It’s October 15th, and we have already covered a lot of ground in the grades 4 and 5 math curriculum. I give a lot of credit for that achievement to the curiosity and commitment of the young mathematicians in our class!
Perhaps you have heard your child sharing with you our studies exploring place value, numbers concepts to 100 000 (grade 4) or 1 000 000 (grade 5), patterns in charts and tables, mental math strategies, comparing numbers (<, >, =), perimeter, telling time, reviewing math facts to 100, and more. We also have lots of open-ended math enrichment challenges from our “Math Enrichment Binder” for students to explore independently or with others to challenge their thinking. (Feel free to ask your child to bring home their Math Duo-tangs any time so you can see what we are learning.)
I wanted to share with you now the foundational beliefs I have as a math educator. Some of my views have formed over the years in my teaching practice and in academic study; some beliefs have formed in conversation with my husband, a mathematician by profession; and some of my beliefs about math education come from my experience as a mom.
MY FOUNDATIONAL BELIEFS ABOUT MATH:
- The universe is inherently mathematical.
- Humans understand and achieve many great things with math.
- Math is an open-ended discipline with many solved and unsolved puzzles.
- All children can grow as mathematical thinkers.
- A quality math education awakens learners’ curiosity, empowers them to make mathematical connections and meanings, and develops their practical “real world” skills in a hands-on way.
- Math is a language learned over time and through quality immersive experiences.
- A focus on seeing the beauty, relevance and mystery of math makes learning math more engaging and fun.
- By modeling a “mathematician’s mindset”, educators create a culture of inquiry while fostering greater independence and self-confidence.
Tiffany Poirier, teacher of division 2
Great beliefs and important to have as a teacher of math. As Trevor Culkins once said, three ways humans interact with the world, language, mathematics and the arts. Math is a tool to mediate, manipulate and make meaning of one’s world.
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