Blog entry by Caitlin Helmrich.
The Cambridge Primary Curriculum focuses on a number of core content areas that are built on over a child’s primary years. The primary content areas include Numbers, Calculations, Geometry, Measurement, Handling Data and Problem Solving (which is built into all the other strands). By Grade 7, students follow the Cambridge Lower Secondary which includes all the primary content areas, but formally introduces algebra as well. Stage 7 students are expected to use their Primary years grounding to work through increasingly interesting and challenging problems.
The core focus of the curriculum is to help students develop numerical fluency, make connections between concepts, and exercise their ability to think mathematically to solve problems.
At Canterbury, a key focus of ours in this subject is to prevent a child from developing ‘Math Anxiety’ which is an all too common experience of many of adults. Mathematics is not this big scary thing that only the elite ‘Math People’ can do – a little bit of effort goes a long way and every child can be a ‘Math person’. While sometimes we do timed activities, students are reminded that mathematics is not time-dependent. Working out and scrap paper are encouraged as students’ progress from concrete applications of concepts, to the abstract.
Our lessons are a combination of active learning and discovery, and instruction, followed up with lots and lots of practice to build fluency.
Luckily for math teachers, math is not limited to the classroom. You can help at home by encouraging your child to think and work mathematically – baking, shopping, traveling and renovating are all opportunities for students to use math in the real world.