Primary Math Curriculum Update

Thanks for attending this week’s Primary Maths Chat.

We had a great turnout for the gathering.  We’re listening to your feedback. Some topics you hoped would be discussed weren’t addressed; others were raised that you didn’t expect.  Your feedback is important and helps us to move forward. Keep it coming. We aim to strike the right balance of big picture sharing and concrete day-to-day info. We also understand that it’s not always easy to turn up on campus for these events.  So, in the spirit of whole community learning, we’ve put together a short Q & A that reflects some important takeaways and answers to some questions that were raised by the parents.

Q:  What’s the Maths Program? What’s the ‘curriculum’?

A: The Green School Curriculum, or the Green School Way, is the framework that clearly guides the learning in each and every grade and class. This framework is holistic by design and intent. Our teachers work within this framework to guide learning over the course of a school year, while leaving room for creativity and for teachers to be responsive to our fabulously diverse learners. What we do not use in Green School, is a pre-packaged course or ‘off the shelf’ math curriculum. We like to blur the lines around subjects, where it makes sense, so that learning is real and relevant to real life.  We believe in hiring experienced, skilled educators, training them in our unique “way” and letting them design the classroom program that best meets the needs of their students. So, within the framework, we do see differences across classes.

Q: But what about the “scope and sequence”? Do we have one of those?

A: Yes, in fact we have a recently updated version this year (attached here). We pay attention to what’s going on in the best performing maths classrooms around the world. Then, we compile guidelines for our faculty about what to teach (scope) and when (sequence). Our scope and sequence is unique in that we identify our learning goals in two segments, junior-primary and upper-primary, but not grade-by-grade. This allows flexibility for the teachers to meet learners where they are.

Q: How can we learn more about these specifics?

A: The attached document describes our rationale, the maths strands we emphasize, and what they look like at different stages. We also go much deeper in our internal documents, so if you want to get a sense of the next level of detail, reach out to your child’s teacher, Ibu Karen or Ibu Rachael for a conversation tailored to meet your needs. We are here to help.

If you want more images of what this looks like in practice, be sure to check the classroom blog.  And, if you want to know how your child is performing, definitely reach out to his/her teacher.

Q: We know Green School is a dynamic, always evolving community of learners.  What have you been working on to improve maths at Green School?

A: We are working on the very best ways to implement the recently ‘scope and sequence.’  We are building on two clear strengths of our existing program.

  1. Our commitment to meeting students wherever they are on their learning journey and putting the critical building blocks in place for a strong and flexible  understanding of mathematical concepts.

  2. Our commitment to practicing math in the real world- outside the classroom walls.  We’re up-skilling with the most current research on inquiry based and project based mathematics.

Q: Are online math tutorials or outside programs a good way to extend my child’s maths learning?

A: There are some good programs available, such as Khan Academy. These can be self paced and satisfying for some children to work with. It is an individual choice. It’s important to note that these programs work with a particular sequence of learning that may not align in synchronicity with Green School’s programs. School curriculums differ across various international, national, state and independent educational systems. So it is normal to see some variation around precisely what is taught and in what order across different systems.

We talked about a whole lot more, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you want more details about our work and our rationale. We’re planning another parent chat to talk about overall developments for Primary 2018-2019 on May 23 at 10:30 am. Please join and learn alongside of us.     

Kind Regards,

Ibu Karen Fierst, Head of Lower School

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