GWLUFSD follows the Engage NY Math Modules for our curriculum and we utilize the Singapore Math strategies which entails a slightly different mathematical approach than what you may be used to. It revolves around several number-sense strategies:
1. Building numbers sense through part-whole thinking
2. Understanding place value
3. Breaking numbers into decomposed parts, ones that are easier to work with in the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division)
When it comes to word problems, it relies on model drawing, which uses units to visually represent a word problem. Students learn to visualize what a word problem is saying so they can understand the meaning and thus how to solve the problem.
Another component of Singapore math is mental math, which teaches students to calculate their heads without using pencil and paper. It also teaches students to understand math concepts in stages, beginning with concrete (using manipulatives such as counters, number disks, dice, etc), then moving on to pictorial (solving problems where pictures are involved), and finally working in the abstract (where numbers represent symbolic values).
Through this program, students learn numerous strategies to work with numbers and build conceptual understanding.