Q: How will students learn and practice their basic facts?
A: Students will learn and practice all of the basic facts in many different ways. Students will take part in oral practice to review facts and complete daily written work, which includes journal pages and Math Boxes. They will play math games in which numbers are generated randomly by dice, dominoes, spinners, or cards. Students will work with Fact Triangles, which stress the addition/subtraction and multiplication/division relationships. Also, there are many other activities and routines that will help students increase and reinforce their knowledge of basic facts throughout the year.
Q: How will students have opportunities to learn, develop, and practice computation skills?
A: Students will gain the fact knowledge they need for computation from basic facts practice. Also, they solve problems in meaningful ways through number stories about real life situations that require them to understand the need for computation. Furthermore, students often have the opportunity to develop and explain their own strategies for solving problems through algorithm invention. Additionally, they practice mental arithmetic, and perform activities that encourage them to round or estimate numbers mentally.
Q: What exactly is algorithm invention? Why is it important for students to invent their own algorithms?
A: It is important for students to learn computation in a way that makes sense to them. Algorithm invention means that students create and share their own problem-solving methods as well as learning a set of standard algorithms. In other words students become active participants in developing computational strategies. After the students have had plenty of opportunities to invent computation strategies, the teacher may discuss certain standard algorithms. As students invent their own algorithms, they begin to realize that they can solve a given problem in more than one way. Students become motivated and independent problem-solvers who are able to take risks, think logically and reason.
Q: What is distributed practice?
A: Mastery varies with each student and depends on his/her learning style. Because people rarely master a new concept or skill after only one exposure, students will have many opportunities to learn a skill or concept through distributed practice. The distributed practice approach offers both consistent follow-up and a variety of experiences. If students do not master a topic the first time it is introduced, they will have opportunities to increase their understanding the next time it is presented. Students will regularly review and practice new concepts by playing content-specific games and by completing written exercises and assessments.
Q: How does the program address individual student needs?
A: Everyday Mathematics has many open-ended activities that allow students to succeed at their current skill level. The program allows for individual differences by recognizing that there is more than one way to solve problems. While playing games, writing number stories, and solving problems, students strengthen mathematical skills. Students receive repeated exposures to all concepts throughout the program.
Q: How do the games in Everyday Mathematics support students learning mathematical concepts?
A: Everyday Mathematics games reinforce mathematical concepts in a valuable and enjoyable way. They are designed to help students practice basic facts and computation skills and develop sophisticated solution strategies. These games also lay the foundation for learning increasingly difficult concepts. Certain games give students experiences using a calculator or require students to practice mental calculations, while others emphasize the relationship between the money system and place value or require students to practice mental calculations. Students might play Everyday Mathematics games at home from time to time. Parents should spend some time learning the games to understand how much they contribute to their child’s mathematical progress.
Q: How are students assessed in Everyday Mathematics?
A: Everyday Mathematics teachers assess students on a daily basis. Teachers observe student’s progress as they watch students working on Math Boxes or slate activities. Teachers also evaluate student’s Minute Math responses, the interactions during group work or games and their written responses to Math Messages. Teachers also use unit review and assessment pages to evaluate individual student progress.
Q: How does the calculator support students in mathematics?
A: Students use calculators to learn concepts, recognize patterns, develop estimation skills, and explore problem solving. Students learn to use a calculator to solve problems beyond his/her current paper and pencil capabilities. Students also learn that in some situations, they can rely on their own problem-solving power to get an answer more quickly than a calculator. Students also use basic fact and operations knowledge and estimation skills to determine whether the calculator’s solution is reasonable. Students become comfortable with the calculator as a technological tool.
Q: How can parents support Everyday Mathematics?
A: It is a good idea to work with children as they complete homework assignments. It is helpful for parents to talk with their children about real-life situations that involve mathematics, such as buying groceries or balancing the checkbook. Parents can also ask their children to "teach" them what they have learned in school during math instruction.
For additional support ideas, see these helpful websites:
Q: How can I purchase supplemental materials for Everyday Math to use at home?
A: To purchase a Student Reference Book, Skills Link book, or Family Games please follow these steps [PDF]