Mathematics is taught in main lesson blocks throughout the grades, and after third grade, in two or three periods a week as well. In the early grades, teaching is enhanced by games, songs, and imaginative pictures that engage the enthusiasm of play in the task of learning. In all grades, more difficult problems are provided for students who are ready to take up an extra challenge.
In the first grade, arithmetic is taught through movement — walking and stamping, clapping, throwing a beanbag –- and through lively oral games. First graders are introduced to Roman and Arabic numerals and learn to count by ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, and tens. Through imaginative stories, the four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) are practiced. Students also learn to solve simple number problems, using manipulatives when necessary.
Physical movement is still an important part of arithmetic lessons in second grade. Place value is introduced, and the students continue with the four processes, eventually working with four digits. They learn to use regrouping or “carrying and borrowing” for addition and subtraction. Multiplication tables through 12 x 12 are practiced through clapping and beanbag activities. Students are encouraged to find patterns within the tables, and magic squares are introduced. Problems are copied from the board into practice books and solved. A selection of representative problems is then copied into main lesson books. Mental arithmetic develops the children’s concentration and flexibility in thinking with numbers.
Third graders are introduced to long division and double-digit multiplication, as well as longer word problems. A focus on measurement, with lessons on linear measurement, liquid and dry volume, time, and temperature, emphasizes the practical application of math. Students are expected to know their multiplication tables; mental arithmetic games and homework help to strengthen math skills.