Mathematics Education At Cushing School
Cushing School uses Everyday Mathematics in Grades K-4 and Connected Mathematics in Grades 5 and 6 as the anchor of its Mathematics instruction. These programs support standards-based instruction in mathematics and support the Scituate Public Schools in becoming more closely aligned with the state curriculum frameworks for Mathematics.
So, What’s Everyday Mathematics About?
Everyday Mathematics is a comprehensive mathematics curriculum that is both rigorous and balanced. As described in the Everyday Mathematics Teacher’s Manual, “Everyday Mathematics has been created so it is consistent with the ways that children actually learn mathematics, building understanding over a long period of time, first through informal exploration and then moving through more formal and directed instruction.” All mathematics strands are addressed: number sense, geometry, algebra, measurement, data analysis, and probability. The K-4 portion of the program weaves these content standards through the mathematics themes of algorithmic and procedural thinking, estimation skills and number sense, mental arithmetic skills, and problem solving.
You will notice your child sharing mathematic ideas through discussions, participating in partner and small-group learning activities, and practicing math skills through games if you have had the opportunity to visit or volunteer in our classrooms. Daily routines, informal assessments, ongoing reviews through the year, and the establishment of links between past experiences and explorations of new mathematical concepts are the focus of our teachers. The Home-School Connection portion of the program provides you, the parent, information about the units under study and ideas for follow-up on these topics at home.
Connected Mathematics? Another New Program?
In Grades 5 and 6, mathematic standards are being addressed through the use of the Connected Mathematics Program. The program is aligned with the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards. It addresses the standards of number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and problem solving. The process standards of problem solving, reasoning and proofing, communication, making connections, and representation are carried across all units of study.
The entire program (covering three grade spans) contains 24 units. Each unit, which takes four to six weeks on average of class time, develops an important cluster of related concepts, skills, procedures, and ways of thinking (AKA “the big idea”) such as factors and multiples, statistics, understanding rational numbers, two dimensional measurement, two dimensional geometry, probability, integers, linear relationships, three dimensional measurement, number sense, introduction to algebra, and ratio, proportions, and percents.
Practice with skills and ideas is provided throughout the units. In the classroom, students will be working on complex problems that cannot necessarily be solved in one lesson. They will be looking for patterns, giving evidence to support their claims, explaining their thinking, using the text, using calculators and other technology tools, and using manipulatives to support their learning. In Connected Mathematics, important mathematical ideas are taught using interesting problems. Students are asked focusing questions, guided through mathematical highlights, and involved in investigations. As with Everyday Mathematics, assessment is an ongoing process using both formal (quizzes, unit test, projects) and informal (mathematical reflections, notebook entries, observations) approaches.
Are you looking for more information? Of course, the teachers and I are available if you have questions. Additionally, Dr. John Ekstrom, Department Chairperson for Mathematics, and Dr. James Kelleher, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development can also be contacted.