GoMath! Terminology & Strategies for Success
We have been hearing that with our math curriculum, some of the terminology and strategies are much different than what has been taught in the past. It is true that there are some changes, but we also want you, as parents, to know that the changes are helping to build the tool set that your children will have when they are working in math throughout their lives. We related it to the students in this way:
We have lots of tools in our garage that can help us with jobs around the house or problems that arise. Oftentimes, there is more than one tool that can be used for the job at hand. You will choose the tool that works best for you and it might be a different tool than someone else might choose. Even though they are different, they can both be used to accomplish the same goal.
The same is true with the math tools we are teaching the students. Some students may connect more with one strategy over another, but the strategies will all help them arrive at the solution they need. We are teaching all of these strategies so students are exposed to different ways to solve math problems and are able to find the tools that work best for them.
One such strategy is looking for doubles facts (5+5, 9+9) and doubles +1 or doubles -1. Basically the doubles +/- 1 is where the two addends are just one a part (5+6, 9+8) because you can think of the doubles fact close to it and either add 1 more or subtract one less (5+5+1, 9+9-1).
Counting on is another more traditional strategy. We usually practice putting the greater addend in our head and counting on by the lesser addend. Right now it's focusing on quicker counting on in equations by 1, 2, or 3 (5+1, 6+2, 9+3).
Below is a Quick Start Guide for using the online GoMath! Think Central resource. The student log in information has already been sent home previously for your student.
We know that learning new math strategies can sometimes feel daunting at home when helping your student. We hope this Quick Start Guide will help give you further support. One thing that has been very noticeable in class is how well students are already articulating the strategies they are choosing to solve math problems and why they chose that strategy. It is amazing the math conversations and connections the first graders are already making at this point in the school year!