After much research, VAIS selected Math Expressions as its math curriculum. Combining aspects of the most powerful elements of reform teaching with the best of traditional approaches, Math Expressions uses objects, drawings, conceptual language, and real-world situations to help students build mathematical ideas that make sense to them.
For 25 years, Dr. Karen Fuson, Professor Emeritus of Education at Northwestern University, researched effective methods of teaching and learning mathematics. During the last ten years, with the support of the National Science Foundation for the Children's Math Worlds Research Project, Dr. Fuson began development of what is now the Math Expressions curriculum.
Math Expressions balances deep understanding with essential skills and problem solving. Through daily "Math Talk," Math Expressions builds a community of learners with frequent opportunities to explain their mathematical thinking and thereby develop their understanding. Children are asked to solve problems, explain their solutions, answer questions, and justify their answers. They gain greater understanding and ownership of math concepts as they develop and express their own ideas.
Math is taught in Chinese in grades K-2 and in English in grades 3-5.