Balanced Math at Glen Acres
At GAE, math instruction is comprised of five components. Our common goal is to help children think mathematically and apply problem solving strategies to real life situations.
What is “Balanced Math”? A balanced (deliberate design of instruction and assessment) program is designed to produce mathematically powerful students – students who can solve problems and also communicate their understanding to others.
1. Computational Skills, Math Review & Mental Math:
- Emphasize the development of number sense.
- Practice procedural mathematics and computational skills every day.
- Practice computing problems mentally.
- Investigations: Quick Images, classroom routines and/or ten-minute math, and teacher resources.
2. Problem Solving:
- Provide structures for problem-solving activities related to a current unit focus.
- Gives students opportunity to communicate their mathematical thinking through words, pictures, and/or numbers.
- Investigations is problem solving based. (Other resources include Study Island, The Problem Solver, and teacher resources.)
3. Conceptual Understanding:
- Identify particular grade-level topics that are essential for student understanding. (based on district and state math standards)
- Topic becomes focus of conceptual math unit.
- Align instruction with end-of-unit assessment.
4. Mastery of Math Facts:
- Fact recall through student understanding of patterns.
- Program of accountability enabling all students to learn their facts by the end of elementary school.
5. Common Formative Assessment:
- Align school-based assessment for learning to math Power Standards.
- Provides teachers with valid feedback as to students’ current understanding of Power Standards in focus.
- Could include: performance assessments, Study Island benchmarking, District performance assessments, and teacher prepared assessments.