Switzer, M.J. (2010). Bridging the math gap. Mathematics teaching in the middle school, 15(7), 400-405.
This article had two main ideas, first there is a gap between elementary and middle school learning, and second there are ways to bridge that gap. The author addressed the issue of a gap by stating that middle school experiences don't connect with elementary experiences. Often times middle school teachers don't quite know their students' prior knowledge. He did recognize that even though middle school teachers will often have a basic idea of what the students have or should have learned in elementary school, the school structure differences and other factors make it hard to communicate between elementary and middle school teachers. One of the ways he mentioned that can help fill this gap is for middle school teachers to become better acquainted with their students' prior knowledge. A way to do this is to encourage middle and elementary school teachers to work together and communicate students' learning. Much of the paper consisted of algorithms and methods to teach these algorithms that would help students better transition into middle school, thus helping to bridge the gap.
I agree with the author that there is a gap between middle and elementary school, and there are multiple ways to bridge that gap. More than just a gap between middle school and elementary school, there can be a gap between middle and high school learning of mathematics. From my own experience going into middle school is hard enough but sometimes the teachers presented material in a way we had never seen before in elementary school. Had they started with the math we knew and built off of that I would have felt much better equipped to learn. I found that to be the same when going into high school. For example I remember getting into high school and feeling as though I had never learned slope before. However I had learned it in middle school, it just wasn't taught the same way as it was in middle school so I had a hard time making that connectoin. Some of the ways this could have been fixed were mentioned in the article. It would be beneficial for the middle school teachers to communicate with the elementary teachers. This could have both schools working to better student learning in order to have a smooth transition between schools. Along with that I think that teachers should make an effort to figure out what their students know, and then build off that knowledge.