The Lower School math program is designed to encourage mathematical thinking through a spiraling scope and sequence. Beginning in the primary years, the boys are taught important foundation skills using a variety of strategies and skill applications. In order to develop true mathematical understanding, the boys learn to apply the many skills in different formats, as well as in real-life applications. Our goal, in this division, is to develop in every student a solid understanding of numbers and their related numerical operations. This is emphasized with a focus on problem solving both within word problems and in isolation. Through the use of manipulatives and experiential learning, the objective is to develop young mathematicians who do not rotely complete computational tasks, but rather gain a true understanding of the process.
In the intermediate years, our students’ experiences and understanding gain depth as more abstract applications are introduced. Boys are encouraged to use their base of knowledge to tackle mathematical problems where the steps and strategies needed to solve them are not as easily discerned. The students build on the foundational skills previously taught as they become more independent thinkers. In order to maximize the development of these independent skills, logical reasoning and divergent thinking problems are included in their everyday learning. By encouraging boys to apply previously learned skills in new and more challenging ways, they are being set up to confidently approach a range of increasingly demanding mathematical domains in the future.
An essential part of our mathematics program is our CORE curriculum. Boys are asked to collaborate on a particular task with a partner, to organize their information by developing a plan together, to review the steps they intend to follow, and then to evaluate whether the steps they followed adequately address the questions asked in the problem. This provides rigorous math instruction through productive struggle. The students learn to become capable and creative problem solvers as they work together to solve non-routine mathematical problems.