The Lower School mathematics program presents students with a variety of experiences while following a developmental continuum. Teachers make use of this continuum through concrete, symbolic, and abstract activities to reach students at all levels of development. Students are first given the opportunity to explore concrete mathematical concepts through tactile and free investigation with manipulative objects. Manipulative experiences are linked to the practice of math skills, with mastery a goal for each student.
Our mathematics teachers focus on enabling students to construct their own solid conceptual foundations in three areas of mathematics – computation, logic, and spatial reasoning. At all levels, students discover, develop, and use mathematical relationships. Real understanding occurs when students learn through their own investigation.
In accordance with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, we place great importance on developing the written and oral communication skills of our students. We are primarily interested in improving their ability to think clearly; we believe that if students are able to express their thoughts, their understanding and retention of concepts will increase. In all aspects of our math program, we encourage communication through exploring, investigating, describing, and explaining mathematical ideas.
Likewise, we feel that when children cooperate with peers, they have the opportunity to express their strategies for problem solving, hear and respect other points of view, and increase their collaborative skills. Throughout our math program, the children are encouraged to work together to solve problems designed to link conceptual and procedural knowledge.
We try to offer real-world experiences, relating math to the wide variety of interests and occupations that rely on mathematical knowledge. Believing that emphasis on intercurricular links among all subjects is essential, we frequently relate math topics to studies in science, literature, social studies, and the arts.