Mathematics Curriculum

The Lower School adopted Math in Focus (Houghton Mifflin’s version of Singapore Math) in 2008. The program follows a framework emphasizing concept mastery, a concrete-to-pictorial-to-abstract approach, metacognitive reasoning, and the use of model drawing to solve and justify problems.

The Lower School Mathematics Program, Math in Focus, emphasizes mastery of basic mathematical concepts, number sense, mental math and problem solving. Math concepts are presented in a context meaningful to the students moving from concrete objects to pictorial representations to abstract algorithms. Fewer topics taught in greater depth at each grade level help students understand the “how” as well as the “why.” Students build mathematical meaning and fluency to provide a solid conceptual foundation for problem solving.

Mathematics Curriculum by Grade Level

  • Junior Kindergarten Year at a Glance
    By the end of Junior Kindergarten, students will have an understanding of basic math concepts. Students practice counting with one-to-one correspondence, sorting by attributes, patterning and number recognition to 10 and beyond. In addition, students explore measurement using non-standard units and begin to practice estimation skills. Whole-group instruction includes engaging the students in math talks where they study a picture and compare quantities and describe the scene using math vocabulary. Junior Kindergarteners have multiple experiences with concrete objects to build the foundation for number sense, finding patterns and spatial skills that build an excellent foundation for our Math in Focus curriculum.
  • Senior Kindergarten Year at a Glance
    In Senior Kindergarten students will concentrate on building a foundation of number sense. They will use numbers to represent quantities and solve problems. Through the study of numbers students will develop cardinality, counting strategies and strategies for joining and separating within 10 and to make ten. Students will use math vocabulary to describe what they see. By the end of Senior Kindergarten, students can count to 100 by ones and by tens. Students will be able read, write and represent numbers to 20. As they become comfortable composing and decomposing numbers, they learn to add and subtract within 5. Geometrical ideas are developed throughout the year. They learn to describe shapes and classify and compare 2-D and 3-D shapes.
  • Grade 1 Year at a Glance
    In first grade students develop strategies for adding and subtracting whole numbers based on their prior work with small numbers. In addition, they understand the concept of ones and tens in the place value number system. They develop an understanding of the relationship between addition and subtraction and develop efficient strategies for adding, subtracting and comparing within 100. Students explore measurement using non-standard units. The geometric focus is on composition and decomposition of shapes and comparing their attributes. First graders can also describe and analyze data and solve simple problems.
  • Grade 2 Year at a Glance
    By the end of second grade, students understand place value (to the hundreds) and number relationships in addition and subtraction as well as simple multiplication and division. They apply strategies for addition and subtraction they developed in earlier grades to larger numbers. They can fluently add and subtract within 20. They learn to use standard units of measure (metric and customary) and they continue to compose and decompose shapes with a new focus on examining sides and angles. Students use geometric representations to model and solve a variety of problems involving shapes and figures. They collect, organize and interpret data using critical thinking skills.
  • Grade 3 Year at a Glance
    By the end of third grade, students deepen their understanding of place value to the thousands. The concepts of multiplication, division, measurement and fractions are critical areas introduced in the third grade year. Throughout the year students will develop multiplication and division strategies and relate multiplication to division. By the end of the year students should recall all products of two one-digit numbers. Students compare, order and make equivalent fractions. Describing and analyzing shapes by their sides, angles and definitions is the geometric focus in third grade.
  • Grade 4 Year at a Glance
    By the end of fourth grade, students expand their understanding of place value to the hundred thousands. Students generalize multiplication and division strategies to multi-digit numbers. They describe and compare simple fractions and decimals (to the hundredths). They add and subtract fractions with like denominators and multiply fractions by whole numbers. The geometric focus allows students to understand geometric relationships of plane figures, symmetry, area, perimeter, and measurement of angles. They use a variety of problem solving strategies to solve increasingly complex word problems.
  • Grade 5 Year at a Glance
    By the end of fifth grade, students master place value from millions to thousandths. Students increase their facility with the four basic operations and apply their understanding to fractions, decimals and percent. They know and use common measuring units (metric and customary) to determine length and area and know and use formulas to find the volume of simple geometric figures. Students develop fluency of the addition and subtraction of fractions and mixed numbers. In addition, they develop an understanding of multiplication and division of fractions. They use a variety of problem solving strategies to solve increasingly complex word problems.

State Standards for Mathematics Practice

Throughout the grades at the Lower School, students should continue to develop proficiency with the Common Core’s eight Standards for Mathematical Practice:

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

These practices should become the natural way in which students come to understand and to do mathematics. Our curriculum provides many opportunities to develop these practices.

Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Mission Hills Campus Lower School

4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Linda Vista Campus Middle/Upper School

6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900