An elementary math curriculum for supplementary or home school should teach much more than the "how to" of simple arithmetic. A good math curriculum should have elementary math activities that build a solid foundation which is both deep and broad, conceptual and "how to".
What is a quality Elementary Math Curriculum?
A quality math curriculum contains a wide range of elementary math activities, which cover more than just arithmetic, math facts, and operations. An elementary math curriculum should teach these five math strands.*
Number Sense and Operations - Knowing how to represent numbers, recognizing 'how many' are in a group, and using numbers to compare and represent paves the way for grasping number theory, place value and the meaning of operations and how they relate to one another.
Algebra - The ability to sort and order objects or numbers and recognizing and building on simple patterns are examples of ways children begin to experience algebra. This elementary math concept sets the groundwork for working with algebraic variables as a child's math experience grows.
Geometry and Spatial Sense - Children build on their knowledge of basic shapes to identify more complex 2-D and 3-D shapes by drawing and sorting. They then learn to reason spatially, read maps, visualize objects in space, and use geometric modeling to solve problems. Eventually children will be able to use coordinate geometry to specify locations, give directions and describe spatial relationships.
Measurement - Learning how to measure and compare involves concepts of length, weight, temperature, capacity and money. Telling the time and using money links to an understanding of the number system and represents an important life skill.
Data Analysis and Probability - As children collect information about the world around them, they will find it useful to display and represent their knowledge. Using charts, tables, graphs will help them learn to share and organize data.
Elementary math curriculums that cover just one or two of these five math strands are narrow and lead to a weak understanding of math. Help your child build a strong, broad math foundation. Learn more about Time4Learning's elementary math curriculum.
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