Welcome to the Math In Focus Support Site.
We're piloting the uploading of video at the fourth grade level, hoping that it's useful for parents.
We'd love to hear any feedback you might have!
Math in Focus 4th Grade Long Division (see attachments for handout):
Some notes from the October, 2011 B.E.S.T. meeting about "Math-In-Focus":
WHY ARE WE DOING THE NEW MATH-IN-FOCUS PROGRAM?
We want you ALL to attend our meeting November 3, 6-7:30pm to learn more about Math-In-Focus, but here are a few pieces of information that you will find helpful in handling our new math program:
* In 2011, only 52% of our kids were proficient in math. The staff is NOT okay with this lack of achievement. Also, the teachers see a lack of connection and deep thinking on the part of kids about math, which is partially based on the math programs that were in place in the past. (This is a BVSD-wide problem, and is not isolated to our school.) So, there is a definite identified NEED FOR CHANGE.
* BVSD came to Birch and asked us to pilot this new math program. Why? We have change so much over the past few years, really focusing on the CHILD. The focus was on TEACHING, and now the focus at Birch is on LEARNING and the CHILD.
* Math In Focus (MIF) = Singapore Math, and is directly related to the Common Core Standards.
* Quote from Mr. Butler, 3rd grade teacher: “This program is concrete. It is the strongest foundation that I have ever taught. Kids who struggle are getting it. Kids who were model students are getting it in a major way that they weren’t getting it before MIF. We approach each math lesson as a vocabulary lesson. Our kids are finally doing in 3rd grade what kids around the world are doing in 3rd grade.” There was a strong focus in this conversation about being part of a global community.
* Mrs. Peters, 5th grade teacher, reported that the 4th and 5th grade teachers are seeing more holes while they are teaching their lessons. They said that this program is so well designed, that it is very easy to backtrack and figure out where the foundation for the holes they are seeing began. They, then go back to the the grade level that began that foundation, teach the foundation, and get back to the 5th grade material.
* What about middle school? Our kids are going to problem solve so much better and use visuals that the other kids won’t have. They are going to be well prepared for middle school.
* HOMEWORK GUIDANCE: Your child’s homework should be an easy review of what they did in the classroom that day. They should NOT need help with it. If you feel like they need help, do NOT teach them how to do the problem – this might undo what the teachers taught them earlier in the day. Instead, ask them questions: What do you do next? What strategy could you use? If that doesn’t work, and your child really doesn’t know what to do on the homework, TALK TO YOUR TEACHER IMMEDIATELY. Send them an email, or put a note on the homework & send it back undone!