Classes all over PMFS are diving into math. We observe students using the concrete-pictoral-abstract progression to aid their understanding of topics.

Click here to learn more about the scope and sequence of the PMFS school-wide Math curriculum, Math in Focus.

Mathematics in Primary centers on building a core understanding of numbers, shapes, and patterns as well as developing mathematical thinking such as how numbers can be manipulated to solve basic and critical-thinking problems. We expect Sixth Graders to be challenged to think about numbers flexibly, but that flexibility in manipulating numbers takes place just as much in the younger grades.

**First Grade** students from both Primary classes join daily for targeted Math instruction. The pictorial and abstract representations from *Math in Focus* are combined with essential hands-on work with math manipulatives and open-ended work with clipboards and pencils. Right now they’re working on patterns and number bonds, or using two and three numbers to show parts and whole.

**Second Graders** are exploring numbers to 1,000, counting with base-ten blocks and using a place value chart. Students worked in pairs, with one working with place-value charts to concretely manipulate numbers using Digi-Blocks and the other writing the number in expanded, standard (or abstract), and spelled-out forms on a white board.

Following the **Third Grade** *Math in Focus* curriculum, math lessons also draw from teacher-developed materials and interdisciplinary work based on classroom themes. This week, Third Graders were introduced to the big concept of mental math and are reviewing number bonds, rounding to the nearest ten, estimation, and other concepts that help students solve big problems in their heads. They’ll work up to rounding numbers to the nearest hundred as well as identifying when a real-world problem requires an estimate or an exact answer.

**Fourth Grade** began the year by considering how numbers fit together and the relationship between numbers. In line with the progression of *Math in Focus*, Fourth Graders are looking at patterns and inferring rules to complete the patterns. Students are discovering the interesting notion that people can see different patterns in the same numbers, through a series of activities and homework assignments.

**Fifth Grade** spent time this week reviewing place value, using whiteboards to solve a series of problems. (

Click here to try your hand at one problem and

click here for the answer when you’re done). As the example shows, students quickly move between visual representations, word problems and mathematical solutions. Working in the

*Math in Focus* curriculum, students develop a broad repertoire of different problem-solving strategies as well as necessary and productive habits of mind, which include patience, persistence, intellectual risk-taking, flexibility, and accuracy.

**Sixth Grade** is building on what they just learned in math about number lines and intervals, applying and connecting their learnings in a variety of ways. This week, they drew a large number line across the length of the blacktop starting the line at 2500 BCE and running to the present, connecting math and their Social Studies unit on time. They also began measuring the entire blacktop and will replicate it to scale on paper in the classroom. They’re moving into factors now, in keeping with the scope and sequence of *Math in Focus*, where they’re being challenged to think about numbers flexibly and really see into the numbers, all in preparation for manipulation of numbers in algebra and success in Seventh Grade and beyond.