Math learning at the Banneker draws on several curriculum resources to include the best teaching approaches and tools found in a variety of math programs. We find that it is impossible to fully meet the needs of all our students all of the time if we use only a single, pre-packaged curriculum. In addition, no single program is fully aligned with state standards, or presents material in a way that is ideal for all students’ development of understanding and skill. Expanding our resources gives our teachers greater flexibility, and allows our students to move ahead as quickly as they are able towards meeting grade level learning expectations.
The following are among the major sources being used from kindergarten to sixth grade to help build a well-rounded curriculum.
- Developing Number Concepts published by Dale Seymour Publications
- Math in Focus – the Singapore Approach published by Great Source
- Investigations published by TERC
- Singapore Math
- Number Worlds published by McGraw Hill
- Rational Number Project, Units 1 and 2
A system of assessing number concepts is being used in grades K-2 to ensure our students understand the math they are learning on a deeper level. This system also allows them more opportunities to use manipulatives and visual models to solve math problems and gives them ample hands on experience to build a solid foundation in number sense. At each grade level we have established expectations so we can ensure continuity from year to year. We are in the process of developing units of instruction at each grade level which help insure continuity, rigor and alignment with the common core. We continue to expect that our children will know their addition facts to 20 by the end of second grade. They have access to computers where they can use FAST MATH to practice their math facts and other math programs to meet their specific learning needs.
3- 6 Math
Learning expectations in grades 3 – 6 have been aligned with state standards, revised so that students learn fewer topics per grade, and deepened so that students learn them well. Three major assessments, as well as more frequent end-of-unit assessments and in-class performance indicators allow us to target our reteaching efforts towards the topics and skills students really need. Customizing our math program this year also allows us to engage students around topics in which they are interested: For example, as the 2010-2011 year began, classrooms were able to build community by collecting, representing, and discussing data about students and staff.
Grades 1 – 6: Model Drawing
We will continue to use the model drawing approach we introduced in 2009-2010. This is a method of problem solving where students use bars to represent a problem. Drawing models helps students visualize problems and figure out what they need to do to find solutions.
All Grades, All Students, All Staff
We have high expectations for all of our students. We expect children to share and talk about their thinking and problem solving strategies to further everyone’s understanding of mathematical concepts. We invite children to challenge themselves and we expect them to accept that challenge. We believe that children are good knowledge builders and can gain vastly more skill and understanding than is often expected. We want children to discover and believe, as we do, that effective effort will lead to success in math for all.
Math in Focus
Math in Focus, one of the main resources in our math curriculum, is the US edition of Singapore's top-ranking math program. It is a carefully sequenced curriculum, closely aligned to the state standards, that emphasizes conceptual understanding, skill development, strategies for solving problems, attitudes towards math and metacognition which has led Singapore students to international success.
Math in Focus provides:
- A focused and coherent syllabus that introduces fewer topics in each grade but teaches them to greater depth. Topics are taught to mastery.
- A visual and balanced approach following a concrete to pictorial to abstract progression.
- A focus on number and operations sequenced in a way that ensures students develop and maintain strong number sense, providing the foundation necessary to move on to more complex and abstract thinking.
- An emphasis on problem solving using model-drawing strategies that help students solve both routine and non-routine problems.
- A recognition of the importance of attitudes and metacognition allowing students to develop the ability to self monitor and providing them with the tools they need to break down complex concepts and problems, which in turn develops positive attitude