Summer Program: Strategic Math (Gr 7 – 12)

Become skillful with numbers for success in school and beyond! In Strategic Math, 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.

However, 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 and take-home 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 for?  This program is designed for students entering Grades 7 - 12 in September, including both those who have attended Math Circles in the past and those who have not.
Who teaches Strategic Math? Dr. Natasa Sirotic, co-founder of Math Potentials.
What is the program curriculum? Extending from whole numbers to decimals to fractions, 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 Junior High" by R. Reys is used for both Part 1 & 2 of this course.

What are the course levels?  Strategic Math is offered in two parts; Part 1 in the first half of summer and Part 2 in the second half, ending before the start of the school year.

In Strategic Math - Part 2, students build upon the techniques from Part 1 with new computational strategies to achieve complete numerical fluency. Part 2 is open only to students who have completed Part 1.

Summer 2024 Schedule

Time: 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Days: Tuesdays and Fridays
Location: Online

Class #1 Class #2 Class #3 Class #4 Class #5
July 9 July 12 July 16 July 19 July 23
Class #6 Class #7 Class #8 Class #9 Class #10
July 26 July 30 Aug 2 Aug 6 Aug 9