Balanced Math at Glen Acres

  • At GAE, math instruction is comprised of five components. Our common goal is to help children think mathematically and apply problem solving strategies to real life situations.

    What is “Balanced Math”? A balanced (deliberate design of instruction and assessment) program is designed to produce mathematically powerful students – students who can solve problems and also communicate their understanding to others.

    1. Computational Skills, Math Review & Mental Math:

    • Emphasize the development of number sense.
    • Practice procedural mathematics and computational skills every day.
    • Practice computing problems mentally.
    • Investigations:  Quick Images, classroom routines and/or ten-minute math, and teacher resources.

    2. Problem Solving:

    • Provide structures for problem-solving activities related to a current unit focus. 
    • Gives students opportunity to communicate their mathematical thinking through words, pictures, and/or numbers.
    • Investigations is problem solving based.  (Other resources include Study Island, The Problem Solver, and teacher resources.)

    3. Conceptual Understanding:

    • Identify particular grade-level topics that are essential for student understanding.  (based on district and state math standards)
    • Topic becomes focus of conceptual math unit.
    • Align instruction with end-of-unit assessment.

    4. Mastery of Math Facts:

    • Fact recall through student understanding of patterns.
    • Program of accountability enabling all students to learn their facts by the end of elementary school.

    5. Common Formative Assessment:

    • Align school-based assessment for learning to math Power Standards.
    • Provides teachers with valid feedback as to students’ current understanding of Power Standards in focus.
    • Could include:  performance assessments, Study Island benchmarking, District performance assessments, and teacher prepared assessments.