Math Power Hour in Action
This blog post is from our Principal, Mrs. Pam Krason, regarding her observations over the past few months regarding Math Programming at Braemar.
“I had the pleasure of spending time in every classroom over the winter, watching and participating in our Math Power Hour classes. These classroom evaluations gave me further insight into our Math Program. Additionally, I was so excited to witness the student responses to their math class.
During these visits I saw students engaged with teacher directed lessons and then moving to partner / small group work with hands on exploration to further explore the newly acquired math concept. The students then demonstrated their knowledge with independent seat work. Within these Power Hours the students were focusing not just on a new math concept, but also on strengthening their basic math skills. The students worked and persevered as they practiced and strengthened their math fluency. Logic Puzzles, Online Enrichment Math exams, Classroom Economies and relevant real life projects also happened during these math blocks. It was fantastic to see how the math program transitions between grades and builds upon previously learned curriculum. Many of these Math Power Hour classes ran longer than the 60 minutes.
On a regular basis, I see how teachers are using mathematics across other subjects as well. Through creative hands on projects, the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) lessons are happening. It is a wonderful way to demonstrate the everyday relevance of many subjects together!
Fundamental math skills have always been a major focus of Braemar’s Math Programming. We understand that in addition to collaborative work and inquiry based learning these fundamental skills are crucial for math success.
We have seen evidence of older students joining us at Braemar over the past 5 years from other schools (both public and private) and seeing how they relied heavily on the use of calculators to do their daily math work,as well as seeing a gap in their math knowledge. They were heavily dependent on the calculator to support their basic daily work. We know that as the students transition into high school, they are not always allowed to use calculators in Math classes. We know that calculators do have a place in math, however the students do need to learn and utilize their basic math skills regularly and then use the calculator as a tool, like they would use a pencil or computer. They need to understand the relationship between numbers and processes to follow when working within the subject of mathematics. We want them to be able to do math questions without relying upon a tool to support them.
After my time in our classrooms, I have witnessed the effectiveness of the Math Power Hour. Math is scheduled in the morning when students are at their best and the work being done on a daily basis is strong and relevant for the students. Despite being called Math Power Hour, the students work beyond the 60 minutes in the area of Mathematics regularly, and the teachers are incorporating math into other subjects.
Once I had wrapped up the evaluations I was excited to share my feedback with our community. I am proud of the creative ways the staff get the students engaged within lessons, the hands on opportunities and the results of these programs.
Well Done Braemar!”