The following is a letter from Dr. Pesek about math workshops for parents on helping the children learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division basic facts with fluency.
Dear Stoddert Parents:
This school year, Stoddert’s Math Team has chosen to focus on the learning of basic math facts fluency as a means of improving the learning and enjoyment of mathematics. By definition, basic facts only include 1-digit numbers, because all other computations are based on 1-digit facts, e.g., 12 X 5 uses facts of 1, 2, and 5. By ‘fluency’ we mean arriving at the solution mentally and NOT using fingers or other manipulatives.
Because we know from experience that all people are not able to memorize facts completely and consistently, we will teach mental math strategies. These strategies help build fluency and number sense. The methodology we’ll apply is research-based.
The Common Core State Standards will serve as our base line. These are as follows:
- Kindergarten: addition and subtraction facts within 5, e.g., only numbers whose sum is 0 to 5;
- Grade 1: addition and subtraction within 10;
- Grade 2: addition and subtraction within 20 – that includes addition of all 1-digit numbers and their reverse in subtraction;
- Grades 3, 4, and 5: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of all 1-digit numbers.
To achieve efficiency, we need consistency. All teachers and staff will therefore be trained on this methodology. It would be highly beneficial to your children if you, too, would use these same teaching techniques at home.
To achieve that goal, I will offer training for parents in my classroom, West Wing # 4, from 8:00am to 8:45am and from 3:15pm to 4:00pm on Tuesdays starting on October 27, 2015. These morning and afternoon sessions are repeats of each other. I anticipate it will take about three sessions to address all the strategies.
After the training, if some of you are free to volunteer some hours to help other students achieve this goal, we will be happy to facilitate your services.
In order to plan well, I need an RSVP by e-mail before the 27th for the first workshop. Our attendance capacity is 15 people per session.
Dolores Pesek, PhD
Co-chair of the Stoddert Math Team