Karen Leavitt, Head of Lower School
Hello Lower School Families,
Let’s talk about math today! We can begin with the International Math Salute. Did you get it?
As you are likely aware, the primary resource for our Lower School math curriculum is called Investigations, designed at TERC and published by Savvas. They are in their third edition of the program, based on 25 years of research and development. As the name suggests, Investigations gives students opportunities to explore, share, hone and expand on their existing mathematical ideas. Students are encouraged to grow their competency and flexibility as they are exposed to the vertically aligned units in this curriculum.
Investigations encourages students to examine new math materials, strategies and problems with peers to maximize exposure to new and more complex ways of thinking. Alongside this primary resource, all our math teachers work diligently to keep a growing repertoire of thinking tasks on hand to supplement the daily lessons in Investigations. We start our lessons with thinking routines, like Number Talks, Which One Doesn’t Belong or Same or Different Routines, to name a few. Offering students these “low floor, high ceiling” tasks (challenges that are accessible to all learners) helps all students push the limits of their own thinking and grow from listening intently to peers. They are able to expand their learning within the eight Mathematical Practices, including, but not limited to, Constructing Viable Arguments and Critiquing the Reasoning of Others, Persevering in Problem Solving, and Using Appropriate Tools Strategically.
Below, I have showcased some examples of big thinking math tasks we use to ensure all students have an opportunity to feel supported, stimulated and challenged.
Whether you are a first grader working on composing numbers or missing addends, or a fourth grader beginning foundational algebraic thinking, there are SPLAT puzzles for you!
YOHAKU PUZZLES (with increasing difficulty)
The question here is simply, “What do you notice?”
Some students may see basic counting, shapes or evens/odds, and some might be ready to see patterns of prime numbers.
You might try one of these routines over dinner tonight to see how the members of your family view similar problems in unique and thought-provoking ways. I look forward to our continued math conversations and sharing new and innovative teaching tools with you soon.
Thanks for reading!
Head of Lower School
Additional game resources for home use: