Our program is split into many levels and targets students in Grades 2 through 8, though we admit some exceptional 1st graders. Each class meets weekly for 60 minutes from September through May, except during school break weeks. Students in the higher levels can join more than one class. Our sessions fall into 4 broad categories:
- Explore the Mysteries of Math. During these sessions the kids investigate beautiful patterns in the world of numbers and shapes. Rather than learning math, the kids discover it for themselves with a bit of guidance from the teachers. This is a perfect way to sharpen math skills in a fun and exciting atmosphere. We also teach kids numerous “tricks”, which are really nothing but the ways to solve problems using deeper understanding of the relationships between mathematical objects, as well as the history of math and its role in understanding the universe.
- Learn Analytical Reasoning Skills. During these sessions we teach various approaches to navigate complex mathematical problems and puzzles. Our program is largely orthogonal to the school curriculum. Even when we cover topics that overlap with the school curriculum, the focus is not on teaching the techniques but rather on the role they play in solving math puzzles using analytical reasoning skills. For instance, kids learn and practice long multiplication and division at school, while we use the hidden patterns in multiplication and division to solve cryptarithms.
- Review and Practice. During these sessions we try to spend as much time as possible working with kids in small groups on the problems that challenge them the most. At home, we encourage the kids to work on many extra credit worksheets. We keep track in our database of every problem that each student solves. This allows us over time to better understand strengths and weaknesses of each individual student. Then, during practice sessions, we review with each student the problems that they struggle with.
- Prepare and Compete in Math Contests. Kids love to participate in math contests. In math, as in sports, while the coaches understand that the practice time is most important, the kids want to play the games. We participate in numerous math competitions as a team. Kids learn to work together and support each other’s efforts. Of course, it helps that our teams are very successful and kids always win many prizes. Also, our students are usually successful in math competitions on their own school teams.