Friends School Haverford
5th Grade Mathematics
The fifth grade is dedicated to a problem-solving approach in the study of mathematics. Our primary goal is to balance the acquisition of essential skills with the development of logical thought processes. We also aim to develop in students an appreciation for the many facets of mathematics beyond basic computation and to empower them to find their own individual areas of strength. We believe this approach to the study of mathematics, with its strong emphasis on problem solving, enables students to develop important logic and reasoning skills. Above all else, we hope to build students’ confidence in their own mathematical abilities and convey through experience and discovery that what they are learning is of real value outside the classroom, both now and in the years to come.
The curricular mathematics program used at Friends School Haverford is the Trailblazers Mathematics program developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago. As the year progresses, you can expect your children to explore the major areas of whole numbers, decimals, fractions, percent, geometry, graphing and statistics, measurement, probability and pre-algebraic concepts. The program includes a textbook (SG), workbook (DAB), the Adventure Story Book, and two practice sets to reinforce skills and problem-solving techniques (DPPs & Home Practice).
Math classes meet formally for approximately one hour daily, but math is taught as well in science. Concepts are also used and extended in social studies, art, and music classes. Teachers generally serve as facilitators, presenting ideas for consideration and discussion by the students, who then experiment with ways to test and extend their thinking. During any given week students will work independently, as well as paired and in small cooperative learning groups. Students are required to maintain a math journal in which much of their computation is competed. Their observations and thought processes are also recorded here. Homework is assigned Monday through Thursday for reinforcement, practice and extension of skills and concepts.
Manipulatives are used extensively to build a foundation for new concepts, as well as to encourage exploration and discovery. A variety of educational games extend and reinforce math concepts. First in Math, introduced last year can be played at home, as well as at school. This game, played on-line, provides an excellent way to solidify and reinforce basic skill sets. It also encourages students to risk trying their hand at new concepts.