Hands-on Approach to Learning Math
Structural Arithmetic is a comprehensive program for teaching the foundation of mathematics and number sense for children from Pre-K to fourth grade. Pupils experiment with colorful wooden blocks that fit into boxes and grooves. The approach is based on reasoning and insight into mathematical relationships, not on rote learning and counting. Children are able to correct their own errors. They can see what is wrong with their mistakes e.g. the 5-block plus the 6-block is too long to fit in the 10-box, and thereby recognize that the solution is in the direction of selecting a smaller block to discover for themselves that five plus five makes ten. Rather than be distracted and possibly embarrassed by being told they are wrong, they can keep their attention on the problem at hand.
Complete Curriculum from Preschool to Fourth Grade
The Stern Math curriculum, through its Teachers Guides, is laid out in a careful developmental progression with concepts building upon one another. This organization of the math program is clear and logically developed through a step by step plan of experimentation, practice, and review that leads pupils from simple number concepts to a mastery of computation and problem solving. A Teacher's Guide at each level describes the purpose and materials for each exercise. Illustrations depict the experiments and games to be performed by the pupils. An effective testing program is included to gauge comprehension of each new concept. Children emerge from this program with competence and confidence in their mathematical ability and with a love of math.
Resource for Struggling Students
The Structural Arithmetic program has been extremely successful when used to help students learning difficulties, children with language processing difficulties and children whose first language is not English. This is because the dependence on verbal understanding of abstract concepts is kept to a minimum and most of the learning is done through direct experience. The teacher is provided with a wealth of different lessons and games from which he or she can choose according to the individual needs of the children. It is a perfect program for helping underachievers make the transition into the main stream of mathematics.
Interactive Home Schooling Method
The Structural Arithmetic Program offers materials effective for parents of home-schooled children precisely because it supports their children in the quest to become autonomous learners. For the same reasons that Stern Math is an effective formative stand-alone system for the classroom it effectively can do the same thing at home. The games provide a fun and efficient way for children to become excellent students of math with a strong sense of themselves as problem solvers.
A Supplement to an Existing Mathematics Curriculum
Although designed to be taught sequentially, the program adapts easily to supplemental use. The teacher can always turn to Structural Arithmetic to help students understand the underlying principles. Often the children who are having trouble understanding a number concept in the abstract will be able to visualize it, when it is presented concretely. Structural Arithmetic presents games to be used as educational recreation, a change of pace from normal classroom routine. Teachers' Guides provide easy to understand directions with illustrations which allow the teacher to grasp the underlying principles and help the children comprehend them.