Welcome to the Department of Mathematics and to a new school year!
Mathematics is an area that seems to bring out divergent attitudes in individuals. Some students will tell you they are good in math but many students, and sometimes their parents, carry a belief that they are not good at math because they do not have “the math gene”. Currently there is no research to support that mathematicians are created through an inherited gene or that one’s mathematical intelligence is predetermined by their parents. There is a growing perception called growth mindset which means that our genetic makeup is only the starting point for our abilities in the area of learning anything new, including mathematics.
In a book titled, Mindset, the author Carol Dweck describes intelligence as malleable. A growth mindset then provides us the ability to see any problem as one we can solve through perseverance and effort.
Rush-Henrietta students receive sound mathematics instruction which focuses on the process of learning as well as the math content. We want students to learn math and solve problems, but we also want students to learn how to approach problems. We want students to make sense of problems, critique the reasoning of others, analyze errors and solutions, model problems, look for patterns, etc. These skills, termed Standards for Mathematical Practice, will serve students well beyond the mathematics classroom in that they can be applied to any content area or life problem.
Last year, the district adopted the Eureka Math resources for grades K-6 and this school year for grades 7 and 8. Eureka Math is a comprehensive, standards-based K-8 mathematics resource that offers a balanced approach to teaching and learning mathematics. The goal of the program is to develop students who are not merely fluent in math but math literate, in that they not only know what process to use to solve a problem but that they have a deep understanding of why the process works. Eureka Math uses manipulatives, visual models, conceptual language, and real-world situations to help students build deep mathematical understanding.
Eureka Math Parent Information
Greatminds, the writers of the Eureka Math program, has developed a suite of resources for parents that will help you support your child in becoming proficient in math. Please visit their website to create a free parent account.
We also know from research that the home school connection is critical for student success so we ask parents to encourage children to persevere as they are learning mathematics and always attempt a problem. The first step in solving any problem includes writing an answer statement to the problem and making note of the information they are given. This first step will often times provide a student with an idea for a next step. Unfortunately there are times when students will not even begin a problem if they think they will fail at solving it correctly. Please remind them that F.A.I.L simply means “first attempt in learning”! With this type of mindset they will be well on their way to becoming the best mathematicians that they can be!
The students of Rush-Henrietta are fortunate to have a Math Coach in each of our primary and intermediate schools. These experienced teachers provide coaching and useful information that parents, students and teachers find helpful. To see the web page for the Math Coach at your childs' K-3 or 4-6 school, just click the link below.
Crane Elementary School
Fyle Elementary School
Leary Elementary School
Sherman Elementary School
Vollmer Elementary School
For more information, please contact the director of the Mathematics Department, Lisa Clar, by calling (585) 359-5050 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.