In kindergarten ACCS supplements its Success For All math curriculum with the Saxon Math 1st grade edition. Saxon Math is a systematic and sequential program that continually reviews previously learned concepts. It uses an “incremental approach” toward instruction by dividing information into smaller, more easily grasped pieces called increments. A new increment is presented each day and students work only a few problems involving the new material. The remaining homework consists of practice problems involving concepts previously introduced in order to keep the information fresh and active in the student’s mind. All new concepts are developed through hands-on activities and rich mathematical conversations that actively engage students in the learning process. Concepts are developed, reviewed, and practiced over time. Every assignment (and every test) is a cumulative review of all material covered up to that point.
In mathematics instruction, Albany Community Charter School uses Harcourt Math. Harcourt Math is a research-based, complete and comprehensive math program for 1st through 6th grade. It was written to provide thorough coverage of state and national standards and to provide teachers the flexibility to customize the program for state and local courses of study. Like our ELA program, ACCS uses a NYS edition aligned with state standards. Harcourt Math was designed to help build conceptual understanding, skill proficiency, problem solving facility, and logical reasoning while carefully developing concepts within and across the mathematics strands.
It focuses on effective learning processes and instructional strategies that are essential for success in a wide range of learners. These processes and strategies include:
Explicit Instruction – prior knowledge is activated and direct instruction takes place. Guided practice transitions to independent work. Concepts, skills, or strategies are applied, and assessment follows.
Conceptual Understanding – Visual Representation and Modeling promote students’ abilities to make generalizations: hands- on learning and step by step models link concrete experiences to abstract representations and promote students’ abilities to make generalizations.
Assessment Aligned with Intervention – Assess each student’s prerequisite skills knowledge in preparation for chapter instruction. Identify those who need information. Allow for individualized instruction and re-teaching. Assess – the feature in each lesson – provides feedback and closure.