NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The ‘summer slide’ is a trend known to education experts as the tendency of students to lose some of the achievement gains during the summer break that they gained during the previous school year. Now, education experts are worried about a possible ‘COVID slide,’ where students may be losing ground academically, due to learning virtually.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has partnered with two learning organizations to create high-quality and free study tools to make sure students from Kindergarten through 12th grade are grasping key math lessons, even when learning virtually.

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Great Minds, a non-profit, helped the TEA create the Kindergarten through 5th grade math programs and Carnegie Learning helped them develop the 6th through 12th grade math programs.

The materials are aligned with the “Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills,” also known as TEKS, that are the state standards for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

Jill Diniz, the Chief Academic Officer for Great Minds, believes the programs will provide a much needed resource for parents and teachers to support students and specifically combat two issues that have prevented kids from learning at home.

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“First, students weren’t getting consistent instruction. Often times, they were just getting packets of worksheets,” Diniz explained.

“Second, they weren’t getting an opportunity to talk about math with their peers. I think we don’t realize it, but it is those conversations about whose answer is right and why or whose method was easier. Those are the types of interactions that make the long lasting connections in our brain.”

The free programs address these issues and are available in both English and Spanish. They provide short, digestible videos and worksheets students, parents and teachers can use to make sure key math lessons are understood before moving on to other lessons.

“With each module, there is a pre-module assessment that can be given observationally or digitally to identify any areas (students) might encounter trouble in the upcoming module and then the actual tools and lessons that would remedy that gap,” Diniz explained.

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All in an effort to make sure students stay on track with key learning milestones this year while many learn virtually.

Madison Sawyer