In addition to summer reading, as I wrote about recently, I would like to share some thoughts on summer math for both adults and students. Why both adults and students? The simple answer is that everyone can benefit from review of math facts. The “investigations” and “discovery” techniques that have been widely employed over the past 25 years don’t emphasize extensive practice; instead, materials were and are often more focused on concepts.
It is never too late to improve one’s math skills, and to help one’s kids. There are many resources where parents can work WITH their students to practice, improve and master fundamentals. Khan Academy is very well known, and some teachers will supplement with it or with IXL.
I want to introduce Math-Drills.com, a less well-known resource because I think it could work for both students AND parents. In contrast to IXL and Khan, the topics are not organized by grades. Also, there are lots of printable resources.
Parents can work alongside their students, or could do the work without the students being aware. Either way, my hope is that parents can be effective in supporting their students, and that parents can improve their own skills as well.
Math Drills has printable worksheets …. over 58,000. What I really like about this site is the connection of instructional videos to printable practice sheets (Note: if you don’t have a printer at home, you can use the printer at a local public library). I am amazed at the promise on the intro Youtube video page, “if we don’t have a video on a worksheet, and you want one, we’ll create it”.
To get started, click on “menu” on the top left, then select a topic. I think the flow of topics is very well done. This is an ad-supported site, and one ad in particular with 2nd, 3rd and 4th looks like it is a part of the site. It is not. If you get pop-up ads, just click on “close.”
Here’s an example from Math Drills. This worksheet is on two-digit addition, with carrying:
If there’s a video for a specific worksheet, you’ll see a blue box in the center of the page. Here’s the link to the Youtube video associated with two-digit addition, with carrying:
Overall, Math Drills has a very impressive set of materials. In addition to elementary school topics, they also have Algebra and Geometry. And they have some seasonal sheets, for example Halloween Math.
Beyond worksheets and written practice, there are also benefits to mental math. Some places to practice mental math:
–the grocery store: how much will these two items cost?
–in the car: the mile marker says 115, we’re going to 127, how many miles are left?
–coins: here are five coins, how much do they total?
–weather: what’s the difference between today’s high and tomorrow’s forecasted high?
Closing comment: make the questions fun and useful, teach techniques such as breaking a problem into several steps, and emphasize the importance of accuracy. And have fun!