Before the Thanksgiving break, our elementary school principal, Heikki Soini, provided an overview of our mathematics program in our Principal's Coffee program. In his presentation, he described how mathematics is viewed primarily as a global language through which we inquire and make sense of the world around us. The power of mathematics lies in the ways we use it for describing and analyzing the world, and to solve problems effectively. At CA, we want our students to use mathematics as a way of thinking and becoming competent users of the language of mathematics as opposed to seeing it as a series of facts and equations to be memorized.
Our mathematics program asks students to learn conceptually, through inquiry, explanation, and application. Through authentic investigations, students invent strategies and solutions, explain, share and learn with and from others, and use multiple strategies in new situations with confidence.
The learning of skills is equally important, focusing on practice, feedback and mastery, which leads to a fluency with quantities and computation, a flexibility with numbers, visualizing skills, and an increasing sophistication and use of mathematical vocabulary.
Through our mathematics program, students will also develop important dispositions that carry across all subjects and grade levels. By monitoring, correcting, and directing self, our students increase their resilience and grit. And with a growth mindset, students realize that we benefit from mistakes.
Students explore, develop, test, discuss and apply ideas and see mathematics as something that is constantly changing, vibrant, creative, and relevant to their lives.
Parents can support their child's mathematical growth and depth of understanding by showing and modelling mathematics naturally in everyday life. Mathematics at home should be interesting and connected to the world around us.