The School District of Waukesha is committed to working to improve math instruction for students. We strive to create future mathematicians who are creative problem solvers, persevere in new situations, and collaborate with peers. Teachers intentionally plan lessons that engage students in problem solving focused on procedural fluency (knowing math facts), conceptual understanding, and mathematical applications. These lessons align with Wisconsin State Standards and our district curriculum continuum. We seek to include Wisconsin's eight mathematical practices in our daily lessons with students.
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Eight Mathematical Practices
How can you support math at home?
Always be encouraging and never tell kids they are wrong when they are working on math. Instead find the logic in their thinking. For example, if your child multiplies 3 by 4 and gets 7, say, "Oh I see what you might be thinking. You are using what you know about addition to add 3 and 4. When we multiply we have 4 groups of 3.
Even if you had a difficult time with math growing up, it is important to let your children have their own experience and seek opportunities to grow in their math skills. Especially for young girls, research has found that if mothers shared the idea that they were “bad at math” with their daughters, their daughters' achievement went down.
Encourage a “growth mindset." Let students know that they have unlimited math potential and that being good at math is all about working hard. Comments such as “You’re so smart,” or “You’re good at math,” encourage a fixed mindset. Use growth praise such as, “It is great that you have learned that," and “I really like your thinking about that." When they tell you something is hard for them, or they have made a mistake, tell them, “That’s wonderful! Your brain is growing!”
Encourage number sense. Number sense means having an idea of the size of numbers and being able to separate and combine numbers flexibly. For example, when working out 29 + 56, if you take one from the 56 and make it 30 + 55, it is much easier to work out. This type of flexibility with numbers is very important for mathematical success.
Math is everywhere, and it is beautiful! Discuss the patterns you find in nature, the math in cooking, in your job, and in other areas of community! Click here for an inspiring video that explores the beauty of math in nature.