Pre-k students are hard at work identifying similarities and differences between groups of found objects. Did you know that acorns come in many sizes and in doubles or singles? Knowledge of object categories and attributes allows students to mentally and physically organize things in their world, building their spatial awareness skills.
On a Monday, kindergarteners might be practicing writing numerals in salt. Tactile experiences are important as students combine their concrete understanding of numbers with symbolic representations. By linking learning experiences from concrete, to representational, to abstract levels of understanding, teachers provide a graduated framework for students to make meaningful connections.
On a Tuesday, first grade learners can be found playing addition math games. These differentiated games build math fact fluency. Automaticity with math facts allows students to form the building blocks for higher-level math concepts such as adding and subtracting larger numbers, telling time, and counting money.
Second graders are eagerly adding together three-digit numbers. They tackle these challenging problems first with manipulatives and visual representations and then use their understanding to verbally explain their process in using the standard addition algorithm.
On a Wednesday, third graders are working on pictorial representations of word problems by creating bar models. Bar models are an effective and consistent way to visualize and make sense of any operations problem.
Fourth grade students are whizzes at solving long division by creating the problem with place value chips, using the standard long division method, and skillfully articulating their steps.
On a Thursday, fifth grade students investigate parts of a whole using concrete models. Understanding this concept facilitates more complex future tasks such as multiplying fractions by other fractions. Math discussions center on sharing individual approaches and identifying the most effective and efficient models.
Sixth graders might be taking a deep dive into converting fractions into decimals, expanding their knowledge of equivalent fractions, multiples, and powers of 10.
On a Friday, seventh grade students are enthusiastically exploring how the area of a circle is derived from parallelograms. They apply this concept to a real-world shipping container project using 3D printing and LEGO.
The eighth grade accelerated math class might be discovering the patterns that exist in exponential functions while challenging themselves to create the rules necessary to transform them.