July 14, 2012
A new summer program. Once again we are working with a wonderful group of young people. Students with a variety of gaps in their mathematical tool kits have come to us for a short summer tune up. In the math section of the middle school program we are working with manipulatives, illustrating concepts and applying them vertically through several operations and at different levels. Based on an intake assessment, we have begun with place value concepts, regrouping in addition and subtraction of whole numbers, and basic fraction concepts. We began with base ten blocks and asked students to "prove by construction." They have modeled quantities into the hundreds of thousands using manipulaltive objects. They have transitioned to the representational level to draw fraction addition and subtraction problems as they regroup from the whole number place value to the fraction place. Parents report that their children are coming home excited about doing math without pencil and paper. They are understanding math concepts at an entirely new level and enjoying it more. Next week we begin earnest work on multiplication, division, exponents, squares and roots. We will be making conceptual linkages using Unifix cubes, string and beads.