The Greenwood School is devoted to addressing the learning differences many of our students face in the area of mathematics. The Greenwood mathematics curriculum is influenced by the work of Dr. Mahesh Sharma, who writes, “Dyscalculia is to mathematics as dyslexia is to language. A child’s difficulty whether in reception, comprehension and/or production of quantitative or spatial information is called dyscalculia. It is manifested in a child having difficulty in number conceptualization, mastering number relationships, or numerical procedures.”
Many of our students struggle with dyscalculia while others are strong in math. Given that instruction in all academic areas at The Greenwood School is based on diagnostic, prescriptive principles, students are placed in the mathematics program using diagnostic data rather than by chronological age or grade level. Students attend daily math class throughout middle school and high school, and progress at their own rate within small class groupings and direct, explicit, multi-sensory instruction. Using this model, students progress through the levels of mathematics proficiency outlined in the chart below.
At Greenwood School we are committed to helping students, including those with dyscalculia, to find success in this mathematical way of thinking. Many skills used in language remediation are applied to remediate issues learning the language of mathematics. Instruction is based on fundamental ways of knowing, including intuition and the use of concrete models for a conceptual base as students see, feel, and build mathematical relationships with concrete tools using perceptual reasoning. Once students build a model of an operation such as multiplication, they are better prepared to code that relationship in pictures and symbols, to learn procedures, to give language to describe the procedure, and to apply this knowledge to problem solving and real world applications.
Key Mathematics Milestones
Our mathematics curriculum is designed to cover these key milestones:
- Number Conceptualization
- Place Value
- Algebraic Thinking: Algebra is the study of patterns in quantity, space, and variability.
- Geometry /Spatial Sense: the study of patterns in shapes and their relationships.
Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, and Calculus courses are offered as small group or 1:1 classes for students who are ready and in need. For students who wish to take on mathematics coursework beyond Calculus, there are several options available at the Community College of Vermont and Landmark College through the Dual Enrollment Program.