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The Kids Are Alright

During the AIM summit, I presented my preliminary findings on summer learning loss in early numeracy, which I also presented at the Canadian Society of Brain Behaviour and Cognitive Science conference in July. I examined grade 2 students’ performance in two Provincial Numeracy Screening Assessment (PNSA) tasks – number lines and arithmetic – in fall 2021, spring 2022, and fall 2022. I found summer learning loss for arithmetic: Children scored significantly worse in Fall 2022, compared to Spring 2022. In contrast, we did not find learning loss for number line estimation: The children’s scores stayed roughly the same from spring to fall 2022. Most importantly, I found that the students experienced minimal learning loss during the summer months compared to the significant learning gains they achieved over the school year. However, despite the relatively low learning loss, it is clear that the students did not make any progress over the summer break. Considering the importance of early numeracy for future mathematical achievement, it is important to find ways to help students advance these fundamental skills over the summer. Over the next couple of months, I will continue to investigate summer learning loss in numeracy. Through this research, my goal is to encourage educators, policymakers, and families to collaborate in creating an enriching environment that nurtures continuous numeracy skill development year-round.

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