Your summer vacation has arrived, but a break from school doesn't mean that your kids have to stop developing their math skills.
Whether you’re teaching summer school courses, running a summer math camp, or looking to keep your kids practicing their math skills at home over break, the following ideas will help you make this summer an awesome mathematical learning experience!
1.) Watch and Learn
Summer break is a perfect time for your kids to improve their weaker areas and further develop their understanding of math topics.
Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all summer curriculum, try taking advantage of the plethora of free math videos on YouTube and let students explore lessons that meet their individual needs.
Here are 5 YouTube channels that share fun and engaging math video lessons that your kids will actually want to watch:
For the Basics: Math Antics
For More Complex Topics: Numberphile
For Auditory Learners: Numberock
For Visual Learners: Mashup Math
For Math in Story-Form: Math with Matthew
2.) Project-Based Learning
Free from the demands of pacing guides and standardized curriculums, summer vacation is the perfect time for your kids to explore math concepts in the context of hands-on projects that are both engaging and enjoyable.
If you're looking for summer math project ideas that can be modified to appropriately challenge and engage math students at the elementary and middle school levels, check out this list of 10 Awesome End of Year Math Project Ideas.
3.) Back to Basics
While summer vacation is a great time to further explore previously-learned math concepts and ideas, it's also an opportunity to take a step back and ensure that your kids' fundamental skills are where they need to be.
Whether it's working with fractions, breaking down word problems, or solving equations, your kids likely need extra time and opportunities to develop and improve important prerequisite skills.
If you're looking for free and helpful practice resources that are broken down by topic, I recommend the following websites:
See Also: Are you using these 5 awesome websites for free math worksheets?
Teachers often struggle to get their kids interested in practicing and learning math during summer vacation.
If you're looking to provide your kids with learning opportunities that break away from the familiarity of routine classroom lessons and activities, try gamifying your approach.
Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists – a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty, according to www.brunchball.com.
You can gamify your math curriculum by having kids take on math-related games and puzzles in a physical and/or digital setting.
Looking for gamified math ideas? The following resources will get you started:
Are YOUR kids ready for these fun daily math challenges this summer?
5.) Get Visual
Stanford professor and progressive math education guru Jo Boaler describes mathematics as "a subject that allows for precise thinking, but when that precise thinking is combined with creativity, openness, visualization, and flexibility, the mathematics comes alive."
When your students aren't thinking about math in a visual context, they are missing out on developing a deep understanding of the material.
If you're looking to give your kids more opportunities to explore mathematics in a visual context, check out these Awesome, Research-Based Visual Math Activities suggested by Jo Boaler.
6.) Get Writing
Did you know that writing about math encourages creativity, exploration, and communicating one's thoughts and feelings?
When kids write about math, they learn to organize their thinking, use key vocabulary terms and phrases, and communicate mathematically—which leads to deep and meaningful understanding.
If you're looking for ways to get your kids writing about math this summer, check out this list of 5 Ideas for Writing in the Math Classroom.
7.) Get Reading
So you want your kids thinking about math over the summer, without formally practicing it?
Reading math-related fiction books is a great way to get your kids thinking creatively and mathematically during vacation.
Looking for some fun and creative summer reading STEM books for the elementary, middle, and high school levels? Check out this list of 13 STEM Fiction Books Your Kids will Actually Enjoy Reading This Summer.
How do you plan on keeping your kids thinking mathematically over summer vacation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
By Anthony Persico
Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.