Skip to main content

Lower School Math

In Lower School, you’ll learn math in stages, gaining skills and confidence with each new lesson.

Solving Real-World Questions

From an early age, our Lower School math program builds the foundational skills and concepts necessary for students’ mathematical development and success. Their individual needs are met through small group instruction and support, as well as multiple teaching styles and strategies.

On their journey from pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade math, students learn not only to solve problems but also to articulate their rationale, engage in meaningful discussion, and formulate questions for inquiry. Above all, our students come to see that there’s more than one right way to solve a problem and learn to persevere when faced with a challenge.



In pre-kindergarten, math lessons take place throughout the day, with a hands-on approach that builds on students’ existing curiosity and challenges them to solve problems.

In pre-kindergarten, students may:

  • Develop analytical thinking skills
  • Identify, name, and order whole numbers
  • Explore the principles of one-to-one correspondence
  • Quantify and count objects
  • Recognize patterns and sort by multiple attributes
  • Chart, estimate, and graph classroom experiences
  • Investigate size, shape, weight, and spatial sense
  • Construct mathematical relationships

Kindergarteners are active, resourceful learners who construct, modify, and integrate ideas by interacting with the physical world and with peers and adults.

In kindergarten, students may:

  • Learn the rules of counting, writing numbers, measuring, and comparing shapes and sizes
  • Begin to work on the concepts of addition and subtraction

Students in first grade begin to develop the skills for real-life problem solving. Mathematical instruction in numeration, place value, addition and subtraction, fractions, geometry, measurement, money, and time are conveyed in a variety of ways to meet individual learning styles.

In first grade, students may:

  • Participate in teacher-directed class discussions, cooperative and collaborative learning activities, and group projects
  • Discuss and share their thinking strategies
  • Discover the many possible ways to solve a problem

Students in second grade are immersed in hands-on learning activities using manipulatives, games, and problem solving tools.

In second grade, students may:

  • Learn more about numbers and numeration, operations and computation, data and chance, measurement and reference frames, geometry, patterns, functions, and algebra
  • Explore the integration of math skills across subject areas
  • Develop an understanding of how math applies to real-world problems

Third grade is all about exploring, discussing, and applying mathematical concepts that build on what students have already learned. Teachers work with students to go beyond memorization, so that learning is active and stimulating.

In third grade, students may:

  • Extend their understanding of multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, measurement, probability, data analysis, and two- and three-dimensional geometry
  • Expand their problem-solving strategies

At this stage, students move beyond basic math concepts to focus on varied problem-solving strategies and approaches, as well as articulating process and reasoning.

In fourth grade, students may:

  • Apply their study of facts, place value, and numeration to more complicated topics
  • Further explore multi-digit multiplication, long division, fractions, decimals, graphing, and geometry

The content and processes taught in fifth-grade math continue to emphasize computation skills, with an increasing focus on developing logical thinking and problem-solving strategies.

In fifth grade, students may:

  • Make connections and develop strong representation tools
  • Apply their knowledge of operations to rational numbers and integers
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals, fractions, and mixed numbers
  • Use the order of operations to solve algebraic expressions