Integrated Math Curriculum
RightStart Mathematics meets the needs of every student by incorporating opportunities for student participation, discovery learning, and the use of multi-sensory materials and math games in each lesson.
Visualization and Strategies with the Cotter AL Abacus
An important part of math is visualizing, or the ability to see in one’s mind. A visual image is more permanent, needs less review to maintain, and can be a springboard for related facts. The Cotter AL Abacus helps the student mentally visualize quantities and processes, thus reducing the need for rote memorization.
RightStart Mathematics teaches a variety of strategies and intervention programs to help the student develop a stronger understanding of the relationships and connections between math concepts. When students use these strategies, they can explain the process, solve a problem, and use critical thinking skills, without having to memorize facts and procedures.
“Math needs to be taught so 95 percent is understood and only 5 percent memorized.”
– Richard Skemp, major pioneer in mathematics education
Place value is the cornerstone of modern arithmetic. It organizes numbers in such a way that it lessens the load on a student’s working memory. To work efficiently with large quantities, students need to grasp the structure of numbers, both in written and word form. RightStart Math uses the Cotter AL Abacus and place value cards to help students deepen their understanding and application of place value.
The linear fraction model gives a comprehensive view of fractions. When students use the linear fraction chart, they can easily see that fractions are one or more equal parts of a whole, or one or more equal parts of a group. They can also be viewed as division of two whole numbers, as a location on a number line and as a ratio of two numbers.
Student Participation and Discovery Learning
Because there is a direct correlation between student participation and positive student achievement, each lesson in RightStart Math incorporates active participation and discovery-based learning promoting interest, student engagement, understanding, and problem solving.
Visualizing is an important part of learning mathematics. Effective, well-thought-out, hands-on materials help students discover and understand mathematical ideas. Concrete-representation-abstract learning is a successful evidence-based method of teaching mathematics. One key multi-sensory material RightStart Math uses is the Cotter AL Abacus. It is designed to help students see, work with, and learn quantities, place value, and math fact strategies. More than 20 purpose-driven manipulatives are used in the RightStart Math curriculum.
Games are to math just like books are to reading. Games provide an engaging opportunity for students to practice what they are learning. Most lessons include at least one math card game students can play to reinforce math concepts. Teachers can use games as informal and formative assessment to provide ongoing feedback on their learning progress.