We know that students thrive when they understand why math works as they are practicing how it works-- so we start at the beginning, with the concept of number, and build from there, one axiom at a time.
We believe that arithmetic, being a set of short-cuts, is easy to understand after you know a little algebra. So we teach a little algebra first. That way arithmetic, from fractions and percent to long-division, is a snap.
We make extensive use of story-telling (usually historical, but sometimes whimsical) to show the motivation for new mathematical ideas.
We use visual and tactile approaches to the material whenever possible, because these methods often reveal an idea in ways a purely intellectual approach cannot.
We find it is not the math itself that is intimidating, but the language in which it is written. Worse yet, much of math language isn’t written at all—it is “understood”. So we take care to teach the student to read the invisible stuff.
Because math is a visual language, legibility is essential,
so we teach the benefits of a well-formatted written presentation, along with the indispensability of a good drawing.
Problem solving is the heart of mathematics, so we introduce it as soon as possible. We teach many different approaches: solving the same problem many different ways is often more instructive than solving many problems all the same way.
These measures promote confidence, and we know ...
confidence is the bottom line.
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