Mathematics at Ranchlands School

Philosophy: At Ranchlands School we believe all students can succeed in mathematics if they have a growth mindset. Our students are reasoning, problem solving, and explaining their thinking during math class.  They may do this by using manipulatives (blocks, coins, macaroni, dice), visually, orally or through written work. From kindergarten to grade 6, students learn to construct and develop their ability to reason mathematically and logically; identify and solve complex problems; construct and apply mathematical models; and advance their symbolic reasoning and communication skills. 

More information

What is Growth Mindset? 

Having a growth mindset means you believe that you can learn and improve your intelligence with effort. 

The following two videos explain this concepts through visuals and research.

How can I promote a Growth Mindset?

This document from the Alberta Government has some great tips for promoting growth mindset.

What is Mental Math:

Mental math is a group of skills that allow people to do math “in their head” without using pencil and paper or a calculator. One of these skills is remembering math facts, like 8 × 5 = 40. Other skills include rounding numbers and estimating calculations.

Mental math is useful in everyday life to answer questions like:

  • What is the sale price for this item?

  • Do I have enough cash to buy everything in my cart?

  • Am I getting the correct amount of change from the cashier?

  • When should I leave in order to arrive on time?

Mental math can also help kids understand math concepts better. Using and practicing mental math regularly helps kids improve their number senseMore Information

What is a Math Talk:

Number Talks are short (10ish minutes), daily exercises aimed at building number sense. Number sense is the ability to play with numbers meaning students can visualize problem solving, perform calculations quickly, and are flexible in their mathematical strategy. Students who have strong number sense solve problems in more than one way and check that their answers make sense. As a part of this routine, students are thinking, asking their peers questions, and explaining their own thinking all while the teacher records the thinking. More info here

How can I help at home?

  • Play games and puzzles with your child that deal with logic, reasoning, estimation, direction and classification (Concentration/Memory, chess, checkers, Othello, Sudoku puzzles, cribbage, Clue, card games, etc.). 
  • Do math problems together! This could include problems such as mixing juice crystals with water, figuring out how long to cook a roast or turkey, determining how to set the table for a certain number of people, etc. 
  • Involve your child in daily activities that require the use of mathematics. This may include managing time, folding or sorting laundry, feeding pets, checking the television schedule, determining driving routes or cooking. 
  • Provide familiar objects (toys, blocks, buttons, measuring devices, etc.) so that your child can use them to help solve problems. 
  • Provide materials such as pencils, paper, rulers and scissors to use for study or creative play. 
  • Listen carefully to your child’s explanation of what he or she is learning.


Math Videos

Are you curious how you can help your child understand math?  Check out these math videos made by our teachers and grade 5 and 6 students!




Understanding number and operations


Math Challenges

We have created math challenges for our students to try and solve. These problems started out fairly simply; and each week the challenges have increased in complexity. The newest challenge is always at the top of this page.

Challenge 11

Challenge 10

Challenge 9

Challenge 8

Challenge 7

Challenge 6

Challenge Questions

  1. What is the value of the turtle if the triangle is worth 1?
  2. Can you create an animal that has a value of exactly double the turtle's value?
  3. Can you build a turtle using only shapes with an odd number of sides?

Challenge 5

What is the value of this object?

Challenge 4

I found this alien in a photo. I wonder what his value is?

Challenge Question

Once you calculate his value, can you build him a spaceship that has double the value?

Challenge 3

It's getting more complicated!

A triangle is worth 1.

Challenge Question

What is the value of the whole flower?

Extra challenge

Can you make another shape that is the same value but uses different shapes?

Challenge 2

Last week you calculated the value of the trapezoid, knowing the the triangle is 1. The value of the triangle is still 1.

Challenge Question

What is the value of the entire the shape?

Challenge 1

Week One Challenge

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