"In the Know" Weekly Newsletter - The International School

Eureka Math: Some Questions and Answers

Many of you may have heard your child’s teacher talk about Eureka Math. TIS has introduced Eureka Math as a tool to help support and unify our math curriculum content across language tracks and to build mathematical concepts and skills from one grade-level to the next. It is important to note that The International School will be using Eureka as a resource to teach mathematics, and not as an individualized curriculum.  Mathematics - like all other academic subjects at the school - continue to be built into our IB Units of Inquiry to ensure that we are maintaining the transdisciplinary nature of the programme.

Here are some questions and answered about Eureka Math that have been commonly asked on campus:

What is Eureka Math?

Eureka Math is a math curriculum developed by a team of math master teachers and mathematicians to ensure that the quality of the curriculum builds upon students’ prior-knowledge and teaches mathematical concepts and skills in a coherent and developmentally-appropriate way. While some schools may be using Eureka Math as its primary teaching curriculum, The International School is using it as a resource for teachers.  It offers ways to teach certain concepts or methods that arise through the IB inquiry process.

Is Eureka Math connected to the Math Common Core standards?

Eureka lessons are specifically designed to target the Common Core Standards for Math by using real-world problems, understanding why the problem-solving process works that way, explain reasoning and build logical knowledge- all of which are part of the Mathematical Practice standards from the Common Core. Please note that while The International School is an IB school, it uses Common Core standards as a baseline from which to teach. This helps us to ensure that our students are meeting state expectations and are prepared for Middle School curriculums and beyond.

Is the school lowering their standards for Mathematics by using Eureka?

No. Through effective teaching using Eureka, teachers will apply a coherent approach to their instruction that will allow them to know what incoming students already have learned, ensure that students are prepared for what comes next, reduce gaps in their mathematical conceptual understanding, and prepare them to understand complex concepts. Eureka is also a tool to support differentiated teaching, ie using a variety approaches to assist different learning styles.

Is Eureka Math consistent with the PYP approaches to learning?

Yes. The Primary Years Programme’s focus on  inquiry and the construction of meaning is consistent with Eureka’s approaches to learning, which emphasize conceptual understanding, deepening understanding through the application of concepts and knowledge, and solving problems in a variety of ways. Again, The International School remains an IB PYP school. The International School is using Eureka Math as a resource for teachers.  It offers ways to teach certain concepts or methods that arise through the IB inquiry process.

Will the Homeroom teachers be receiving any training on using Eureka?

This year, our teachers are becoming familiar with Eureka, its content and framed methodology. To support teachers with the transition,  the Educational Leadership team has put together a Math Committee, which includes teachers from Prek-5th. The Math Committee will be receiving training on understanding and “unpacking” the Math Common Core Standards, and on how to teach the standards using Eureka. These group of teachers will in turn train their grade-level team mates.

Additionally, teachers will have access to Eureka Support for Teachers, available to them online.

How can I support my child in Math using the same methodology as school?

Eureka provides parents and teachers with an online support website:  http://greatminds.net/support/parents. The parent support website in Eureka provides parents with the “Module Tip Sheets,” and “Homework Helpers”  which explain how your child is learning mathematical concepts and strategies. These resources will allow you to understand how you can work with your child in a way that is consistent with the classroom.