Early Childhood Division

Our Distinctive Approach to Math Across Languages

Math Norms in Early Childhood
Math Norms in Early Childhood

Since last school year, we have been working to refine and implement a math curriculum that combines the advantages of learning and teaching mathematics from both Chinese and American languages and cultures. The philosophy the teachers follow in implementing this math curriculum also aligns with our CAIS mission (Embrace Chinese, Become our best selves, and Contribute to a better world). Our math norms are displayed in the classroom:

  1. Brains change and grow
  2. Speed is not the most important thing
  3. Our brains think about math visually
  4. Believe in yourself
  5. Mistakes are powerful

To equip teachers to fully implement this math curriculum, Chinese and English curriculum directors, Cindy Chiang and Cristina Calcagno, have been tirelessly working on planning, developing, and engaging our teachers in inspirational cross-language collaboration around three exciting new math instructional goals: Number Talks, Math Games, and Rich Tasks. With their grade-level partners, the math curriculum consultant, and our curriculum directors, the teachers develop the lessons that:

  • make our students explain their thinking (yes! in both languages, Chinese and English),
  • use visuals and math manipulatives (most of the time, students create these visuals and manipulatives) to develop the understanding behind the algorithms, and
  • combine memorization and understanding, making each one stronger in learning and solving the complex math concepts and problems.