## Math Curriculum

The goal is for the children to view mathematics as a

__means of communicating information__as well as a tool they can use in everyday life. I accomplish this through a program that balances skill development with math exploration.**Examining problem-solving that builds critical thinking and the****recognition of patterns and relationships:***The role of the teacher is to guide the children in constructing their own knowledge and understanding, which is as valuable to them as learning formulas and algorithms. Through a series of open-ended math problems related to each of the math strands, problem-solving isn’t isolated as a discrete unit, but is woven into the math learning all year long.***It is important for children to understand that there’s truly a language of math. I encourage them to use words as specifically as possible, for example: “minus” or “subtract” instead of “take away”, or “polygon” instead of “shape”.***Emphasize the use of math vocabulary:***As it is the foundation of algebra, the emphasis in 2nd grade is increasing our mathematical awareness through the study of number patterns such as the exploration of skip counting with more challenging numbers.***Exploring number patterns in math:***Studying geometry and spatial visualization:**In 2nd grade, we study both 2D and 3D geometrical shapes as well as line symmetry. The major geometry unit comes just before we begin to design our city blocks, as it helps the children visualize the three dimensional shapes that comprise city architecture and planning.**Beginning regrouping:**To get ready for this major unit we did two things: an in-depth study of place value and an intense review of the basic addition and subtraction math facts. To understand why we regroup when adding and subtracting higher numbers, one must truly understand how numbers are made up of ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, and so on. Without this core knowledge students will only have a superficial understanding of the algorithm. We do this through explorations and games using base ten blocks and other manipulatives.**Knowing the basic math facts:**Addition and subtraction to 20 is crucial to effectively solving addition and subtraction with higher numbers.**Learning****fractions****both as part of a whole and part of a set:**We expanded from commonly used words “whole” and “half”, unpacking what a fraction is (and is__not__) mathematically. The children learn to identify, name and write fractions. We also discuss the basic equivalent fractions.**Starting measurement:**We worked on the concepts of money, time, linear, and liquid volume measurement. This is one of the children’s favorite units, as the projects we did involved tools that they see parents using at home – coins, clocks, rulers, scales, measuring pitchers and so on. While I make a point to relate all our math studies to real-life applications, measurement makes the children feel especially grown-up.**Introduction of multiplication and division:**In second grade we covered the concept of multiplication and division, in anticipation of third grade’s major focus on this aspect of arithmetics.