Our goal in teaching mathematics at Middlebury Community Schools is to help our children understand mathematical concepts so they can become thinkers and problem solvers. We are teaching the Indiana College and Career Ready Standards, required by the State of Indiana. As your child brings home math, you may notice that it looks different from the way you learned math. Please be assured that the algorithms (memorized steps) and procedures that you learned are still being taught. However, our focus is helping students understand the concepts, not just memorize the steps. While we will teach the memorized procedures and shortcuts, we are waiting to teach those to children until they have a deeper understanding of the math. We are teaching math in a different way because our world is different. We are no longer preparing our students to succeed in the world of yesterday. Instead, we are working to prepare them to succeed in the world of today and tomorrow, which can be both exciting and uncomfortable for adults. We want our students to be problem solvers who can solve problems in more than one way, and we are working hard to get them there!
We appreciate your interest in your child's math education. A wonderful way to engage your child in a math conversation is to ask how he/she figured out a problem. You might be surprised by the method!
Below are videos that will explain some of the things we are doing in math. As you watch these videos, you are encouraged to pause and replay them as needed.
Number Talks are done mentally and provide opportunities for students to explore and discuss a variety of strategies that can be used to solve a computation problem. Below are links to short videos explaining Number Talks. The first is an introduction to the activity. The videos following the introduction are examples of strategies used for the various Number Talks.
How Many Dots? (3:03)
25 + 29 Number Talk (4:20)
19 x 4 Number Talk (3:47)
Division Number Talk (2:39)
You may be feeling that the math your child brings home looks different than what you are used to. It is true that our students are learning several methods they can use to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Please do not be alarmed. Your child will still be learning the methods you are used to, but most likely will learn the alternative methods first. Our goal is to build true number sense with our children so they understand the concepts and aren't just memorizing procedures. This understanding will help them be more successful in math as they get older. Below are some videos that will help explain some of these methods. We encourage you to watch these videos and have math conversations with your child.
Division: Part 1 (4:04)
Division: Part 2 (3:15)