Math Trailblazers’ kindergarten program seeks to connect young children’s prior mathematical knowledge to formal school knowledge by tapping into their curious nature. The program is built upon the tenet that children develop knowledge of math concepts through playful interactions with people and things. Mathematical concepts are developed through the solving of realistic problems, open-ended activities, and a variety of story situations and representations.
The new kindergarten curriculum has undergone considerable revision. There is now significant attention paid to students’ numeracy and operation development. Kindergarten is designed for a full-day environment but can be adapted to a half-day program while recognizing that young children are powerful problem solvers.
The content is organized by month, and within each month there are 3–6 lessons. Each lesson contains a progression of activities and describes how to guide or orchestra student learning with rich, experimental activities. These lessons are organized activities that can take from about 10 to 30 minutes and are designed for a variety of classroom settings and routines. Some activities are designed to be repeated to provide multiple opportunities for students to develop conceptual understanding. Others are designed to take place over multiple days. On average, there are four lessons per month, or twenty days of instruction.
- The Kindergarten Teacher Resource Guide provides everything teachers need to support lesson planning and daily instruction, and contains the same strong instructional support system as in Grades 1–5 including features such as teacher prompts and possible student responses, Common Core alignment notation, Mathematics in this Month, Assessment in this Month, Key Assessment Opportunities Chart, Meeting Individual Needs boxes, Ongoing Assessment boxes, tools for feedback and monitoring such as Feedback Boxes, Journal Prompts, Sample Dialogs, TIMS Tips, Content Notes, and much more.
- Print materials for kindergarten students are Masters in the Teacher Resource Guide and include problems, activities, and games.
- Kindergarten Daily Practice and Problems offer quick, distributed practice and provide a structure for ongoing study and review of math skills and concepts.
- Work Stations include activities from the lessons and provide students with meaningful practice and independent work.
- A Weekly Calendar Display records important daily classroom events and becomes the Calendar for the Year. This journal of events, projects, and milestones experienced by the students can be used to problem solve.
- A linear Monthly Calendar keeps track of the number of days in school, helps to anticipate events that occur in the month, and is used to explore patterns.