The North Bend Eagle

 

 

New math curriculum offers challenges

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 10/30/19

There is a new math curriculum at North Bend Elementary. And it’s different.

That’s just one change. The other change is that there is no math homework.

Math Book“This is the first year,” elementary principal Tessie Beaver said. “Kids are learning to do strategies, and it would be a challenge for parents to be able to help with kids’ homework.”

Every seven years each curriculum in the school is reevaluated. If necessary, new texts are purchased. Last year was math’s turn and after a year of study, comparing curriculums to the Nebraska state standards, looking for something that would meet their needs of what needed to be taught they went with Eureka Math by Great Minds for grades K-5. It has all the pieces that most closely matched their needs.

First published in 2015, it is a printed workbook with an online platform where teachers can get constant updates and teaching resources.

The teachers went through professional development this summer to get comfortable with the new math.

“The preschool teacher came also to be familiar with it and try to incorporate that into the preschool curriculum,” Beaver said.

Each grade has one hour and 20 minutes of math a day, even the kindergartners.

“We start out learning 1 to 5, and we spend a lot of time on that,” kindergarten teacher Jodi Dorcey said. “In the series before we would just teach them this is the number 1, this is what 1 looks like, this is how you write 1. But with Eureka we show them what 1 really is. One is one bear, 1 is one counting chip, 1 is one linking cube. So they learn exactly what the numbers are versus this is what it is looks, this is how we write it. The goal is when we teach math facts, they can picture it, not just what the number 3 looks like, the number 2, they can picture how many objects is 3, how many is 2 and they can visualize it.”

“We keep them busy,” kindergartner teacher Jill Lorence said.

Beaver stresses that the math is not new.

“We are not asking kids to do things that are a lot harder than it was before,” she said. “We are asking them to think about it differently. There is so much language that goes into it, putting a lot of words into what you are doing.”

They are making the math visual. Showing the “why” behind the numbers.

“There are multiple ways to solve a problem and then you have to explain how you got your problems solved,” Lorence said. “Every problem has multiple steps. It’s not just give an answer.”
Students use place balance charts and place balance chips to show their answer. They will have a number sentence, a standard equation, and a visual for what it’s going to look like.

 

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