Elementary Instructional Model
Our math instructional model is based on the Math Workshop Model. The elements of the Math Workshop Model of instruction include: Number sense, daily problem solving and practice, a skills block for spiral review and fluency, and a closing time for reflection and generalizing math concepts . Our state standards dictate the curriculum and instruction scope of mathematics. The learning environment is based on investigative exploration of mathematical concepts that builds conceptual understanding before proceeding to the procedural process.In order to develop students as mathematical thinkers, a critical skill for educational and work force success, children need to understand the conceptual basis of numbers and procedures. You might notice your child using one or more of the following strategies below as they solve problems with basic number operations. Do not be alarmed! These strategies keep the "place value" meaning of numbers and are used to introduce operations before teaching students the procedure or algorithm (how you and I were taught to compute). These strategies also provide the foundation for mental math. Check out these videos on YouTube and read some of the "whys" after you've watched the videos.Teaching Strategies
Addition and Subtraction
- Partial Sums
- Partial Differences
- Partial Differences with 3-digit numbers
- Number Line Strategy for Addition
- Number Line Strategy for Subtraction
Why the Focus is on Learning Math Conceptually
- Using Array Model
- Big 7 (or Partial Quotients) with single digit divisor
- Big 7 (or Partial Quotients) with 2-digit divisor
Why are the students taught conceptually before moving to the procedure?
When do we teach procedurally?
- To understand the meaning, the use and connections between addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division;
- To understand the "why" and "how" of operations and not just memorizing steps (what most of us learned in school);
- To build reasonableness in students giving them a repertoire of computational strategies (including mental computation) for each operation;
- To build proficient mathematicians;
- To promote students' capacity to think flexibly with numbers.
- The procedure, also known as an algorithm, is formally taught when the student has shown proficiency with multiple strategies that focus on place value and compatible numbers.
- As students make connections and show understanding of the operation conceptually, they begin using an algorithm but will still be asked to solve problems in multiple ways.
- Differentiated instruction in small group provides the flexibility for teachers to assess children's readiness to move to the procedure.
The following list includes a variety of resources and research that support instructional practices in mathematics.
Elementary Math Curriculum Resources
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS):
Mathematical Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for grades K-12
Elementary Math Research of Best Instructional Practices
Nix the Tricks
Why we do not teach math tricks without teaching meaning
National Council of Teachers of MathematicsThis website is dedicated to researching how students learn and feel about mathematics. Dr. Jo Boaler has written several books about having a growth mindset and achieving higher levels of mathematics success. There are online courses, parent resources, as well as the latest research in how the brain learns mathematics.