Lower School Teachers Share Updates to Mastery-Based Math Program

Lower School Teachers Share Updates to Mastery-Based Math Program
Emily Storms

The Lower School Math Team, led by STEM Coordinator and Teacher Development Specialist Melissa Blanco, shared updates on their mastery-based approach at our recent all-staff meeting. Our team was so impressed by their work that we wanted to share about it here. 

Our Math Team has split students' work time into two main parts: goal time and class time. Goal Time is focused instructional time where students are independently working on the next standard they need to master. With the support of the teacher through feedback, office hours, and individual tutoring as needed, students work at their own pace and only move onto the next topic after they demonstrate Mastery of their current skill. Assessments are also completed during this Goal Time. 

Above, you can see the flow of what a student's progress through a unit might look like. They're working on these problem sets, exit tickets, and assessments during independent Goal Time.

This approach means that Math class time can be used for inquiry-based explorations and project-based learning. The collaborative environment allows students to grow in their mathematical practices and learn how to authentically use math to solve real problems. 

The Lower School Math Team ended their presentation by sharing some questions they're pondering as they continue to tweak our math approach. They're discussing ways they ask students to demonstrate Mastery of a skill, how they can best represent mastery on progress reports, and how to measure those critical thinking skills that are harder to quantify. 

Being able to test and tweak these sorts of things is one of the best parts of being a lab school. Bravo, math team!

View their full presentation here for more details. 

  • Educator Resource
  • Lower School