September 16, 2014

A new approach to Math

We're slowly moving away from using the traditional Math workbook. It's important for the boys and girls to have the basics down and there will be plenty of instruction and practice with respect to this, but it is essential that students can apply those skills to problem solving situations. 

"Apply" is the key word there. After all, its one thing to be able to read words, but if you can't connect them to make meaning, are you really reading?

The same is true for Math. If you can solve problems such as 3+4, but can't use that to help you figure out if you have enough money to make a purchase at a garage sale, your Math skills really only developing. 

In Grade Three, the boys and girls do a lot of problem solving. They work in partners and on their own to apply the skills they've learned. To learn the skills (e.g. how to multiply and divide), we'll use some pages from the workbook and our slates, but it's not page after page of questions. 

There are five steps to problem solving and we'll take a baby-step approach. You can see the steps in the photo below. Our naughty pal, Turkey Lurkey, will be the subject of many of the problems we'll solve over the coming weeks. 

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