Mathematics at MUSE
A passion for mathematics begins early at MUSE Academy, with a pre-K and K curriculum that builds early number sense and shape awareness using manipulatives, song, dance, arts, and creative play. Math is presented as another field of creation and exploration, through which children can model the world around them and test their ideas.
Our approach employs tactile and kinesthetic learning, and then builds to conceptual understanding. Process fluency and ability to deploy multiple strategies are reinforced through social learning in pairs and small groups. The journey to math discovery is given equal weight with the correct results. Mathematical concepts are introduced in their historic context, and tied to the feats of architecture, scientific knowledge, and human organization that they enabled.
from discovery to fluency
The MUSE math curriculum draws from instructional principles that have been demonstrated to enable both accelerated acquisition of mathematical competence and contextual learning that makes these skills meaningful and sticky.
- Inquiry-based learning: Each segment begins with questions posed by the teacher that stimulate the curiosity of students and establish the "big picture" of why a problem is important and useful.
- Embracing divergence: In group settings, the teacher encourages the full exploration of alternate approaches to a problem and then validates multiple strategies. This encourages the confidence to solve problems independently and introduces math as higher order logical inquiry rather than just rote skills.
- Positive reinforcement: Math is presented as a mode of thinking that is accessible to all people, and mathematical concepts and skills are deployed across the curriculum including dance, music, humanities, and language. Every MUSE student is encouraged they can "do" math, and small group instruction is employed for reinforcement as required.
- Embracing challenge: Teachers continually introduce more challenging problems to stretch the ability to apply concepts that have been acquired and keep learning stimulating.
- Spiral instruction: The MUSE math curriculum regularly loops back to reinforce and elaborate on mathematical concepts and skill sets that were learned in prior semesters and years. Rather than learning concepts for a big test, and then forgetting them, true math fluency is the goal.
- Rich interconnections: To reinforce that math is not a discrete body of knowledge, but rather a mode of thinking that enriches every field of human knowledge and creativity. Our faculty deploy and reinforce math concepts across the MUSE academic and arts curriculum with lesson plans that are carefully synchronized.
Our approach is informed by a conviction that mathematics is a "language" that is essential to children's life success, as scholars, artists, and citizens ready to make their mark on the world.