Confidence-Building + Problem-Solving Skills = Student Success
Designed as companions to the grade-specific JUMP Math Assessment & Practice (AP) Books and Teacher Resources, the Confidence Building Units (formerly called the Introductory Units) are designed to capture the attention and focus of all children. By starting with this set of student AP Book companions and their accompanying Teacher's Manuals, teachers can train their students' attention, increase their focus, and convince students that they can be good at mathematics. Students also learn how to identify and apply rules, and to extend chains of inference.
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To date we have developed the following downloadable Confidence Building Units:
- For AP Book 1: Writing Numbers Challenge - Level A
- For AP Book 2: Fractions Challenge - Level B and Addition with Big Numbers Challenge - Level B
- For AP Books 3 and 4: Fractions Challenge - Level C
- For AP Books 5-8: Fractions Challenge - Level D
Note: There is a combined Teacher's Manual for the Levels C and D Confidence Building Units.
These units should only be used for one to two weeks as a confidence-builder, before digging into the curriculum-aligned lesson plans in our Teacher Resources. The Teacher's Manual for the unit contains an essay that explains the design of the unit.
We have gathered a good deal of anecdotal evidence that weaker students make important gains in a number of areas, including:
- Ability to remember number facts
- Ability to keep up with faster students
- Ability to stay on task
- Ability to see patterns and make simple references
Sometimes, people whose first exposure to JUMP Math comes via our Confidence Building Units can get the wrong impression. The primary goal of these units is confidence-building. As a result, the lessons in these units are quite distinct from the ones in the grade-level Teacher Resources and Assessment & Practice Books. The teaching in these units is more explicit and less conceptual than in a typical JUMP Math lesson. (For a proper treatment of fractions, teachers should consult the lessons in our grade-level Teacher Resources, samples of which can be found here.)
The Levels C and D Fractions Challenge units are intended for all students and are designed with two primary goals in mind: confidence-building and the development of problem-solving skills. The success experienced in these units will work to break down the psychological barriers faced by students, while the algorithmic problem-solving techniques teach:
- What to look for in a question
- How to structure the work
- Methods of organizing the answers to find a solution
Fractions are covered in depth later on in the program (as part of the grade-specific material). The purpose of the Fractions Challenge pre-units is to teach:
- Symbol manipulation
- Pattern recognition
- Deductive reasoning
Starting with the Fractions Challenge will also prepare students for work in other areas of mathematics, such as probability, ratios, decimals, measurement, and division.