math connections

Our minds, by nature, make connections.  Like the silk of a spider, we send a cognitive thread from one point to another, bridging the conceptual distance between what is foreign and what is familiar.  Our webs of understanding are shaped by this accumulation of experiences called relational memory. 


Every day I have the privilege of watching children acquire new knowledge through the perceptual filter of their previous experiences.  Their eyes light up in wonder of the world around them and new information is treasured like a piece to an exciting puzzle.  They use prior knowledge to find how it fits in with what they already know.


When given the opportunity to learn through discovery, kids not only develop a love for education, but also gain a more complex understanding of the content.

In our most recent math studies, the third grade students have eagerly been exploring fractions.  With manipulatives in hand, the children have worked together to connect their knowledge of number sequences and fractional parts to the idea of equivalent portions.  With differentiated tasks, small groups have tested their theories about how a divided whole can be represented and how it relates to other components of math. 


In our integrated environment subject areas have no borders.  Once math time is “over”, I continue to see my students synthesize the pieces from our lesson into their every day routines.  They use mathematic vocabulary in everyday language to measure time and space, program robots, interact on the playground, and explain the world around them. 

A solid educational foundation isn’t established by rote memory or test-taking strategies, but by connecting ideas to one another and immersing learners in the process.





Julianna Bowen

During our geography unit, third graders learned about representations of real places using maps and globes.  While learning the terminology, students applied their new knowledge in several fun activities.   They enjoyed making pirate treasure maps, using Google Earth to find familiar places and examine famous landmarks, and creating globes with pumpkins.  These activities naturally incorporated elements from math and language by using coordinates and writing extensions.  They learned so much through memorable, hands-on, interactive participation, and they had fun every step of the way!

Julianna Bowen
Reading Challenges

We’re back to school and getting into the swing of our routine. The Lower School students and teachers are excited about their new book reading challenge. First, second, and third grade classes are competing to see who can read the most books in the grading period. In order for a book to count toward the challenge, it must be an appropriate reading level for the student and read in addition to the child’s regular coursework. Upon completing the book, students fill out a book review and turn it into their teacher. The teachers then provide the student with a paper book cutout to decorate for the bulletin board in the Lower School common area. The strings are filling up quickly as students are eager to win the competition for their class. In addition to the class winners, the top three individuals will get to go on an afternoon date with the Lower School teachers. We are excited about all the extra reading we are seeing in our building. The kids are gaining fluency and stamina while exposing themselves to new vocabulary and content that will boost comprehension skills and general knowledge. We are thrilled about their enthusiasm!

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savannah jarratt