Forgetting things learned over the summer

Discussion in 'General Education' started by minnie, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Apr 7, 2017

    I have a kindergarten student who has come a long way and is not low enough to be considered for retaining. But, he is my lowest and really struggles because he cannot retain a lot of what I teach him unless I review with him everyday. I am really worried about the summer. I am afraid that he will forget everything. First grade is going to be tough on him as it is. Should I send anything home with him on that last day of school? His mom has three other kids and I don't know if she would even use it. Any advice is very much appreciated!
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Apr 7, 2017

    Forgetting what, specifically?
    While I'm more intermediate than primary, I'd imagine that having them continue to read together and do engaging simple math activities with everyday activities would help stem any major losses over the break.
     
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  4. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Letter sounds, sight words, shapes and numbers. Especially the letter sounds and sight words. I'm just afraid that if he forgets those things, first grade is really going to be a struggle.
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Apr 8, 2017

    Of course what happens at home is out of our control, but in my opinion, more important than specific home-based lessons would be an emphasis on reading. The parent or siblings should read to the student daily. And the student should be exploring with age appropriate books either from the library or from a book supplier; (there are some organizations that supply books to needy children, if that is the case). Yard sales often have kids books for a quarter or less; this could be a fun weekend treasure hunting activity. Talking is very, very, very important and it is quickly vanishing in today's society. Conversational games are a possible resource, but just plain conversational time is much needed in all families.

    The next suggestion is to emphasize play over TV and video games. Board games help with numeracy. Building with Legos only works when basic place value is applied. Playing outside increases various visual-spacial-mathematical skills, but in today's society that's not always possible; another alternative might be the local YMCA, various children's activities such as vacation Bible schools or local park activities, etc. I like to suggest to parents for children to weekly memorize or create a proverb and find how it's applied during the week: this activity applies language learning within new areas inside the brain.

    I also like to suggest to parents to add to the child's music repertoire; not that beep-bop music is harmful, but the organization of classical and baroque (or jazz) music seems to match the brain functioning used in reading and math. Summer concerts are sometimes geared specifically for younger audiences. Simple kid songs like from when I was a kid (in the 60's) are based on classical music structures and would also be recommended. Many areas have summer concerts specifically designed for children.

    A touchy subject to bring up with parents, but vital, is nutrition. Summer, especially, seems to invite an increase in McDonald's over fruits and vegetables and whole grains. I would especially emphasize apples with the peeling, beets, and leafy green vegetables. Picky eating is a natural defense mechanism. Forcing the child to eat doesn't always work; asking to eat a small portion might, even if they must gulp down some milk with it. Having a kid help prepare the meal can assist in getting him/her to not be too picky. Altering the recipe can encourage some kids to eat; a new trend is to pulverize vegetables into a cream soup; my family LOVES creamed broccoli soup!!!!!!!!! Another idea is to photocopy or cut out comic characters for the child to match with each food item; by blanking out the pre-written speech bubbles, the child can add what the character is saying about the food. Some research has indicated this helps kids eat "yucky" vegetables.

    It seems all the "dollar stores" and low-priced department stores have kids' workbooks that might be a good resource. Some are better than others, but they all provide consistent practice in specific academic skills. I especially like the ones that include coloring or sticker matching. The extra kinesthetic activities increase the achievement. Frankly, if the student went through the entire year needing review, then he might benefit more from an overall buildup of basic brain processes; not that individual skills shouldn't be reviewed or practiced, but something is blocking the retention (and possibly the application) of basic skills; perhaps a holistic increase in brain learning might increase his individual skill retention.
     
  6. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Apr 8, 2017

    I agree with you Obadiah. This particular students has poor fine motor skills (however, his gross motor skills are fantastic) and a low vocabulary and his older brother does a lot for him so I know that goes hand in hand with his academic level. I give him tons of hands on activities to strengthen his motor skills. A lot of dexterity strength activities as well. My classroom is surrounded by books and I do tons of read alouds. The positive side is that this student has come leaps and bounds since the beginning of the year. He is able to read simple CVC words and can write a short simple sentence legibly. However, doing this things has been so hard for him to grasp and he first grade reading curriculum moves so fast. Also he has a hard time processing information which affects how he does. With common core math, our curriculum is very much based at problem solving and explaining how you solved the problem. The poor guy struggled with even knowing what the problem says much less explaining how he solved it.

    But, like I said, I am so proud of him!
     
  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I have an impossible idea, but I'm going to suggest it, anyway. I'm wondering if individualized lessons that are restructured to match his strengths might nudge him further ahead. As an example, some lessons might be taught inside a large sandbox to make use of his gross motor skills by writing in the sand. Math problems could be created and solved using toy trucks or other sandbox type toys. Another (more plausible) example might be using the older "language experience" activities; he might dictate a story and the teacher/parent would type it out on the computer--I'd try using the larger fonts. Perhaps to increase vocabulary, the teacher/parent could partner with him in developing the story, adding some of the teacher/parent's vocabulary and ideas to the story. Concerning the CVC words advantage and sight word difficulty, I'm wondering if specific analysis of letters that don't follow the phonics rules might be helpful; I find that to be an important activity in 3rd grade, but if he's not picking that up on his own, perhaps he needs to verbalize what he's noticing, or perhaps have a way to symbolize nonconforming letters--again, that's really stretching things for Kindergarten, but I'm wondering if a simplified conversation could be developed to help him analyze words.
     
  8. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Apr 8, 2017

    Very helpful ideas Obadiah. I like the typing idea of typing on the computer with a large font. That would help him increase his vocabulary without having to focus so hard on sounding out words. When he does this during writing time, he forgets what he was going to write because he is so fixated on hearing the correct sounds in each word. I am going to give his parents some ideas to do over the summer but I'm not sure they'll have the time to do it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017

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