Elementary School Announces New Math Curriculum for 2020-21 Academic Year
Parents explore foundational concepts of Dimensions Math as introduction to the program.
Earlier this year, parents of Elementary School students gathered in the Community Room to review a packet of math worksheets that likely looked very different from the ones they completed as children. Number bonds, base 10 blocks and bar models were a just a few of the foundational concepts in the packet that reflected the School’s plan to implement a new math program for the 2020-21 academic year: Dimensions Math, a curriculum of Singapore Math. Even as Crossroads responds to the COVID-19 crisis, the faculty continue to explore innovative ways of facilitating student growth and discovery.
The decision to adopt Dimensions Math followed a curriculum review process that began in the spring of 2019. A team of teachers representing kindergarten through fifth grade and the Middle School closely examined six conceptual math programs in comparison to the current model, Investigations 3. They wanted to find a program that supported differentiation—which they described as “the ability to take math concepts and make them meaningful and engaging to students across a range of abilities”—and also offered professional development opportunities for faculty. Dimensions Math fit the bill.
“We value mastering the concepts and not memorizing procedures,” explained Third Grade Teacher Chris Lang at the morning meeting for parents. “And we approach math in a three-part process: where you learn from the concrete, move on to the pictorial and then to the abstract.”
In order to demonstrate this approach, Chris, fellow Third Grade Teacher Audrey Matalone and Fourth Grade Teacher Matt Lintner led parents through sample exercises.
“Dimensions [Math] is the foundational text. ... It’s not a prescriptive rote program,” noted Matt, as he emphasized that teachers will continue to create projects addressing the real-world, relatable experiences of Crossroads students.
Kanuja Champaneri, parent of fourth grader Krish, was excited about the new program.“You’re going to be able to incorporate a lot of different types of learners and make it more fun and more conceptual.”
Supported by ongoing training, Elementary School teachers have been piloting exercises from Dimensions Math this year and will make a complete transition to the program in the fall.