Curious about how students at Rooftop are learning math? The GreatSchools.org website recently featured a useful article for parents: How is your child’s school teaching math?

Is your child’s class learning “old” math or “new” math, “Everyday math” or “drill and kill?” Does your child’s homework look like nothing you were ever asked to do?  Don’t panic — though 2 times 2 is still 4, the way many schools teach math has changed since our school days. From teacher-led classes to student-centric approaches, here are some of the popular — and perhaps unfamiliar — curricula, with unique problem-solving strategies and teaching techniques, you may need to understand to help your child succeed.

At Burnett campus, in particular, the math curriculum is based on the “Everyday Math” principal, as described below.

Finally, another useful resource at the GreatSchools site is Math tips for every grade – “Too many kids get math-phobic as they get older. Here’s how to keep your child passionate about math from kindergarten through high school.”

Everyday Math

One of the most widely used “reform” math curricula, it’s a blend of teacher-supported and student-centered instruction. Everyday Math focuses on building kids’ conceptual knowledge with hands-on activities, oral practice, and math games that link math to daily life while reducing emphasis on procedural knowledge and memorizing math facts. Skills are built and revisited over time, in what is known as a “spiral approach.”

What it looks like: Most days, math class is split between the teacher’s lessons, when kids listen and learn together, and small group or individual activities, when kids can learn through projects, games, hands-on activities, and work on open-ended problem-solving. There are also daily drills and mental math practice, as well as a daily review called “math boxes.” Communication is key, and students are encouraged to share their thought process and explain their math thinking so they can verbalize what they’re learning and learn from one another. And math games aren’t just filler or fun – they’re threaded throughout the daily lessons and considered a big part of your child’s learning.

Homework: You may not recognize your child’s math homework, but this curriculum at least tries to keep parents up to speed. (Still, many a parent has expressed frustration.) At the start of every unit, there’s a parent letter to help support classroom learning. In addition to explaining what will be covered, these letters explain math games to play with your child and provide an answer key for all of the unit’s nightly homework. And, since Everyday Math embraces smart use of tools and technology, using a calculator is almost always A-OK — and if it’s not, your child’s homework will have a no-calculator icon.