the number lab was founded to meet the challenge of educating our children at high levels in mathematics. We do this through our micro-school, through practice-based teacher training and materials, and through student sessions across the summer and school year that are open to students that are not enrolled in our micro-school.
The advancement of the education system in the United States has been severely stifled for decades by pervasive conservative notions of teaching and learning. This has caused historically poor mathematics instructional methods to persist, diminishing students' confidence as mathematicians and contributing to a considerable lag in performance in the classroom and then impacting the STEM-pipeline of the United States. the number lab strives to meet this challenge locally and nationally.
our micro-school: innovation + mathematics
the number lab is meeting the STEM challenge by investing locally in Austin, Texas teachers and students and infusing innovation into the educational landscape by creating Austin's first STEM-focused micro-school. the number lab's micro-school offers children an opportunity to experience learning mathematics in a very innovative, highly engaging, and cognitively demanding environment. Our unique program provides students with a mathematics experience that builds deep understanding of mathematical ideas, a positive identity, and strong number reasoning skills, while constantly leaning on practices that promote growth of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.
our educators' collaboratory: real time + p.d.
We know two things: Teaching math is hard work. And good mathematics teaching makes an enormous difference. So how do we grow our mathematics practice? the number lab's educators' collaboratory offers support to teachers across the city and country. Our progressive professional development model opens teachers up to possibilities and invites a conversation about the powerful teaching moves that strong math teachers make.
our summer and after school sessions
Kids see themselves as "math kids" when they are given the tools to make sense of the math they experience. Too many children sit all week in math classrooms that promote fragmentation of concepts or push them to learn to follow rules without thinking. the number lab offers summer and after-school sessions that will re-define what it is like to do, think about, and understand mathematics for kids in Austin, Texas.
What should it be like to "do math?" With a teacher well-trained in both mathematics and teaching for deep learning, the experience of "doing math" is a whole new experience for a child. Math is about thinking, reasoning, and transferring ideas. Math is about making sense of numbers and patterns. Math is about perseverance and creativity.
What does it look like when a child is "thinking mathematically?" She is wondering, explaining, justifying, reasoning, and collaborating. She is talking about her thinking or reflecting on a peer's thinking. She is refining the way she explains her solutions, and finding out that mathematics is a thoughtful endeavor.
What if a child learned that math was about "understanding," not just following tricks or over-practiced steps? Strong number sense is built on understanding important concepts, big ideas, and properties that guide flexible manipulation of number. Deep understanding builds intuition and practice, while a supportive community builds confidence.