Learning Math

The math program at St. Thomas’s Day School is designed to help students meet the demands of the fast-paced, ever-changing world that we live in. It focuses on developing skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication of ideas, through real-world applications and practice. In addition, the program promotes deep, conceptual understanding of number sense and the relationship between numbers. Students learn to attempt problems in a variety of ways using critical, strategic reasoning. They also learn to manipulate equations in order to simplify or solve them. These skills and activities foster perseverance and creative problem-solving skills.

To address the needs of all learners in the group and to ensure that students have a solid understanding of concepts, Lower School math is taught using a variety of techniques, including direct teaching, problem-solving, rote practice, math games/activities, and computer programs. The goal is to build a solid foundation of math skills that will support and promote understanding and success with higher-level skills that will be introduced in the future, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Strong number sense and a deep conceptual understanding of how numbers work will give students the confidence they need to attempt more complicated equations. They will also prepare students for a world in which they will be required to identify problems and strategically think through different solutions depending on the circumstances.

The Lower School math curriculum focuses on the following areas:

  • Developing understanding and fluency of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Developing strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including base-ten notation
  • Developing understanding of fractions
  • Developing understanding of and using standard units of measurement
  • Composing and decomposing geometric shapes
  • Describing and analyzing geometric shapes
  • Developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area
  • Developing understanding of time and money
  • Interpreting graphs and data