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# Math Exploration and Skills Time

Early Elementary Program

Each day students are invited to explore independent and collaborative projects. Teachers select games, puzzles, and other problem solving activities that may be new to children or not normally chosen during “Investigation” times. Some projects are designed for independent work while some are designed to explore with friends. Explorations reinforce and teach both critical and spatial thinking skills and encourage cooperative learning.

1-2 Program

Time is set aside to introduce and reinforce skills from the UCDS Math Continuum. Manipulative materials are used to solidify students’ conceptual understandings as we teach the pencil and paper algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Teachers use a variety of resources to provide the practice to become comfortable with each operation. Teachers assess students on an ongoing basis, introducing new concepts and skills as students reach continuum benchmarks.

Students also practice math facts for Home Learning and Thinking (H.L.T.). Students begin with addition and subtraction then move to multiplication and division facts for practice. It often takes children several years to become fluent with math facts and additional practice may be needed beyond the math homework. Flashcards, calculator games, dice games, math fact songs and chants, as well as online platforms such as Freckle, are tools used to reinforce repetition and are a few of the ways that help students commit math facts to memory. Teachers assess students on an ongoing basis and are able to see how well students can access facts when they solve the Math Vitamin. New concepts and skills are introduced as students demonstrate consistent, accurate application.

3-4-5 Program

Targeted math instruction introduces and reinforces skills from the UCDS Math Continuum. Teaching teams often introduce skills that students will need to solve the current Math Vitamins. For example, an activity to introduce measuring angles with protractors might be introduced prior to a Math Vitamin with a geometry focus. Teachers individualize math instruction and help students set appropriate goals.

During math skills time, teachers work with both groups and individuals to help students develop facility with mathematical operations. Manipulative materials are often used to solidify student understanding as we teach algorithms for multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Teachers use a variety of resources to provide students the practice that they need to become comfortable with each operation. We assess students on an ongoing basis during skills time and are able to see how well students can use skills when they solve the Math Vitamin. New concepts and skills are introduced as students reach continuum benchmarks.  In addition to the math skills, children practice math facts at home to become fluent.

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