Mrs. JAMIE DEPEW » Math Information

Math Information


To become fluent with mathematical skills and concepts, fourth graders need time to build understanding and opportunities for extended practice. The Norwin School District is once again using EnVisions math to support the state standards.


During math class, it is rare that your child will sit still for longer than ten minutes at a time! J You can expect your child to be involved in a variety of interactive, hands-on activities meant to foster interest and appreciation for this subject. Since all students learn in different ways, differentiation is present in all that we do and opportunities are provided for remediation and enrichment throughout all lessons.


          In the past, these are some questions that parents have typically asked me early on in the school year. I am more than happy to address any questions not answered below. 


During a "Typical" Math Year: 

Q:      What does a typical math class look like in Room 32?

A:       Although it certainly can differ depending on the content, the general format is the same. I follow a 5-E lesson format, which entails:

  1. Engagement: A review problem from the previous day’s math lesson will be given.
  2. Exploration: Prior to any instruction, students will receive a “sample problem” from the current lesson. They are told that while they may not know exactly what to do, they are to use their prior knowledge to determine the steps necessary to complete this. Students are encouraged to work out their solutions using manipulatives, talking to others, drawing it out, etc….exploring! J
  3. Explanation: This is the “teaching time” where the concepts and vocabulary for this lesson are taught. During this portion, students have the time to interact with their peers and use a variety of methods to solve the math problems.
  4. Enrichment/ Reteach: This is the real differentiation portion of the math lesson. During this time, those who need additional assistance will meet with me for support first and those who show a great understanding of the material at hand will be presented with individualized activities. Often  times, students will be in small groups during this time and I aim to meet with each group for math practice. 
  5. Evaluation: A brief evaluation will be given. This typically consists of 1-2 problems from the day’s lesson. This allows me to assess the student’s current level of understanding.


Q:    Will there be homework?

A:     Students typically receive 8-10 problems nightly. These problems are meant to review the lesson at home and prepare them for the next day's lesson and should take no more than 15 minutes. Often, students may be given time to begin problems at the end of the class so that I may be present for any questions that arise. These problems are intended to be solved independently so if your child is having great difficulty, please let me know so that I can assist them the next morning in ER. Thank you. 


Q:     Why does my student sometimes have problems that are different than

    another student in your class?

A:     Homework is differentiated and based on student need. Based on the day’s math lesson    

         and your child’s current level of understanding, they will be assigned to a color that matches their   

         homework problems. Red (student has not quite met the day’s math learning objective),

      yellow (student has met the day’s math objective), and green (student has surpassed the day’s math

         learning objective. The green homework can be challenging so I simply ask that students do the

         best that they can on this. It truly encourages great math thinking!) 


Q:  What if my child needs extra help while at home or is absent? Where can I


A:   Our textbook has a site, Pearson Success, which absolutely mirrors our math textbook.

     There are a variety of interactive activities available as well as opportunities for

     extra practice and enrichment. Practice sheets and quizzes can be printed directly

     from this site. Students have a username and password (from Skyward). These are

     needed to enter this site. However, it is MUCH easier to access this through your child's Google Classroom site or Schoology, in which a direct link will be provided. 


Q:  What about exams and grades?

A:   There will be a unit exam after every Topic. Students are made aware of this exam at least a week in advance and will receive a study guide prior. The day before the exam is an in-class review day. Quizzes may take place during the topic, especially if it is longer one and students will know about this 1-2 days in advance. Students will also take a daily Quick Check after each lesson that consists of 2-3 problems. These enable me to access the students readiness for the next day's lesson, as well as note those students who may need additional enrichment for upcoming lessons. Grades also come from projects and classwork, 


Other math sites that I love: J

Math Café: This site allows you to create and/or download flashcards to practice those basic facts!


AAA Math: This is a very comprehensive site that hits most of our main skills.


Cool Math: This fully interactive site and allows student to sharpen basic math skills, play games and explore new math concepts.


FunBrain: This has always been a student favorite! This site includes a variety of math games based on soccer, car racing , baseball…you name it! J


   Figure This! : This site was created by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and strives to help

          families enjoy mathematics, this outside school through a series of fun and engaging challenges.


Fi Helping with Math: This site has many printable freebee's including flashcards. 





Please let me know if a site is no longer working so that I can update this list. Thank you! :)

*Via Skyward, I will share the week’s math objectives and skills.