Our math textbook is entitled "Go Math." We usually complete one lesson per day. We then discuss and complete the first two pages of the lesson together but there is no grade for it. It is considered a first practice. The last two pages ("On Your Own") are usually completed independently. After the pages are assigned, I help students having difficulty in a small group. Typically, I pick up the papers and check them. You will see something like -0/10 or a -3/12, etc. Halfway through each chapter there is a "Mid-Chapter Checkpoint" which counts as a quiz grade (weighted 20%). At the end of the chapter we have the "Chapter Review/Test" which also counts as a quiz grade (20%). I am trying something different this year and I have the first half of the chapter stapled together. The papers will come home after we complete the "Mid-Chapter Checkpoint." It is a good idea to keep this packet of papers until after the chapter test in case you need to review a skill. The second half of the chapter is also stapled together. This will come home after we complete the "Chapter Review/Test." This way you will know what kind of problems will which will be on the upcoming test. On the test, I read all items to the class so that I am sure I am testing your child's math abilities, not reading.
Another important component of our math is to learn basic addition and subtraction facts (from 0 + 0 to 18 - 9) so that there is instant recall. My goal is for your child to no longer depend on counting on fingers. This is a very important skill that will help for a lifetime. The expectation is that your child will be able to complete 100 addition problems in 5 minutes with 90% accuracy and 100 subtraction problems in 7 minutes with 90% accuracy. Please see below for our progression:
first 9 weeks: addition facts (classwork grade)
second 9 weeks: addition facts and subtraction facts (classwork grade)
third 9 weeks: addition facts (quiz grade) and subtraction facts (classwork grade)
fourth 9 weeks: addition and subtraction facts (quiz grade)
For those that make a 100% on both addition and subtraction facts (not necessarily the same day), they will be a member of the "Kit Kat Club." There will be a choice between either continuing on basic addition and subtraction (trying to beat their own score), or timing on 2-digit addition and subtraction with and without regrouping, or basic multiplication and division.
In order to help your child learn these facts, part of your child's homework is to practice on a free web site called "Xtra Math." Your child will have a login and password. The expectation is to complete one 5-minute session per night (Monday through Thursday). The program will progress beginning with addition and will then move on to subtraction, multiplication, and division. Mastery on "Xtra Math" is to complete each fact in 3 seconds or less. I offer recognitions along the way to help motivate your child.
Many time, your child will be asked to visually represent a number using a "quick draw." When your child is asked to make a "quick draw" of a number, it is important that he/she draws the number correctly. For example, if asked to draw 16, a line represents the 1 ten and the circles represent 6 ones. Even though your child may draw 6 circles, it is important that each student draw this the same say. I stress the importance of drawing the circles correctly when we are practicing in class and it is part of the grade. If is also displayed as a reference when completing math work. I have attached an example below of what quick draws look like.
Math is definitely taught differently than when you were in school. Please click on the links below to help you understand how key concepts are taught.