Summer Program: Strategic Math Junior (Gr 4 – 6)

Strategic Math Junior is the precursor to Strategic Math, geared towards students entering Grades 4 - 6 in September.

Become skillful with numbers for success in school and beyond! In this course students will learn clever techniques to do seemingly hard computations with ease and joy.  Children learn a series of clever techniques for simplifying computational problems and avoiding unpleasant calculations. These techniques build on each other throughout the course, forming a well connected, coherent curriculum.

As an example, consider the following question: 4003 - 1998 = ?

This would have most kids (and adults) grabbing for their calculators, or rolling their eyes at the long chain of “borrowing” that is required to do it manually.

A simple but clever solution is to add 2 to both numbers and change the question to something much more manageable: 4005 - 2000 = ? 

Why is it important to learn mental math?

Being able to calculate in your head is a practical life skill. The benefit extends to written computations as well, making them easier and quicker. Proficiency in mental math contributes to increased skill in estimation, which is essential for checking the reasonableness of an answer obtained using a calculator.

Children in Strategic Math develop computational thinking and number sense, which are the bases for many fields, including AI, data science, and machine learning. 

Through in-class activities, students will be able to recognize and apply a variety of strategies for flexible computation. Children will also come to understand why and how these strategies work, gaining a better understanding of place value, mathematical operations, and basic number properties.

Program Details

Who is Strategic Math Junior for?  This program is designed for students entering Grades 4 - 6 in September, including both those who have attended Math Circles in the past and those who have not.
Who teaches Strategic Math Junior? Dr. Natasa Sirotic, co-founder of Math Potentials.
What is the program curriculum? Working with multi-digit whole numbers and powers of ten, students learn powerful techniques to perform basic operations on seemingly difficult problems. The course presents a coherent curriculum as new strategies build on past ones. It is not a series of isolated/standalone strategies.

"Mental Math in the Middle Grades" by R. Reys is used for this course.

Schedule Summer 2023

Strategic Math Junior

Junior (Gr 4-6): Tuesdays and Fridays, from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Class #1 Class #2 Class #3 Class #4 Class #5
July 4 July 7 July 11 July 14 July 18
Class #6 Class #7 Class #8 Class #9 Class #10
July 21 July 25 July 28 Aug 1 Aug 4

Location: Zoom