We expect our scholars to have a conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts as well as become curious as to how math lives in everyday life. As such, we take a pedagogical approach to teaching mathematics where we flip the script on the workshop model and have scholars first investigate, then have an opportunity to review their problem-solving with peer and teacher feedback, and then attempt to synthesize new knowledge to apply to similar concepts. Scholars at PS 290 are highly encouraged to think logically, creatively, and use their critical thinking to understand mathematics.
In addition, we use Math in Focus to teach conceptual knowledge and give scholars time to practice the basic skills needed for automaticity. As a result, P.S. 290 creates mathematicians who understand the “why” and “how,” which makes scholars excellent problem solvers. By building mastery at the foundational level, we believe scholars will experience more success in algebra, geometry, and beyond.
Class observation and participation by parents is welcomed. Parents are also encouraged to spend time with their child on homework and projects. We also invite parents to attend regular curriculum nights so they can familiarize themselves with the upcoming content and instructional strategies.
Each of the classes spends 90 minutes daily studying math. Scholars are given opportunities to investigate, discover, explore, and apply. They learn to use numbers to make connections in real life situations. Key competencies are developed through the sequence of number and measurement topics. Activities and tasks allow for review, enrichment, and challenge, according to the needs of the individual scholar. A significant portion of the year spends time developing foundational concepts like counting, sorting, and number sense. As the year progresses scholars dive deeper into concepts like basic facts, place value, mental math, and geometry concepts.
Teachers assess scholar understanding through ongoing and formal assessments. Scholars show daily understanding through mastery checks, math talk, and specific lesson “check” questions. Teachers formally assess scholars through written assessments, as well as interview assessments. Scholars also engage in projects that help demonstrate understanding.