Prepared by Elementary Classroom Teachers and Rachel Clark, K-4 Math Lead Teacher
The following information may give you some clarity regarding math instruction at the elementary level.
Both Rowe and Yarmouth Elementary School students will be using similar
materials (i.e., resources, manipulatives, and journals) in all
classrooms. These common classroom experiences will allow for deeper
conversations among teachers around best classroom practices as units
are planned and implemented. Teachers will have a common language to use
when discussing math instruction,assessment, enrichment, and
Many routines such as such as Explorations, Name -Collection Boxes,
Frames and Arrows, and What’s My Rule?, will be similar from classroom
to classroom. Number line activities and work with the 100’s grid will
also be commonplace in all classrooms, thereby giving students a strong
foundation in number sense and place value.
Our materials, entitled Everyday Math, are designed to encourage
children to think mathematically and to develop confidence and
familiarity with math concepts by using numbers and activities that have
meaning in children’s lives. Children learn about inches and
centimeters by measuring their own hands, for example.
We incorporate a “spiral curriculum” so that students are given frequent
exposure to skills and concepts before mastery is expected. This is
similar to literacy instruction in that students are given opportunities
for practice, exploration, and are invited to marinate in the new
At all grade levels, students play a variety of math games that give
them plenty of practice using numbers. These motivating games are
coupled with instruction where students gain strategies for acquiring
automaticity of basic facts, place value understanding, and the
relationship of operations. The ultimate goal is basic fact fluency, and
we will discuss many strategies that will help students arrive at
mastery with facts. Additionally, children will develop a variety of
computational methods and will have the flexibility to choose the
procedure that is most appropriate in a given situation. Building a deep
understanding of number sense and place value will be the cornerstone
of instruction regarding computation algorithms.
Problem solving is a key component of Everyday Math at all grade levels.
Students will make important decisions about how to solve problems,
rather than just following steps that have been shown to find an answer.
They will learn to choose from a variety of strategies and carry out
their strategies to solve a problem.
You will notice a hum in math classes at the K-4 level as students are
given frequent opportunities to reflect on strategies used, patterns
that are noticed, and observations that are made.
Each grade level will have specific learning goals that are essential.
We call these secure goals and the year will feature instruction and
assessment centered around these important goals. We will update you on
your child’s progress toward these goals in a variety of ways throughout
the year. You, as parents, will have many opportunities at home to
nurture and observe your child’s love of math through a variety of
approaches. Games, homelinks, fact triangle practice,
Discovery Math (optional) and what Everyday Math calls do-anytime-
activities will be your resources as you support your children. Many
activities will be based on real life situations such as measuring,
estimating, and counting while cooking, walking, or driving.
Additionally, there are online resources on our website that we invite
you to explore with your children. A letter outlining these online
resources is forthcoming in the next few months. This involvement is an
integral part of math acquisition as it will help students to see the
relevance of math in everyday lives. Through this school/ home
partnership, the sky is the limit for your children.