1st Grade


At Moses Brown, we introduce first graders to mathematical concepts by manipulating real materials.  Exploring these concrete objects helps children create mental models that support the underlying abstract concepts as we delve into addition, subtraction, and two- and three-dimensional geometry.

Fun informal surveys give children practice with data analysis and graphing, and learning how to interpret results.  These activities correspond closely to coursework in measurement and pattern recognition and prediction.

At every step of the way, we encourage children to use a variety of problem-solving strategies so they’ll have something else to try if their main approach doesn’t work.  This builds both confidence and resilience, and we ask them always to explain their work.  This can reveal hidden errors and strengths that might have gone unrecognized in the wake of an incorrect answer.

With math-oriented discussions throughout the day, and different kinds of assignments–alone, paired, in groups–children get daily assessments to ensure they’re always at a ‘just right’ level of challenge.



Susan Pirruccello-McClellan

Lower School Mathematics Coordinator

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Susan Pirruccello-McClellan

Skidmore College – B.A.
Shorter College – Teaching Certificate

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