At every step of the way, children 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 they always explain their work. This can reveal hidden errors and strengths that might have gone unrecognized in the wake of an incorrect answer.
At Moses Brown, fourth graders work in small groups, large groups, and individually to build strength and automaticity with multiplication, division, geometry, fractions, decimals, and data. Every day, students explain their thinking in writing or out loud.
To keep things fun, they frequently play math games that practice mathematical thinking–without the drudgery of endless drilling. Their mathematical discussions stay oriented around real-world contexts to keep concepts relevant and avoid ‘why would I need to know that’ thinking. And, if they choose to, they get a chance to show their skills (and burn off a little competitive energy) in Math Olympiad.
Every student reflects on mathematical ideas in a math journal, which promotes deep thinking, and practice ‘fast facts’ to reinforce quick-thinking arithmetic.Inquire