BY JOANNA KWAN | SPIRIT OF MATH CURRICULUM ASSOCIATE
Our Spirit of Math (SoM) program consists of four elements: drills, problem solving, core curriculum and cooperative teamwork which work together seamlessly. Each element complements one another which makes our program unique and significant.
Our drills system is strongly linked with cooperative teamwork by encouraging SoM students to work towards the class average goal and not just their personal goal. Students learn that everyone’s contribution is important and therefore they work hard together and know they are accountable for one-another. They use the class average graph to keep track of the progress of their team.
Our problem solving, core curriculum and cooperative teamwork elements work closely together in order to reinforce one another. In groups, students work on challenging competition-level math problems that require them to read carefully, reason mathematically, and think critically and creatively.
Our teachers are trained to make intentional choices such as, group size, team composition, classroom set-up, etc. — setting the stage for successful teamwork. Cooperative teamwork is the norm amongst our teachers as they regularly plan lessons together and give feedback to one another.
There are enormous benefits for cooperative teamwork, such as student engagement, better academic achievement, positive attitude towards learning and more. I believe the best benefit of all is that our students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for one another through their cooperative team experience, which in-turn prepares them to be effective future leaders for the betterment of humankind.