Super Star Math


What is Super Star Math?
As part of our LEAP Programs and Services, your child may be participating in Super Star Math opportunities. Super Star Math papers will be handed out to your child each Friday and should be brought to class for review by the following Thursday (unless otherwise directed for weeks with holidays, etc.). These pages are a supplement to your child’s general ed math homework and can also be accessed through the Upper Moreland website on our LEAP wiki page.

The purpose of Super Star Math is to enhance your child’s mathematical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Often, the typical math homework for LEAP students is completed in half the time that it may take another child to complete it. Likewise, the math homework does not always provide the necessary academic rigor that LEAP students often need. As a result of LEAP teachers’ observations over the years, Super Star Math opportunities emerged.

What is the Expectation for Super Star Math?
LEAP students should try to complete the Super Star Math assignment each week. Students have until Thursday’s LEAP class to complete the problems, and they may complete the problems in any sequence they choose. The stars next to each problem indicate the level of difficulty of the problem or the number of parts to the problem. The more stars, the more parts to the problem, or the more difficult the problem is likely to be. Some students like to complete the easier problems first. Some students like to tackle the most difficult problems first, and there are students who like to mix it up as they go along. Again, it is completely up to the student the sequence in which they choose to complete the problems, but please encourage them to work on a few problems each night, or look at their schedule for the week to find days where they have more free time. This is critical in helping to build time management skills. Students are not required to show their work for these problems, but if they do use scratch paper to solve, encourage them to bring their work to class to aid them in their explanations.

The students new to Super Star Math have been introduced to it in LEAP class. They know that some problems may be quite challenging. Problems that are easier to solve can usually be solved in a variety of ways and lead to great in-class discussions on the use of efficient problem solving strategies. The expectation is to have LEAP students strengthen their problem solving abilities. Some of these problems may cause your child to sit and think for a while. If your child is stuck on a problem, he or she should skip it and come back to it later or the next day. If your child is stuck, please encourage him or her to make an attempt or to complete it even partially. This way I can see how your child is thinking it through. There is no penalty for incorrect answers or incomplete answers. We will honor the attempt which will earn the students half of the “star” value. Solutions and strategies will be discussed on Thursdays in class and the students will usually have Thursday night to make another effort at solving the problems for full “star” credit. At no time should your child be sitting in tears or boiling over with frustration as a result of Super Star Math. If these types of reactions are occurring, please communicate with me, and we can discuss various strategies to incorporate into Super Star Math. If your child would like your help on particular problems or would like to seek strategies from online resources, you are more than welcome to pursue those options with your child- sometimes a simple unknown math term could be the obstacle to completing a problem. The goal is to provide a challenging learning experience for each child which will help the students think critically and develop many problem solving strategies.

As always, thank you for your support of LEAP services. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Barbara Hollish, at bhollish@umtsd.org.