What is JUMP Math? The Educator's Perspective.
This section is geared to teachers and administrators interested in learning more about the JUMP Math program from a pedagogical perspective. The JUMP Math program has been adopted by classroom teachers in many communities across Canada and internationally.
JUMP Math is a philosophy and a set of materials and methods that aim to improve the teaching of mathematics and to help students enjoy and meet their potential in the subject.
The JUMP Math program is based on the belief that all children in the regular school system, even those diagnosed as having serious learning disabilities or who are failing at math, can excel at math. Mathematics, rather than being the most difficult subject, is a subject in which children can most easily succeed – even at a young age – and can thereby develop the confidence and cognitive abilities they need to do well in other subjects.
The JUMP Math program provides teachers with an effective balance of concrete and symbolic, guided and independent, and procedural and conceptual work. In a typical JUMP Math lesson, the teacher works with the whole class to lead students through a process of guided discovery while allowing them to adapt the lessons to their own level of understanding. Whole class lessons allow students to experience the thrill of discovery together, as a collective. JUMP Math implementations have shown that children learn better when they feel admired and are confident they will not be allowed to fail. Praise and encouragement are integral parts of JUMP Math's approach. The creation of a positive learning environment leads to more academically focused behaviour. Children do better when teachers communicate the belief that all students can learn, and, whenever possible, reinforce the belief with frequent and specific encouragement.
Students are guided through concepts they can manage, beginning with simple models of the problem. This method of "Structured Inquiry" is very different from rote learning in that students are expected to take the concepts themselves. With growing confidence and focus from constant success, students are soon led to work more independently and discover more complex mathematical principles on their own.
JUMP Math Student Assessment and Practice (AP) Books provide review exercises that go back several grade levels for students who have forgotten material or who didn't learn it properly in the first place. The AP Books are designed to allow for continuous assessment by enabling teachers to see exactly where students have understood or failed to understand concepts and operations. JUMP Math materials and professional development show teachers how to break mathematical concepts into the most fundamental units of perception and understanding, how to assess and fill in gaps in students’ knowledge, how to design sequential scaffolded lessons, how to understand and present mathematical ideas in different styles and from different perspectives, how to motivate weaker students, and how to foster problem solving abilities through graduated challenges and open-ended explorations.
Multiple Options for Every Lesson
For teachers, the Teacher's Resources are the core of the program. They provide: multiple detailed options for every lesson, at both the classroom and individual levels; strategies for carefully structuring group work so that every student is guaranteed equal participation and meaningful roles; hands-on activities and practice; techniques for assessing all students’ understanding simultaneously and at a glance; techniques for diagnosing barriers; and multiple engaging approaches for rapidly overcoming those barriers. On average, every 30-90 seconds of teaching is followed by 4-5 minutes of practice, assessment and real time remediation. Rapid assessment identifies where instruction and practice are and are not required. This ensures maximum efficiency – students do not waste time practicing material they have already mastered.
Comprehensive SMART Lesson Materials are also available for each grade to provide full support to teachers.
Teachers cope with large, diverse classes and serious time constraints, and often may not be comfortable with their ability to teach mathematics. JUMP Math materials are complete, substantially reducing the time and cost of photocopying and pulling together materials from various sources. Teachers are encouraged to use the time saved to work on extending their own mathematics knowledge, enhancing their teaching strategies and improving their planning. The JUMP Math materials, SMART Lesson Materials and professional development are designed to help teachers to become better math teachers.
Covering the Fundamentals
JUMP Math materials and professional development enable teachers to:
- Identify student needs and monitor progress by assessing current levels of knowledge and barriers to progress
- Provide tailored assistance with a full range of supports
- Maintain pursuit of the goal through questioning, praise and encouragement
- Control for student frustration by incrementally raising the level of difficulty
- Assist internalization, independence and generalization through a balance of guided practice, problem-solving and conceptual extensions