Students can avoid ‘summer slide’ in reading, math skills

These students attend Liberty Middle School.(CONTRIBUTED)
These students attend Liberty Middle School.(CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – During summer break, students in Alabama have time to sleep late, maybe vacation with parents and overall relax from class constraints.

However, months away from school can result in ‘the summer slide,’ especially in math and reading. The Alabama State Department of Education recommends several activities and study units to keep those young minds focused.

Dr. Claudia Styles, principal at Mill Creek Elementary School, and other Madison principals offered source material to parents from the state department.

The “Summer Learning Challenge” encourages students to pledge to read five to eight books from a personalized reading list and practice math every day, at least part of the summer. (alsde.edu/sec/comm/Pages/summer-learning.aspx)

The challenge “raises awareness of the summer loss epidemic … and provides access to a variety of free resources to support targeted reading and math practice,” Deputy State Superintendent of Education Sherrill W. Parris.

The “Find a Book, Alabama” tool (Lexile.com/fab/Alabama) offers students more than 160,000 books, many available in local libraries. Users can search for books of interest for a grade level and build custom reading lists, according to Deputy State Superintendent of Education Sherrill W. Parris.

MetaMetrics developed the book-finding tool based on Lexiles, a measure of a student’s reading ability.

Another free service is math skills program for children who have completed grades 2-5. Parents receive daily emails with fun activities and resources to help their children retain math skills that they acquired during the previous school year.

“After the math program ends on Aug. 1, parents can print an award certificate to celebrate their child’s summer accomplishment,” Parris said. MetaMetrics also develops “The Quantile Framework for Mathematics.”

The “Stride Academy” offers a “a cool blend of online math, reading and science skills practice, spectacular video games and peer competitions to pass the lazy summer days,” Parris said. Students can access Stride Academy online any time on tablets, PCs and Macs. (AlabamaSummerStride.com).

For more information about the Summer Learning Challenge, call 334-242-9952, email to mlowry@alsde.edu or dcoe1@alsde.edu or visit alex.state.al.us/libmedia.

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