Success in Algebra traces all the way back to Kindergarten!

Middle school math achievement took a nosedive during the pandemic, but the root problems have existed far longer.

Here’s a typical scenario — a student thrives in elementary math, enjoying manipulatives, games and kid-friendly word problems. Then, the tides change. When more abstract thought enters the equation, the student’s once-favorite class becomes a source of anxiety and defeat.

In middle school, students also can hit a learning wall due to unaddressed learning gaps. Even before the pandemic, students were arriving in middle school with learning gaps in basic math concepts. Filling those skill gaps while moving through grade-level content is tough. It’s challenging for teachers to be able to be teaching grade-level content. Teachers are having to reteach skills from two or three grade levels prior. Middle school math timelines typically involve learning a new skill daily, which doesn’t account for the progression of skill acquisition.

How do we help overcome the math gaps at Calculating Minds?

- Focus on key skills such as ratios, proportions, integers, geometry, fractions
- Use concrete tools such as fraction bars, protractors, number tiles
- Discuss mistakes and learn from them
- Use real world examples to increase understanding
- Utilize scavenger hunts, games, mini-lessons and small groups to encourage math confidence

We love hearing, at the end of a session, “This was really fun today!”