The enlightened traditional approach to math in the Lower School allows boys to explore numbers and operations, data, measurement and geometry through a variety of hands- on materials while developing accurate and efficient strategies to solve problems.
Kindergarten Math connects our boys to the world around them though a variety of multisensory hands on math activities. Number recognition, the formation of numbers, counting, the sequence of numbers, relationships of different quantities, the invariance of numbers, sorting, classifying, addition and subtraction and creating repeating patterns are explored throughout the year. Boys are encouraged to make and check predictions. Kindergarten boys express their mathematical thinking through the writing of numbers, graphing and the written notation of addition and subtraction.
In First Grade, the boys build number sense and understanding of the Base Ten System, while learning addition and subtraction. Different materials are used, including manipulatives and games, to develop number sense and build strategies for adding and subtracting single digit and more complex numbers accurately and efficiently. Data, measurement, coins and the analog clock are studied, with the focus on building an understanding of how we use these tools in the world. Problem solving and strategic thinking are developed through “real world” story problems, and through the use of strategic games and logic puzzles. Risk taking is encouraged as boys are asked to explain their thinking, and to try out different strategies. We emphasize that there is more than one way to efficiently solve a problem.
A large focus of Second Grade Math is developing the automaticity of addition and subtraction facts to 20, leading to the beginning of understanding multiplication. Using a variety of tools and approaches, boys practice their facts regularly to increase both speed and accuracy. Building upon this knowledge of facts, boys learn to do more complex addition and subtraction, using regrouping. Other topics covered during Second Grade include measurement, time, money, geometry and logical reasoning. Math games, manipulative tools, and Smartboard activities allow boys various opportunities to practice and develop their skills.
The primary focus of Math in Third Grade is to solidify computational skills by mastering fast facts and algorithms for addition and subtraction, followed by an extensive study on the concept of multiplication and its relationship to division. Specific topics include time, measurement, money, fractions, decimals and geometry. By engaging in games, puzzles, problem solving and exploratory activities, students develop flexibility of thinking which allows them to tackle a wide variety of math problems and challenges using mathematical vocabulary and logical problem solving to explain their reasoning.