Welcome to 4th grade MATH!
4th Grade Math
TVS Lower School utilizes enVisionMath 2.0 as the foundation of our math curriculum. The instructional model is clear, research based, and fun! Plus there are many digital resources that will come in handy (an online textbook) and keep your child engaged (visual learning animations & online games).
What is the core instructional model for enVisionMath 2.0?
In recent years, there has been much research showing the effectiveness of problem-based teaching and learning. It is clear from this research that problem-based learning is THE best vehicle for developing expertise with mathematical practices. The enVisionmath program is based on this type of instruction, introducing math in the context of solving a real problem in which ideas related to the new content are embedded. Students will have many opportunities to connect their thinking through high cognitive level classroom conversations that are linked to, or directly relate to, the concepts being taught. Rich, real-world problems are provided throughout the lessons, prompting the kind of thinking needed to be a good problem solver. A key element to the program is a series of visual illustrations (called the Visual Learning Bridge) that connects students' thinking and classroom discussions about problem solving to the new mathematical ideas presented in the lesson. It doesn't take research to know that students perform better on procedural skills when the procedures make sense to them! Much of my focus this year will be on strengthening the students' number sense in order to do more calculations mentally. This level of mathematical fluency is greatly supported in the enVisionMath program.
How can I help my child at home?
The number one thing you can do at home is encourage fluency of math facts. Help your child memorize their math facts (or refresh their memory of them!) two to three times per week. Ask them facts in the car, while waiting in line, or while cooking dinner. If they are having trouble with a few facts, zero in on these by placing sticky notes of the fact on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator, or on the bedroom door. Having a solid foundation of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts will help them tremendously in 4th grade (and throughout their school career). I can't stress this enough!
What about homework?
My plan is to do 90% of the math lessons and practice in the classroom. Any work that comes home will be a practice page that was not finished during classroom time. If your child needs additional help, there are many resources available through the enVisionMath 2.0 website (such as videos showing how to do the problem). I'd also suggest that your child review the pages we worked on in class in both the textbook and math notebook. Finally, if your child is truly struggling, please just have him or her stop and write me a little note. The last thing we want is for anyone to be miserable! I will make sure to review the skill or concept individually with your child the next day in class.
What if my child already knows the math being taught?
Another resource available to the students is Khan Academy. If your child needs more challenging work, I can create an account in Khan Academy and link it to my account as the "Coach." Khan Academy is an amazing website for students who are motivated and excited about math, and want to advance at their own pace. The site features introductory videos, lessons, games, exercises, quizzes and tests from elementary math through college calculus. I will receive weekly reports from Khan Academy detailing the students' progress, and can give them individualized tests aimed at assessing their mastery of whatever skill they are currently working on.
What about tests?
I always aim to give as much advance notice about upcoming tests as possible. It will never be a mystery as to what is on the tests! Reviews for tests are very specific, following the same general format as the actual test. I suggest students study a little bit each night to prepare if necessary, always going back over the lessons from the workbook and notes taken in their math notebook. I am more than happy to hold individual or group reteaching lessons anytime! If I am noticing that your child needs a little extra help, they will have ample opportunity to meet with me and get the help they need to be successful come test time.
I am beginning my 19th year of teaching fourth grade math at TVS, and am looking forward to another amazing year of intellectual, emotional, and physical growth from our students!