Students must be provided with ample opportunity to explore math concepts and to develop a deep sense of mathematical processes. Therefore, students at BRICK receive between 75-90 minutes of mathematics instruction daily. The mathematics block provides time for students to learn new skills and also provides time for students to receive remediation and review for skills they have not yet mastered.
In order for students to truly become mathematical problem solvers, they must be given the opportunity to solve problems on their own and to make mistakes and develop algorithms and math concepts on their own. In most cases, students should “discover” the concept and then have that concept solidified by the teacher. When students learn in this way, the concept is more likely to be learned.
In grades K-5, teachers will utilize the Everyday Math curriculum as a foundation for mathematics instruction. Teachers will work to strengthen the curriculum by ensuring that all standards are addressed and students have the opportunity to master grade level standards.
In grades 6-8, teachers will utilize the Connected Math Project curriculum as a foundation for mathematics instruction. Teachers will work to strengthen the curriculum by ensuring that all standards are addressed and students have the opportunity to master grade level standards.
Not all standards are taught to a mastery level using the Everyday Math and Connected Math Project Curriculum and therefore teachers must determine which standards and by when should be mastered. When appropriate, teachers will use outside resources to supplement and strengthen the Everyday Math Curriculum. Teachers and instructional team will determine these resources.
BRICK teachers are expected to utilize technology, where available, daily in math instruction. Technology is a strong resource to use during remediation and enrichment for students.
Some students struggle to master grade level content and need extra time and practice. Every mathematics block should have a built in remediation and enrichment time. Teachers should include this in their lesson plans – how will students be re-taught unmastered material and how will above level students be pushed further.
Students need time to practice the skills and strategies they’ve discovered and taught. To provide this time, BRICK teachers develop and use math centers that are used throughout the week to reinforce and extend previous learned material.
The guidelines are as follows:
- Teachers develop and use a series of standards based math centers that students visit on a weekly schedule. These centers are essential to differentiate instruction for students and allow teachers time to provide small group instruction.
- Math Centers will look similar in grades K-2 and 3-5 and the practice activities are developmentally appropriate. Routines and procedures should be similar across grades to allow for maximum use of time.
- Math Centers should be a balance between hands-on manipulative use and practice pages. The centers should be used for remediation and enrichment, depending on student ability level.
- During math centers, a teacher may be working with a small group of students on a particular skills, similar to guided reading.
Starting in kindergarten, students will begin to memorize addition and subtraction facts up to 12s. In first grade, students will memorize addition, subtraction and multiplication (0s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s) facts. In second grade, students will memorize addition, subtraction and multiplication (0s, 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 10s, 11s) facts. In third grade, students will memorize addition, subtraction and all multiplication facts. In fourth grade, students will memorize addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. By fifth grade, students will have memorized all facts.
Strategies to foster “Fact Power”
- Flash card use (paper and computer based)
- Daily “Fact Power Minutes”
- “Around the World” flash card game