Studies have shown that students that have an extended summer break tend to experience “summer setback,” which is an inability to fully retain the material taught in the previous year. In order to avoid this fate, the math department has put together some work for all returning EMS students to finish prior to early-September when school begins. To be clear, this work is meant to provide some skill work that is appropriate to each student’s math level. It is also meant to get minds focused on specific, important math concepts which are necessary for success during the next school year. While the amount of time that each student spends on this kind of work varies greatly, we expect students to spend a relatively short portion of their summers on this work, and while it should stimulate and challenge, it should not present anxiety or require laborious hours of effort. Also, since this work is meant to get students’ minds ready for the new school year, we are delaying the release until July 16, as it would not be helpful if students completed this work in the days or weeks right after this school year ends. In fact, the later in the summer that students tackle this work, the less time we are likely to need in review during the opening days of the next school year--teachers are promoting procrastination for once!
On July 16, all students and families will receive an email from the school. Fifth and sixth grade grade families will receive a digital copy of work that comes directly from the Math in Focus program. Students should print it out and hand in the packet when they return in the fall. Seventh and eighth grade families will receive a list of links to visit on IXL.com. Each student has an EMS account on IXL, and we will provide directions for this process in the subsequent July 15 email. The good news is that there will be no papers necessary to hand in and teachers will be able to monitor each student’s progress online.