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At C.H. Best MS, we offer a rich, student-centred mathematics program for grades 5-8, with a strong focus on inquiry learning and problem solving. In each grade, teachers cover a variety of topics and skills from the five math strands of the Ontario math curriculum: Number Sense and Numeration, Patterning and Algebra, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Measurement, and Data Management. We integrate math into several subject areas, such as Literacy, Science, Design and Technology and the Arts, in order to create real-life, engaging learning opportunities for our students. We incorporate the use of concrete objects and manipulatives so that students can represent their thinking visually and construct models. We also regularly integrate the use of technology, such as virtual manipulatives and math games with our interactive whiteboards (e.g., Smartboard, Promethean board), iPads and laptops.

Math Processes

Teachers encourage students to discuss and share their strategies with each other so that they are exposed to many different ideas and ways of viewing or solving a problem. Students develop and use the math processes as they build and expand their mathematical knowledge through inquiry learning. By focusing on the seven math processes, teachers are helping their students to become better mathematical thinkers and communicators. These processes are:

Representing, Reasoning and Proving, Connecting, Reflecting, Selecting Tools and Strategies, Communicating, and Problem Solving.

Communication in Math

Our teachers encourage math talk in their classroom. We ask questions to invoke meaningful discussions and the use of higher-order thinking skills. Students are asked to explain, justify, and describe their answers or ideas. We work hard to create a learning environment where students feel comfortable to take academic risks and make errors because the correction and understanding of those errors helps drive real learning in math. Teachers also ask students to express their mathematical knowledge in writing. This requires students to organize their answers clearly and to explain their thinking as much as they can. They often work with a partner or in a group to generate ideas, articulate their thoughts and talk about their strategies so that they can have a better sense of how to communicate their answers.

Teachers also use tools such as math journals, graphic organizers, and iPads to help students communicate their understanding.

How To Help Out At Home

You can help your child by asking them to explain what they are learning about in math, checking how their homework is going and seeing if they have any questions. You can also try to incorporate mathematical discussions and problem solving into your everyday life (e.g., at the store, at the bank, preparing a recipe for dinner, planning for a trip, etc.). Invite them to explain, prove, and justify their answers to you orally. 

The following websites also offer helpful tips and resources for helping your child in math:

1. Ontario Ministry of Education, Parent Guide (2014):

2. Homework Tips:

3. Videos (click on Numeracy):

4. Online Tools:

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