Children’s exploration is the base from which we will begin developing a more formal understanding of mathematical concepts and procedures. The 4-5s work with a variety of math materials designed to teach them how to count and sequence, recognize written numbers, classify, sort and order objects, as well as notice and create patterns. Children will explore geometric concepts through work with manipulative materials, shape searches, and block building. They play counting and number games and practice writing and recognizing numbers as they learn to correlate the written or spoken number with the same quantity of objects. The children are introduced to mathematical vocabulary as they begin to understand concepts such as “more than,” “less than,” “bigger,” “smaller,” and “the same.” Throughout the year children will use bar graphs to record experiences and compare information they gather. Measurement concepts are introduced and practiced through a variety of experiences from block building to cooking.
Mathematical thinking and problem solving take place every day in the classroom as children develop an understanding of numbers through many practical experiences. They are asked daily to think mathematically as they set the table and count place settings for our snack and lunch times, discuss the calendar, or count the absences of friends during a morning meeting. In addition to the math we do daily in the classroom, Robert Berkman, our math specialist, will visit the 4-5s every Thursday to engage the children in activities and discussions involving a variety of mathematical concepts and skills.
The goal of our mathematics program is to provide children with concrete experiences that lead to the development of a joyful and abiding interest in mathematics. In addition to scheduled math times each week, many informal math lessons take place throughout the day. During the scheduled math periods, children work extensively with materials such as unit blocks, Unifix cubes, Cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, and buttons. Throughout the year, we explore counting, grouping, sorting, estimation, addition/subtraction, data collection / analysis / representation, and patterns. An understanding of the concept of pattern is essential to the development of strong mathematical skills, since we all use our understanding of “pattern” to help us make sense of the world around us. The study of patterns will help children develop the ability to organize and analyze information, make predictions, and understand that math is a subject of logic. Our work with pattern will take place throughout the year as we look for patterns in nature, concrete materials, and within sets of numbers. In addition, the 5-6s will be counting up towards the 100th Day of School, for which they will celebrate the number 100 in a variety of ways.
Our study of mathematics has three primary goals: to develop a strong understanding of math concepts, to develop mathematical skills and to apply these concepts and skills to real-life situations. Math is incorporated into the 6-7s’ daily activities as well as set math periods during the week. Students are asked to use their math skills while conducting their attendance job, studying the neighborhood, running a school post office, setting up snack, making and interpreting graphs, and while solving mathematical problems as they come up in the classroom.During math periods students use a variety of materials to explore many different math topics and concepts as they develop mathematical ideas concretely. They learn how to become problem-solvers, how to explain the methods they have used, and how to choose the most efficient method for solving a problem. A large portion of the 6-7s’ year is spent concentrating on the concepts of addition and subtraction. Students learn what addition and subtraction means and the symbols involved in these operations. They develop a variety of methods for solving addition and subtraction problems, create and solve equations for story problems and acquire automaticity with many of these facts. The 6-7s investigate many other mathematical topics including: patterns, place value, estimation, money math and geometry.
The 7-8s’ math program further develops the children’s abstract thinking, logical reasoning, and problem solving skills. Opportunities are provided to help students see and understand the manner in which math is used in everyday life. The mathematics curriculum helps develop concepts and skills in the areas of place value, measurement, geometry, statistics, logic and problem solving.During initial math work times, the 7-8s develop numerical concepts and computational skills through activities and games that primarily focus on pattern identification, number sequencing and an extensive exploration of the relationships between numbers. Number operations are reinforced with the help of materials such as cubes, Cuisenaire rods, and Base Ten blocks. Children learn to understand the principles of our number system as we study place value in depth. They also continue to expand their sense of mathematics in the real world by working through story problems.Throughout the year, math is integrated into other subject areas. Through data collection, measurement and analysis of data, the 7-8s will apply their math skills during social studies, community-building, science and Shop activities.
The 8-9s will continue to learn mathematical content and develop fluency and skills that are well grounded in meaning. Students learn that they are capable of having mathematical ideas, applying what they know to new situations, and thinking and reasoning about unfamiliar problems.Math will be conducted through a variety of settings as children work individually, in partnerships, or small groups, and as a whole class. The areas we will study are: ·Place value ·Addition ·Subtraction ·Multiplication ·Division ·Fractions ·Geometry ·Measurement ·Money math
The 9-10s’ math curriculum is designed to reinforce and further the students' understanding of mathematical concepts and skills through individual and group lessons, arithmetic practice, problem solving activities, and appropriate games and puzzles. Expressing their mathematical thinking and strategies in both written and oral form is another means used to deepen the students’ understanding of these concepts. Some of the topics to be covered this year include place value and number theory, operations with whole numbers (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), geometry, fractions, decimals, logical thinking and problem solving. An emphasis will be placed on the students acquiring computational fluency in addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Flexibility, efficiency, and accuracy are the key components to achieving computational fluency. As different problems may require different methods of solving, students learn to choose the most appropriate strategy for a given problem. Approaches the students will practice include estimation, mental math, and the traditional algorithms. A review of multiplication and division facts will serve to build the 9-10s’ accuracy and efficiency and support their work solving larger multiplication and division problems later in the year.