Math is where kids lag
By Murray Bourne, 20 Jun 2006
An opinion piece by Ruth Peters in USA Today, "Summer reading lists are OK, but math is where kids lag" [no longer available, but cited in Math in the Media], bemoans the poor level of math skills in the US.
She mentions that many students get a reading list for the summer holidays (how many of the books are read?) but rarely are they assigned mathematics tasks.
She quotes studies that show students' math skills drop by "2.6 grade months" over the summer break. Not surprising, when the last thing on their minds is algebra and trigonometry.
The final part of the article is disappointingly commercial (plugging various math tutorial companies and software products.)
How about offering well-run "discovery" camps over summer? These would not be "science" or "math" camps (sounds too boring), but would actually give students interesting problems to solve - situations that require some physics, chemistry and math knowledge.
But wait a minute - that's how math and science should be taught all the time...
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