Children at every developmental level engage in the discovery of mathematics through the inquiry and investigation of interesting problems. LREI students collaborate on solving worthwhile problems that have rich mathematical underpinnings. Problems can be solved on a variety of levels, have multiple entry-points, and therefore are accessible to all students in a class.
A good problem is defined as not having a predetermined solution pathway. A worthwhile task, or problem, will often open the door to other interesting conjectures and theories, and will support an emerging mathematical habit of mind. Throughout each unit of study, students develop and maintain computational fluency. Students are instilled with an enthusiasm for mathematical challenges and the open-endedness of mathematical inquiry. Our students develop perseverance and a sense of ownership of mathematics. Students achieve genuine understanding when they actively construct knowledge rather than passively absorb and when they use it to solve problems rather than memorize facts and formulae.
Students throughout the divisions learn through inquiry, collaboration, and small group work. Emphasis is placed on the student-led exploration and communication of mathematics in written, oral, graphic and symbolic forms. Students are encouraged to clearly describe, explain and support their findings with valid evidence. They use mathematics-related software and other technology to deepen their investigations of mathematical concepts and communicate their understanding more efficiently.
Consistent with LREI’s philosophy, the mathematics department values creativity and critical thinking, as well as risk taking when problem solving is a means to confront life’s challenges and variables. Our students understand that mathematics has the power to model the world around us on multiple levels. Projects and problems, offered in math classes, have relevance to students and their lives. Independent mathematical thinking fostered throughout the grades prepares students to choose from a variety of math electives in the higher grades.