The Tricky Math of Covid-19

by | Jan 5, 2021

While much about the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain, we, The Lawson Academy, are here to help and support our students, parents and community through this time. We are all getting used to the new normal and making tremendous strides to make the best of it. In math class, we take time in each class to give students the opportunity to share their concerns and ideas that help them get through their day and Covid-19. It is our desire that each student is encouraged to do their best and if help is ever needed they know they can ask their teachers.

For many, math is a favorite subject but can definitely present challenges at times. Are students’ math struggles during the Covid-19 pandemic completely unprecedented? Yes and no.

Disruption in schools has also meant disruption in testing, so it’s been hard to pin down exactly how much the school closures and transitions in and out of virtual learning have affected students’ learning—but the evidence so far doesn’t bode well, particularly in math.

Math may be more sensitive to pandemic-related schooling disruptions for a few reasons, experts say, unlike reading, math is almost always formally learned at school and it can be more challenging for teachers to engage in effective math instructional practices via remote platforms.

One of the most common themes across learning loss research is the importance of parent support in student learning. Students with highly involved parents who report participating in educational activities over the summer tend to lose less ground. And early studies of responses to the pandemic have found schools are increasingly dependent on families to facilitate instruction during the current crisis.

We encourage families to integrate math conversations into their home lives. This will lessen math anxiety and prepare students to take on the challenges of math.