June 7, 2020 | Abby Hall Choi
As we say goodbye to Mr. Lawrence and his work with our seventh and eighth graders, we know that he has built a curriculum and inspired a culture of deep, complex, and beautiful thinking around mathematics.
We are in a unique position to live into the vision and curriculum that Mr. Lawrence has inspired and cultivated.
Mr. Choi will teach seventh and eighth grade mathematics. Mr. Choi has a wealth of experience when it comes to teaching math. Before coming to Mustard Seed Seed School, Mr. Choi taught high school math for five years, and he taught middle school math for five years. He worked as an SAT tutor for eight years and has also worked as an AP Calculus tutor.
Since arriving at Mustard Seed School 13 years ago, Mr. Choi has worked in tandem with Mr. Lawrence supporting math instruction for seventh and eighth graders. Some years Mr. Choi and Mr. Lawrence work together in the same room, other years we have been able to break groups of students into smaller groups so that we can further individualize their experiences. This year Mr. Choi supported the work of Ms. Rachuri in sixth grade mathematics.
Mr. Choi is especially well positioned to continue our rich and rigorous seventh and eighth grade math curriculum.
Additionally, as we plan for a school year that will likely mean some on campus times and some off campus times, we are investing in an additional math platform. For grades 4-8, we will use a platform called MathSpace.
MathSpace is an online curriculum. It is common core aligned. It provides teaching videos and online textbooks to support student understanding when they are studying or practicing work at home.
When students solve math problems in MathSpace, they are given line by line feedback. As we solve multi-step problems, students will get immediate feedback to re-think a step. When they receive this feedback they have immediate access to their textbook, hints from similar problems, or an instructional video.
MathSpace will not replace how we teach math. We need our rich problem sets. Our valuable conversations around math. We need the complexities of math exhibitions and the creativity and playfulness that I Love Math draws out. MathSpace will enhance student’s practice and increase the real-time feedback for when they are practicing at home.
No matter how we are learning next year, our teachers will be the drivers and designers of your child’s math learning. MathSpace will be there to lend a helping hand through practice problems and feedback.