As released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), long-term trend assessments for math show the largest score declines for 4th and 8th grade since 1990. The assessment indicates that effects from the pandemic worsened the math achievement gap for students across all backgrounds in all four regions of North America. Outcomes are even more dire for students who were already struggling. With lack of access to technology, or simply a quiet place to work, students in the bottom percentile dropped four times as many points as higher achieving students. To ensure academic recovery for ALL students, this math challenge needs a solution.
What will it take to solve learning loss caused by the pandemic?
Today, scores show just 36% of 4th graders are proficient in math. And in districts experiencing deep poverty such as Detroit, this number falls to just 4%. While some students may know simple arithmetic facts, fewer can take on more difficult math like adding fractions. Research shows that foundational math like fraction knowledge and math fact fluency skills predict math success in high school, as well as on standardized tests. So what does this mean?
Students who can’t move past these math basics will face long-term struggles, including negative impacts to their academic success and career paths. They may struggle to graduate high school or attend college. Besides these challenges, basic math skills are just as important as literacy for navigating our everyday lives.
Help your students overcome the mathematics struggle and achieve math success with our strategies
Extend The School Day. NAEP results show us just how much school closures during the pandemic hurt students. Get your students excited about learning outside of school and extend the school day. Use engaging digital solutions that satisfy kids’ love of technology, and allow students to continue working on key skills at home. The best solutions allow students to work independently without support from staff. And of course, it should be fun!
Support SEL in Your Class. Skills that are important in math class like problem-solving and decision-making are also crucial social-emotional learning skills. Help your students tackle math and real-world problems with our math class SEL guide.
Choose Evidence-Based Solutions. Considering adding digital solutions to your classroom? Make sure they can produce real outcomes. Programs should be based in research with measurable outcomes and quantifiable data, like all ExploreLearning products. Learn how to gamify learning in your classroom and how to choose evidence-based edtech for real results.
Invest in Classroom Reporting. Without a reporting strategy, it’s much more difficult to identify and address gaps in student knowledge. But reporting should go beyond student worksheets or quizzes. With ExploreLearning Reflex’s intuitive reporting features, you can easily track your entire class’ math fact fluency without assigning one test. Each Reflex session is carefully monitored, adapted to students’ levels, and produces measurable results. Now that’s powerful!
Individualize Student’s Learning. Not all students learn at the same pace. Make sure students are engaged and challenged at the right level with adaptive and individualized Instruction. Reflex and Frax include personalized instruction to help students overcome the biggest math challenges, at their own pace.
Nurture Growth Mindsets. Math skills aren’t fixed skills, but many students believe they are. Mindset can make a huge difference in how students approach math, giving them the confidence to tackle obstacles. Use growth mindset strategies to encourage students to stop the negative self-talk and think positively about their math abilities.
Close the Achievement Gap with Math Fact Fluency. Math fact fluency is the foundation for future math success. And the achievement gap existed before the pandemic, with students requiring math intervention. Our studies show that Reflex engages students at every level and gives them the skills needed to get back on the fast track to math achievement.
To see what happens when the students at Title I schools use Reflex for 60 days,watch
In this graph, we compare average fluency in Reflex (the y-axis) to the percentage of students on free or reduced lunch (the x-axis) over the school year. Each dot represents a Title I eligible school with at least 100 students with recommended Reflex usage. The size represents the number of kids at the school who used Reflex. Read the full article.
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