The Olympic math program has been
specially designed not to duplicate, but to enhance the math curriculum taught
in American schools in CA. It is founded
on many years of observation and tests of kids from public and private schools,
compared to the leading means and methods in teaching math in Russian
Federation and uniquely put together to cover not only the “missed” material in
school, but to give students an upper leg in understanding (not learning by
heart) math concepts, including both – algebra and geometry.
K, 1st and 2nd grade students
have one 45-minute lesson per week. Math program on that level focuses mainly
on fundamental math skills: counting, solving and creating word problems, work
with geometrical manipulatives.
3rd grade forward children have
math classes twice a week – the fundamental math is a 90 min class and Olympic
math 45-90 min class (length of the class depends upon the grade)
The curriculum of the fundamental math
includes three main blocks: arithmetic, geometry and logic. Arithmetic focuses
on teaching the children the art of optimal verbal counting, creative mental
math and solving math word problems. The
latest research proofs the direct correlation between the learning how to solve
creative math problems and developing habits on calculating various outcomes of
the life decisions, which is very important in any profession a child would go
Solving math word problems is a big part of
any math curriculum in Russian. Its traditions go back
to the Russian mathematics methodology that was founded on L. Magnitsky's
"Arithmetic". His textbook and
math word concepts are considered to be deeper and broader than the ones
presented in American school text books.
The geometrical component is based on the elementary school textbook
"Visual Geometry" by N.B. Istomina and "Visual Geometry" by
I.F. Sharygin for 5-6 grades. It is designed to spark children's interest in
geometry, as they work with geometrical manipulatives, solve geometry based
word problems and learn about the interesting facts about the development of
science, physics, geometry and technology.
Russian math curriculum has long
incorporated challenging logic math problems.
Many of these word problems were
published in the book by E. Ignatiev "Witty Word Problems" in 1918,
and we still can find most of them in the current math textbooks used by
various public and private schools in Russia. Some of these are included in our math course
with the hope to help children develop critical thinking skills.
Math” course combines teaching several essential components of contemporary
math (algorithm theory, combinatorics, graph theory, topology) alongside
learning how to solve Olympic level math problems using many (and very often
unknown to the kids) means and methods. The primary textbooks for the course are the
series "Mathematical Etudes" that was designed especially for
schoolchildren by the methodologists at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics of
the Russian Academy of Sciences.