Focusing on the Fundamentals of Math, Grades 1-8
The Ontario government recently released a parent fact sheet and a
teacher’s guide on Focusing on the Fundamentals of Math in grades 1 to 8.
In the guide, teachers are asked to focus attention on expectations from the
Number Sense and Patterning strands of the current math curriculum and are also
asked to focus on student understanding and sense-making before formal methods,
such as using traditional formulas, are introduced.
York Region teachers have always worked to develop strong number sense,
computational fluency and automaticity with math facts while supporting student
understanding of underlying concepts.
All educators in our board continue to support students in becoming
confident problem solvers who use mathematical knowledge, skills and
processes to be contributing members of a changing society.
In order to support your child with math at home and in day-to-day life,
the math page on our board website lists useful websites, activities and games
that you can reference and use.
Thank you for the important role you play in the creation of confident problem
Math is everywhere!
Now is a great time to start building routines at home which can support children
in developing a positive disposition towards math.
Providing opportunities at home that promote math talk can support a child’s
mathematical knowledge and understanding.
Whether you are, shopping, cooking, playing a game, organizing, taking a walk,
or reading, there are many opportunities to highlight math in different ways.
Primary - Grocery Shopping
Ask your child to estimate how many of a grocery item
(for example, a type of fruit or vegetable, bread or pet food) your family
will need for the week.
Ask, “Why do you think that amount will be needed?”
At the end of the week, have your child count the number actually used.
Junior/Intermediate - Budget Challenge
Give your child an imaginary budget to spend at his or her
favourite store (flyers or online catalogues may be helpful).
Without writing down the amounts, have your child choose items to purchase.
He or she will have to use estimation to stay within the budget.
Then, have your child add up the actual costs.
Did she or he stay within the budget?
For a challenge, help your child estimate any taxes.
Tips for Math
- Build strong, positive attitudes about math.
- When children feel positively engaged and successful, they are more likely to stick with an activity or a problem to find a solution
- Challenge for your child.
- If you and your child are more comfortable in a language other than English, use it. Your child will understand concepts better in the language that he or she knows best.
(Doing Mathematics With Your Child, Kindergarten to Grade 6: A Parent Guide)