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Math is Fun!

Math is all around us and we use it every day, often, without even realizing it. Having a solid foundation in math is critical for success, and helps to enhance the development of global competencies including communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, and global citizenship.

At the TDSB, we are committed to supporting students as they develop valuable math skills and want to help them become active participants in their learning. Finding new and innovative ways to connect with students and make learning fun is key to success. It’s important to use a variety of resources and technologies that actively engage students, and assist them with making real-life connections with mathematics.

Some Recent Changes

Recently, the Ministry of Education announced a greater focus on helping students move forward in their number sense development across the curriculum. Although the Renewed Math Strategy has been replaced with Focusing on Fundamental Mathematics, it is important to note that the mathematics curriculum is still the same. For the 2018/2019 school year, TDSB teachers of Grades 1-8, will continue to implement The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Mathematics, 2005.

Also recently released were two documents - The Fundamentals of Math: A Teacher’s Guide, and A Parent’s Guide to the Fundamentals of Math – Grades 1 to 8, both available on the Ministry site.

Improving Student Success in Mathematics

Over the years, TDSB teachers have continually built on strategies that develop and integrate strong number sense across the curriculum. Our instructional approach,

is based on the belief that students learn mathematics most effectively when they are given opportunities to investigate ideas and concepts through problem solving and are then guided carefully into an understanding of the mathematical principles involved. At the same time, it promotes a balanced program in mathematics. The acquisition of operational skills remains an important focus of the curriculum.” – The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Mathematics, 2005, page 4.

Our focus on balanced mathematics instruction while helping all students to move forward in their number sense development will continue, in addition to our focus on mathematics instruction that is effective and aligns with the principles of inclusive design. We will do this in part by continuing to enhance our capacity to: examine patterns of student success; implement effective interventions to barriers to access; respond to student voice; design instruction that is authentic and reflects the lived realities of our diverse students; engage families; and build leadership and instructional capacity by selecting from a range of appropriate interventions such as:

Balanced Mathematics Instruction
  • Use a three-part lesson framework to build conceptual and procedural understanding
  • Provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate their thinking and practice their skills
  • Use a variety of learning tools and materials
  • Incorporate appropriate technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics
  • Embed the seven mathematical processes (problem solving, reasoning and proving, reflecting, selecting tools and computational strategies, connecting and representing, and communicating) in the learning of mathematics
  • Integrate mental math strategies that enable students to think about mathematical relationships beyond the memorization of facts
  • Include a balance of instructional methods including play, exploration, investigation, direct instruction, and practice
Student Voice & Engagement
  • Teach through problem solving and inquiry
  • Engage students in mathematics experiences that are culturally responsive, relevant, and meaningful
  • Use student work and narrative to develop mathematical understanding and procedural fluency
  • Build safe and inclusive environments where risk taking, mistakes are part of the learning and student voice is valued and prominent
  • Use open questions, spiralling and parallel tasks to provide multiple entry points
Assessment & Evaluation
  • Provide ongoing and multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning
  • Differentiate assessment and evaluation so that it is fair, transparent and equitable
  • Collect evidence of student achievement for evaluation over time from 3 different sources: observations, conversations and student products
  • Use assessment to inform instruction, guide next steps, and help students monitor their progress towards achieving their learning goals
  • Provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful and timely to support improved learning and achievement
  • Use practices that are intentionally planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals
  • Share learning goals and co-construct success criteria with students
  • Develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning
  • Use TDSB approved diagnostic tools to determine student strengths and areas of need and to inform programming
Transdisciplinary Approaches
  • Use contexts from other subject disciplines to show connections in content
  • Promote a positive disposition towards mathematics in all disciplines
  • Make mathematics and numeracy connections explicit across disciplines
  • Provide opportunities for students to investigate, inquire about and use mathematics across various disciplines (STEM)
  • Fuse financial literacy contexts to develop critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
Effective Transition Practices
Grade - to - Grade & Cross-Panel Collaboration at School/Learning Network/Learning Centre
  • Value and acknowledge that students bring mathematical thinking and skills at every transition point
  • Establish transition committees to facilitate teacher collaboration
  • Facilitate student/teacher/parent conversations around appropriate pathways
  • Participate in job-embedded professional learning opportunities focusing on the continuum of learning and teaching mathematics
Supporting Mathematics Learning
We all play a role in students’ success.Here are some helpful resources for both parents and students, to support mathematics learning outside of the classroom.

Math Websites for Kindergarten to Grade 12

MYSP Guide
Our Mission
To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and well-being
and to acquire the knowledge, skills
and values they need to become responsible, contributing members of
a democratic and sustainable society.
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