Additional Math Pages & Resources

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Math: Bridging the Achievement Gap

According to The HechingerEd blog, "When kids return to school in the fall, on average they’ve slipped by about a month from where they were in the spring." This quote is from Catherine Augustine, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research group, and co-author of a report released last year on summer learning programs. She also noted that both low-income and high-income children lose ground in math over the summer during the elementary school years. Read more at

Gary Huggins, chief executive officer of the National Summer Learning Association, has said, "Most youth lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math computational skills over the summer."

"The effects of this 'summer slide' are cumulative and lead to a widening achievement gap, placement in less rigorous high school courses, higher high school dropout rates, and lower college attendance. In fact, summer learning loss accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading by the ninth grade," according to a Johns Hopkins University study.

Here's a video of our young friend Tyler, showing how some California students spend their summers. During the school year, he enjoys completing Excel Math lessons. But when summer comes, it's off to the beach with family and friends to catch a wave:
Surfing with Tyler [1:09 min]

Just as it takes practice to be able to stay on the surfboard, it takes regular practice for elementary students to keep from losing ground in math over the summer. That's where Excel Math Summer School Edition can help. Some teachers are recommending that parents use the Excel Math Summer School Edition with their students to help close the achievement gap over the summer. Here's what one teacher in Illinois called to tell us:
“We are thrilled with Excel Math! We even have parents ordering the summer school edition to keep the math concepts fresh in their students' minds over the summer break.” — Teacher at St. Patrick Catholic School in Washington, Illinois
Excel Math Summer Edition is used by teachers, camp directors and tutors to provide remedial instruction for students who need extra help. It's also used with more advanced students to help them stay focused during the summer and to challenge them with additional brainteasers (Stretches) and word problems (Create A Problem exercises) that teach higher-order thinking skills and combine math with literacy. Learn more about Excel Math Summer School Edition for Pre-Kindergarten through Pre-Seventh grades. Here's an example of an Excel Math Create A Problem exercise for grade 3:
Create a Problem exercise from Excel Math Grade 3 Student Sheet
The Excel Math Summer School Editions are graded to prepare students for entering that grade. So Kindergarten Excel Math Summer School is for children entering Kindergarten (to prepare them for Kindergarten), and Seventh Grade Summer School is for students entering seventh grade. Each Student Book has a companion Teacher Edition sold separately containing the answer keys, teaching suggestions, stretches (brain teasers) and grade charts. Thanks to Anne in Idaho for her wonderful report about Excel Math Lessons. Read more from Anne and others at
"While teaching 3rd grade, 22 out of my 23 students received a score of "advanced" on the ISAT, and ALL students demonstrated significant growth on their MAP math scores. I had similar results with my 5th graders, with all students showing impressive growth. Furthermore, and more important in my eyes, my students report LIKING math and liking learning through Excel Math. 
I love Excel has helped me become a stronger math teacher, and I KNOW it has increased my students' confidence in math (and their test scores!)." 
— Anne Evans, Teacher in Idaho
Excel Math Student Lesson Sheets are much more than just math worksheets. Using strategically placed spaced repetition, Excel Math gives you a proven approach to teach math concepts for long-term retention, with powerful features and advantages, including our unique Spiraling Strategy. Take a look at Excel Math online at (Summer School is available as an Individual Student Set padded book for Kindergarten through grade 7. A companion Summer Teacher Edition is also available for each grade level.)