Math Trailblazers balances conceptual learning with procedural learning. There are certain basic facts that everyone needs to know. But if these skills are detached from any other thinking and taught in an isolated way, it is harder for students to learn because the skills don’t have any meaning for them. Research indicates time spent building a strong conceptual foundation is effective and worthwhile.
Math Trailblazers approaches math facts in a conceptual and systematic way, and provides explicit support and instruction with the strategies that develop math facts and whole number operations. Students first approach basic facts as problems to be solved using and developing strategies. Students then practice these facts in small groups organized by strategy with Daily Practice and Problems in Grades K–5 and Home Practice in Grades 1–5. This is quick practice, distributed over every lesson. As students become proficient with these strategies, they become fluent with the math facts. Math Trailblazers 4th Edition offers more opportunities and time for practice within each unit. There has been substantial revision of the whole number strand in all grade levels, incorporating explicit instruction with mental math strategies and better support and rationale given for multiple strategies. There is more attention given to the development of flexible and strategic thinking, and helpful Strategy Menus in Grades 1–5 for students, teachers, and families to aid in this process. See more about Math Facts and Whole-Number Computation.