It is commonly believed that you are either good or bad at Math. There is no in-between. At WISS, we prefer to say that Math is all about understanding, and it’s for everybody. Math at WISS is taught through developing conceptual understanding strategies emphasizing the learning process and integrating skills development. Memorizing and symbol manipulation are important but not essential in our teaching practices focused on thinking processes and understanding.
Learning Math through transdisciplinary connections offers WISS students a methodical understanding of how Math can be applied in our daily lives, at times even without realizing it. What differentiates Math in the IB programme is its integration of transdisciplinary learning focused on inquiry-based knowledge acquisition. Students at WISS are encouraged to become independent thinkers, develop their understanding of subject matter and apply mathematics to real-world situations.
Recently, WISS hosted a Math Workshop offering parents the opportunity to better understand how Mathematics is integrated throughout the IB programs from the Early Years to Secondary at WISS.
Early Years parents experienced a hands-on approach participating in interactive Match activities. Teachers prepared a variety of resources that would allow parents to discover essential mathematical concepts through practical tasks, questioning, and prompts.
In Early Years, Math and Language development are interwoven as children explore learning through games, rhymes, poems, stories, play, conversations, mark-making, drawing, problem-solving, reasoning, counting, patterning, and sequencing. These activities build a solid mathematical foundation that is essential for continued success in development in Mathematics.
In the Primary Years Programme, WISS students explore various fields in mathematics such as numbers, shapes, exploring three-dimensional space, measurements, pattern identification, and data collection. Primary parents who attended the workshop explored how students discover and investigate mathematical concepts that encourage and nurture critical thinking, apply their mathematical knowledge in various settings, and build a foundation for higher-level reasoning and problem-solving.
At the Western International School of Shanghai, we strive to create opportunities where students are emersed in an environment that balances learning new concepts and linking them to real-world situations. The Secondary Math Department encourages students to explore solutions to problems and be able to fully explain their process and the strategies they applied to reach conclusions.
Ju Hee, Head of Mathematics at WISS, shares that our assessment of student development and learning is designed to credit students for showing the thought process involved in reaching a conclusion. This approach to learning help prepare students for entering the IB Diploma Programme and Career-related programme in grade 11 and 12. Students embark on their IBDP journey with a better understanding of mathematical concepts and real-life problem-solving.
Though involving parents in the WISS learning experience provides parents the opportunity to build a stronger connection between school and home as they develop a better understanding of how they can support their children with math learning at home in a fun and practical way Creating and highlighting opportunities for children to explore math in everyday life, encourages them to learn how to connect, transfer and apply meaning in different contexts. Look at these ideas on how to do Math at home with your kids.
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