If you would like to read the Grade One Mathematics curriculum, copies can be borrowed from our school office or you view it on-line at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/ and print your own copy to keep. My approach to teaching mathematics is outlined below to give you an idea of what your child will be doing during our daily Mathematics block.
I model my Grade One mathematics program on our school board’s Math Matrix initiative as well as the work of Cathy Fosnot and Marian Small. I provide problem solving experiences from which children develop essential skills in mathematics. I am also very fortunate to be a participant in a professional learning group known as, S.U.M. which is an acronym for Supporting Understanding in Mathematics.
There are five strands of Mathematics – Number Sense and Numeration, Patterning and Algebra, Measurement, Geometry, and Data Management and Probability. Number Sense and Numeration is the strand of mathematics which I teach and review every day. An understanding of numbers and our numerical system are of great importance. Children generally have difficulty understanding the other strands of Mathematics if they are struggling with Number Sense. A variety of concepts and understandings will be explored and evaluated for report cards twice during Grade One. Number Sense and Numeration will be evaluated and reported every term.
Assessment and Evaluation
I use a variety of ways to assess children’s abilities to problem solve as well as their knowledge of basic math skills. A portfolio of your child’s pencil and paper activities is maintained throughout the year. This collection of your child’s work will be shared with you at each teacher/parent conference. More importantly, I make anecdotal records (observations) of your child in which I document the strategies and approaches your child is using to solve problems. A great deal of our work in mathematics is demonstrated through hands-on activities with a variety of manipulatives or tools. Therefore, whenever possible, I try to include photographs of your child’s demonstration. Problem solving is rarely done in isolation or individually. Children are encouraged or required to work with a partner; this is another reason that I often rely on my observations of the process your child is using to ‘mathematize” to document his/her progress. I also use exemplars (samples of students’ work at each level) to assess and evaluate your child’s progress in mathematics.