Joy & health to you all summer long!

Math Philosophy and Practice


It’s July. Why are the teachers pictured here, and two more joining via the computer, gathered? Because they chose to spend a week pulling together the strands of the NBS math curriculum into a powerful statement of philosophy and a detailed overview of how that philosophy is put into practice, whether the students are 5 or 14 or somewhere in between. 

NBS Philosophy on Mathematics

“The goal of the NBS Math Program across the grades is to create resilient problem-solvers who can apply mathematical ideas to real-life situations.  Throughout our program, students are encouraged to develop multiple strategies.  In the elementary years, much of the NBS curriculum is designed to build a strong foundation of number sense.  Students expand on that foundation in upper grade levels to discover, construct, and experience increasingly complex concepts through Algebra 1 and, for some, Geometry. Our emphasis on independent and flexible thinking serves our students well as they move on to high school math classes.”

NBS Philosophy in Practice* at all levels of math instruction:

  1. Students make sense of what a problem is asking and persevere, working independently and with groups to arrive at answers. They learn to accept that mistakes are part of problem-solving.
  2. Students can solve problems in more than one way.
  3. Students can explain their math thinking and attempt to make sense of others’ math thinking.
  4. Teachers use hands-on and real-world tasks to help students see the math in everyday life.
  5. Teachers make appropriate tools available, and students know how to choose and use them to solve a given math problem.
  6. Students increase their store of benchmark facts each year and use those automatic facts and available resources to work carefully and check their work.
  7. Students use what they know to solve new problems.
  8. Students solve problems by looking for and recognizing patterns.

*Based on 5 NCTM Process Standards and 8 CCSS Mathematical Practices.

The NBS math curriculum at all levels is based on Virginia’s state standards.  Rather than following one curriculum, teachers find and create resources that effectively engage students based on their needs for support and stretch.

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