Capilano Elementary
North Vancouver School District
All Children Can "Do Math"
​At Capilano, we believe all children can “do math”, and our goal is to help all students develop mathematical proficiency and confidence.   Teachers and parents can work in partnership to facilitate this development. 
The information provided below is based on our North Vancouver School District’s Math 44: Teaching for Proficiency.
Thanks to our generous PAC, all students at Capilano have the opportunity to use the DreamBox Math on-line program.  This program can be accessed from any computer - at home or when on holidays!
(Passwords provided to students by their classroom teacher)  Link to class DreamBox site:   HERE​

Core Understandings About Learning Math: 

1.     Conceptual Understanding: Students need to be able to see the sense in math, be able to make connections among the strands of math and to the real world, and think through big mathematical ideas.
2.     Procedural Fluency: Students need to use math processes, facts, computations, and skills quickly, automatically, and efficiently.
3.     Strategic Competence: Students need to demonstrate their abilities to solve problems, apply strategies, and represent solutions in creative and varied ways.
4.    Adaptive reasoning: Students need to reason, think, and talk about math concepts, problems, and processes in order to challenge and justify solutions.
5.    Productive Disposition: Students need to bring a positive attitude and a pronounced work ethic to math tasks; displaying confident, creative, critical, and risk-taking approaches to their math work.

Help Your Child Develop the Math Habits

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1. Explore and investigate math ideas by using manipulatives, models, and pictures to represent quantities and concepts.  Allow your child to engage in meaningful play to dig into math problems. 

2. Talk to your child to gauge his/her background knowledge related to the problem at hand, and to help connect this background knowledge to new concepts.  Help your child make connections between mathematical operations.  For example, discuss how addition and subtraction are opposite operations because one can "undo" the other.  Finally, address relevance with your child: How might being able to solve this kind of math problem, or how will knowing this math concept be helpful in your child's life?

3. Help your child identify the "big ideas" in math by discussing the foundational understandings behind new concepts.  For example, help your child play with, identify and extend non-numerical patterns as a means of leading into numerical patterns.  Delve into what is important and why it is important. 

4. Work on quick recall of basic facts with your child.  This can be achieved in a variety of ways including playing games, using flash cards, reciting songs/poems, and more.  Refer to our WEB links for STUDENTS​ page for a listing of helpful numeracy websites.

5. Ask "Does your answer make sense?" as a means of spurring your child to use estimation to gauge the veracity of responses.  Practice rounding numbers, and using these rounded numbers to come up with reasonable estimates.

6. In real life, people use mental math to develop understandings of numbers, solve problems, and engage in flexible thinking.  Click here to visit a site listing a variety of mental math strategies you can work on at home.

7. When reading a math problem with your child, identify pertinent information, as well as which operation(s) to use to solve it.  To isolate pertinent information you may wish to cross off any "unnecessary" details, and circle key words.  See a listing of Math Key Words to help your child learn which operations to use. 

8. Help your child solve math problems in a variety of ways by experimenting with different solution techniques.  Explore using manipulatives, models, and pictures as means of solving problems.

9. To get your child to explain his/her math reasoning, ask How do you know?, Why does your answer work?  Does this make sense?  Is there a pattern?

10. Encourage your child to persist even when math is hard.  Explain that math is not all about memorization, but rather about application of understandings and reasoning.  That's what makes it hard at times, but that's also what makes it rewarding.  Using various conceptual understandings to determine a reasonable response is what mathematicians do!