Math lessons at Windward are created to teach computational and application skills, enhance conceptual understanding, and develop each child’s ability to communicate using the language of math. Using a multisensory curriculum, the program is designed to give each student the necessary skills needed to return to a mainstream math class. Through direct instruction in small, homogenously grouped classes, teachers build a solid foundation of basic concepts, computation, and number sense. Lessons highlight real-life applications of math. Manipulatives, kinesthetics, mnemonics, literature, and technology are integrated into daily instruction to promote student engagement and retention of math concepts.
The language of math is taught using techniques from the Windward Language Arts Program. All math teachers are trained in both the Windward reading and writing programs. Since linguistic struggles are common in the student population, strategic instruction in solving word problems is given throughout every unit. Vocabulary is emphasized in each topic, and oral explanations are components of daily class discussions. Units progress from concrete to symbolic representations of each concept, building comprehension through multi-modal experiences. Students are taught computational procedures, logical reasoning, and applications. Using the Windward lesson plan template, structured, sequenced lessons incorporating scaffolding of information and direct instruction enable students at various ability levels to tackle the demands of grade level work. Elements of review are included in each lesson to activate prior learning.