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“WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD DO OVER THE SUMMER?” K-2


FAQ RESPONSE

“What should Johnny do over the summer?” This is the most frequently asked question at spring conferences. While I’m generally a proponent of kids reading a good book and splashing in the pool, there are certainly ways in which parents can support their child’s maintenance of grade-appropriate fluency skills and goals. Summer math practice isn’t about flashcards. And it certainly doesn’t have to be a drag. The Eureka curriculum offers a number of summer fluency activities within the K-2 grade band, many of which can be accessed via the free pdfs featured on the Eureka Math website or by way of Pinterest.

PREPARING FOR GRADE 1

In the final lesson of Kindergarten Module 6 Lesson 7 (M6 L7), students create a booklet entitled, “I’m Getting Ready for First Grade! My Math Fluency Kit.” As a part of this kit, teachers assemble copies of Sprints and Fluency Activity Sheets for summer practice.


Sheets can be inserted into personal white boards (shown at right) so that they can be used multiple times over the summer. (Most children prefer using the dry erase markers as a fun alternative to the No. 2 pencil.) The selection of appropriate Sprints and Fluency Activities will vary from class to class and student to student. Students are encouraged to keep a “My Sprint Progress Log” (shown below) to record their progress.


Keep in mind that the goal is to celebrate growth and improvement. Encourage parents to have fun; we want all children to feel good about math!

Kits can be sent home in folders and re-sealable plastic bags to house any number of consumable materials, for example:

  • two hands mat (M1 L19) 
  • 5-frames (M1 L7) 
  • number path (M1 L15) 
  • ten dot path (M3 L5) 
  • matching game cards (M4 L1 & L7) 
  • number bond template (M4 L2) 
  • 5-group cards (M1 L7) 
  • personal Rekenreks (made in M5) 

Additionally, students can count out 10 red and white beans to take home in a bag. Note that the materials suggested above are accompanied by Fluency activities, samples of which can be copied for summer practice.

Teachers may wish to send home the Core Fluency Practice Sets (A-E) initially found in Module 4 Lesson 29: My Addition Practice, My Decomposition Practice, My Subtraction Practice (Sets C & D), and My Mixed Practice to 5. In addition, there is also a set of Core Fluency Sprints (A-D) located in Module 4 Lesson 31. The table below highlights additional Sprints for parents requesting further remedial support.


I’m sticking firmly to my belief that summer and math should be fun. Below is a Fluency activity from Module 4 Lesson 32 that anticipates the work of Grade 1. Students can assemble the dot cards to make 10 and write the corresponding number bond. Students love these puzzles!


PREPARING FOR GRADE 2

In Grade 1 Module 6 Lesson 28, students celebrate progress in fluency with adding and subtracting within 10 (and 20). Based on the needs of their class, teachers create a number of fluency celebration centers, such as Target Practice, Race to the Top, and Make Ten Addition and Take from Ten Subtraction with Partners (pictured below), to name a few. Parents can play these games with their children over the summer to continue to reinforce the Grade 1 fluency goal of sums and differences through 10. Keep in mind that when sending home summer activities, it is important to clarify tricky vocabulary or terminology, such as minuend, for parents.


Grade 1 students are encouraged to teach family members a number of counting activities, as shown below in their first summer homework task (M6 L28).


As in Kindergarten, Grade 1 teachers may create packets of the Core Fluency Practice Sets (A-E) initially found in Module 4 Lesson 23: Addition Practice, Missing Addend Practice, Related Addition and Subtraction Practice, Subtraction Practice, and Mixed Practice. These practice pages encourage students to think flexibly, as the unknown is placed in various positions when adding, e.g., 7 = ___ + 4, ___ = 5 + 4, and problems are carefully sequenced to encourage the recognition of patterns and relationships between numbers up to 10.

Both Kindergarten and Grade 1 students may enjoy a few computer games as well: NCTM has ten frame games that support counting, cardinality, and partners to 10. This game, along with Curious George’s Museum of Tens from PBS Kids, is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

PREPARING FOR GRADE 3

As in the previous grades, Grade 2 teachers may also wish to create summer packets of the Core Fluency Practice Sets (A-E), provided in Grade 2 Module 5 Lesson 14. These sets review sums and differences through 20.

In addition, Eureka curriculum writer Colleen Sheeron has shared a week-by-week summer calendar full of activities for students entering Grade 3 in the fall. One game highlighted is Race and Roll Addition (see Directions below):

Start at 0. Partners take turns rolling a die, saying a number sentence, and adding the number rolled to the total. For example, Partner A rolls 6 and says, “0 + 6 = 6,” then Partner B rolls 3 and says, “6 + 3 = 9.” They continue rapidly rolling and saying number sentences until they get to 20, without going over. For example, if the partners are at 18 and roll 5, they take turns rolling until one of them rolls a 2 or rolls 1 twice. The winner is the partner who makes the final roll to make 20.

A favorite game of my students is one that can be purchased through Didax, tri-FACTa.


Students recall their number bond work to create addition and subtraction number sentences. To alter the difficulty level, simply add or remove numbers after ten from the game. Additionally, if you are a fan of the infamous game “Pass the Pigs,” then you may wish to introduce Pig to your students. It’s sure to generate some laughter as it tempts them to roll for a higher score. Finally, for children who thrive off of screen time, additional resources for smartphones and tablets from Motion Math are worth the small investment.

Math is everywhere; we don’t have to look hard to find it. Encourage families to play a few games and/or make a summer activity calendar together. Fluency practice doesn’t need to take more than 5–10 minutes per day. A child’s natural curiosity and enjoyment will follow if it’s not a drag. Kids will take that cue from the adults in their lives. So encourage parents to have fun with it too!

This blog was authored by MaryJo Wieland, a writer for Eureka Math A Story of Units.