teach much of what was covered the school year prior and then try and get through all the material that is needed for the year ahead. Middle school students, in particular, struggle with keeping up at the accelerated pace and that can be detrimental to students who need to pass mathematics in order to graduate. Math is the great equalizer. More than a child’s demographic or gender, math scores better predict the likelihood a student will one day reach college and graduate into a successful career.
A study known as “The Forgotten Middle” reveals eighth grade as the ‘deadline’ that most accurately predicts a child’s success in college and beyond. In other words, if a child has received the relevant math education and training by eighth grade, two things become much more likely. First, that child will have a higher likelihood of going to college. And second, that child will likely be more successful in high school, college, and career.
Middle School students should be helping with the purchase of groceries. What is the best deal? How much is it for one item if you get four for $5.99? Give them a budget of $20 cash and have them purchase a meal for a family of four. They may use coupons. They need to have a protein, vegetable or fruit, grain and a drink. In discussing coupons and buying groupings of items for sale this worksheet gives you an idea on how to apply ratios to grocery shopping. https://www.scribd.com/doc/77484557/Grocery-Store-Ratios Also Check out our MANGO Math Money Matters which has students figuring out fractional amounts, ratios, balancing budgets, percents. There are lessons on calculating tips, splitting tips, dividing a bill, writing checks, every day math. https://ca.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/vtl07.math.number.per.lptipping/using-percents-to-calculate-tips/
Baking and cooking all work on fractional measurements. Continue to bake and double/triple recipes. Discuss baking times and ingredients. Test different amounts of baking soda vs baking powered, shortening vs butter, cold batter vs warm batter, cake flour vs regular flour, brown sugar vs granulated sugar vs confectioner sugar. What happens when you add more of one ingredient? Chart the measurements, the cook time, the reaction, all again the control group. Chart the time of cooking eggs and meat student learn real life skills in understanding soft boiled eggs vs hard boiled eggs and rare steak vs well done steak.
Make a mini-me. Measure the body from top of head to floor, from shoulder to shoulder. Scale the body down to the recreate themselves in miniature form. By what amount would they reduce their size. Discuss what will happen if they reduce their size in half, three-fourths.
Student can also create a scale drawing of a house. Here are some lessons on designing a house. https://www.teachingbydesign.org/lessons/
Try out our Sports and Math Kit. It has 20 lessons that goes into the mathematics of 17 different sports. Figure out what club is needed in golf, how to run a pattern on a horse, how to track the distance and time of an Iditarod race. These along with keeping score in basketball, football and baseball. Lots of fun activities.
Students can also do their own physical activities and track their progress over the summer. Great way to keep fit and reinforce math skills. Students can chart their progress each week.
If your middle school students want screen time, pair it with a coding program. An hour of code is something kids can do easily over the summer. Code.org® is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. https://code.org/
Khan Academy is a free resource to help your students work on those math skills they need to maintain throughout the summer. They include every math problem and skill from kindergarten up through college. Any math concept that a students needs to master is in there.