We are proud to publish this guest post about summer math fun by David Hubalik, Head of School at BASIS San Antonio Jack Lewis Jr. Campus.
Like all of our students, every year the teachers and school leaders at BASIS Charter Schools look forward to summer break. Sure, we love to get the kids playing sports, riding bikes, and swimming. But as both educators and parents, my wife and I also make sure our school-aged kids don’t turn completely away from academics. We find summer to be a perfect time to review and practice the basics, and even to begin getting acclimated with new concepts.
This is particularly true of math. Of course, keeping math skills sharp during summer break doesn’t have to feel like “back to school.” Can you play these games outdoors? Of course—they’re designed for that! And, is it okay if a bit of ice cream drips onto the math work? That is a personal preference, but I don’t see why not!
Building a solid math foundation early on is essential for your child’s success, so our network likes to suggest that we nurture it with nature. Summer break means being outdoors—so a great way to sharpen math basics is to go on a nature walk! Help your kids count all the cool things you see together with this free nature walk printable checklist. Just attach it to a clipboard and watch them count away all the marvelous things mother nature has to offer.
Read more in “Nature Walk & Count—Gross Motor Math Activity (and Free Printable),” No Time for Flash Cards, May 9, 2018.
Outdoor Math Games for Grade Schoolers: Get Your Rock On with Multiplication Arrays!
One of the turning points for primary grade students is pivoting from pure counting to addition and subtraction…and then from addition and subtraction to learning multiplication. In my experience, sending kids back to school at summer’s end with a concrete understanding of how multiplication works might be one of the most fulfilling parental-education feelings I have gotten! With this easy and fun rock activity, your kiddos will be able to see those commutative properties in action. They can learn their multiplication tables by creating rows and columns with rocks representing a multiplication equation. Arrays are also a great way to introduce area and perimeters. Rock out in the sun with this multiplication activity that so many kids enjoy.
Read more in “Outdoor Arrays for Multiplication Practice,” Line Upon Line Learning, April 14, 2016.
Outdoor Math Games for Upper Schoolers: Graph Adventure / Plot Scavenger Hunt
Now, here’s an outdoor math activity for the whole family! This enterprise makes excellent interconnections between art and analytic geometry. Cartesian coordinates are critical mathematical concepts for most applied disciplines that deal with geometry, including science subjects like astronomy, physics, and engineering.
For this activity, all you need is graphing paper, colored pencils, sticky notes, and a notecard for each young student participating. Here are some quick steps to get started:
1️⃣ Sketch a map of the area in which the scavenger hunt will take place.
2️⃣ Draw the XY axis lines over the drawing.
3️⃣ Make copies of your maps for each of your kiddos to color.
4️⃣ Go hide your sticky notes in specific locations!
5️⃣ Use a notecard to write down the XY coordinates you want the kids to physically find.
6️⃣ Now it’s time to send them on the mission!
You can send the kids out on a scavenger hunt to specific locations on the map where they would find sticky notes you leave for them. The mission is to find all three sticky notes in order to win a surprise. Each sticky note can have a small message of encouragement. This will likely work best if each child has their own coordinates to find!
Switch the sticky notes with treasure hunt surprises instead, and your kids will go wild! You can plot and play in your yard, a local park or playground, a hiking trail, the local zoo, or your whole neighborhood! Hide secret gems in different locations for the whole family to discover. With this hands-on learning activity, your kids are bound to learn plot graphs in no time.
Read more in “Fun Math Games: Plot Points on a Map Scavenger Hunt,” Jacquie Fisher, Edventures with Kids, August 10, 2015.
Find more fun learning activities in our guide, Charter a Voyage of Learning.
Summer Math Fun Inspired by BASIS Charter Schools Curriculum
The BASIS Charter Schools network has been helping students reach their highest potential for more than two decades. Indeed, our 25th academic year is coming up in 2022-23! We strive to serve our K-12 students by raising the bar, with higher standards of student learning. Then, we hire bright, passionate teachers to support our students, so they can can meet the challenges we set! We also have not one but two teachers in each classroom in grades K-3: one teacher who is an expert in elementary education, and a second who’s an expert in the subject being taught that class period.
Charter Moms Chats
David Hubalik has been educating students in the BASIS Charter Schools network since 2009, in both Arizona and Texas. After spending three years as a middle and high school teacher, he moved into campus leadership, serving for three years as a Head of Operations, and then four years as a Head of School. Since 2017, David has been mentoring and advising school leaders across BASIS as a Senior VP of Charter School Management. This fall, David will return to campus as Head of School at one of our new schools, BASIS San Antonio – Jack Lewis Jr. Campus. While still serving the central team in certain capacities, David is excited to work with the new school’s teachers and serve its students, three of whom will be his own children! Along with his wife Sarah and five kiddos in total, David is excited to again call San Antonio home.