Summit School of Ahwatukee Mathematics inspires deep understanding, critical thinking and confidence in Preschool through Eighth Grade
Summit School of Ahwatukee mathematics curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students who have varying backgrounds, knowledge and skills. The three main goals of the program are to develop mathematical skills, to foster an attitude toward mathematics that encourages subsequent learning and application of mathematical concepts and skills, and to prepare students for high school, college and careers that will require a strong mathematical foundation.
Summit’s Core Standards for Mathematics are based on Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, Mathematical Practices and Math Progressions. These standards define what is to be learned by the end of a school year or course. The math curriculum, materials and activities are developed by educators, aligned to the standards, focused on important math skills and concepts, well-articulated across all grades and intended to be responsive to the unique needs and interests of Summit School of Ahwatukee students.
Using research-based activities from the Erikson Institute’s Big Ideas in Early Mathematics, preschool students develop strong foundational numeracy skills that align with Summit Core Standards. Numeracy is embedded daily in all core content areas, and is also introduced through large and small group activities.
Foundational skills and concepts are taught using Math Expressions (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
Foundational skills are extended to prepare students for success in Pre-Algebra and Algebra using Digits (Pearson).
Coursework is sequenced to prepare students for success in high school mathematics using Pre-Algebra, Algebra and Geometry texts (McDougall Littell).
At Summit School of Ahwatukee, our mathematics classes foster an environment where students are seen as mathematicians and leaders. Each class, or mathematical community, encourages mathematical discussion among the students. In our math classrooms, students communicate their thinking, analyze the suggestions of others, justify their conclusions, respectfully debate a mathematical idea and defend their reasoning. Participating in these types of discussions allows our students to further develop their mathematical language and communication skills, take ownership of mathematical ideas and gain a deeper understanding of the mathematics being discussed. Our lively and enthusiastic math classes create an environment where students understand the importance of mathematics in their life and future careers.
Throughout the school year, students at Summit are being assessed, formally and informally, to identify their mathematical strengths and areas for improvement. For example, at the beginning of each math unit, each student completes a pre-assessment that assesses the mathematical concepts for the upcoming math unit. The data from the pre-assessment enables the teacher to identify which specific skills each student has already grasped, the skills to which they need more exposure and concepts the students have not yet been introduced. Identifying the students’ prior knowledge allows each teacher to differentiate the unit’s lessons according to the students’ needs.
In addition, students are frequently informally assessed during math lessons so that the teacher can adjust future lessons according to what each student needs further practice or instruction.
Assessments are an important component of Summit’s mathematics program as the formative and summative assessments provide teachers, students and parents with feedback on each child’s mathematical progress and growth.
Another central component of Summit School of Ahwatukee’s mathematics program is differentiation. Our teachers provide learning opportunities that keep each student’s individual academic needs, interests, learning style and readiness in mind in order to ensure productive student growth. For example, when a student needs to be challenged with a specific math concept, Summit teachers will provide enrichment activities for that student. Enrichment activities and flexible grouping strategies allow students to expand their learning by studying the particular concept in more depth, and applying the math skills to new situations. Activities that involve accelerating students into above grade level textbooks or out of grade level groups are not used in Summit’s elementary classes as students in these grades are developing a strong mathematics foundation so that they will experience success in later mathematics courses.
Summit students are given opportunities to reinforce classroom math learning at home, beginning in kindergarten. Our home learning assignments support and enhance our academic instructional programs. Math home learning assignments typically include two components: practice and application of current math concepts being studied, and cumulative review of previously taught math concepts. The math home learning assignments are not only beneficial to the students but to parents as well. Communicating with your child as they complete their assignment, or after they complete it, gives a parent an understanding of how the child is doing mathematically.
Because we value family and leisure time, most of Summit home learning is designed to take place four nights per normal week, Monday through Thursday, and not on weekends, holidays or breaks.