At Home With Exemplars

At Home With Exemplars – A Parent's Perspective

Learning with your children at home can be incredibly challenging.  What is realistic?  What should you expect to accomplish?  How should you spend your time? 

Below is an email we received from a parent (and former teacher) in Virginia working with her first-grade son to complete an Exemplars math performance task. Her account shares discoveries and successes of learning math at home. We hope you find it helpful and encourage you to share it with other parents.

To support the at-home learning environment, Exemplars has created several resources including videos and short blogs specifically designed for parents and students. Tips for "how to get started with problem-solving tasks" and "what strong solutions look like" are included.

Good luck!  And please let us know if you have any questions! 

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Parent E-mail

I’ve really enjoyed seeing my son progress as a mathematician using the exemplar process.  Liam has amazing mental math strategies where he struggles is slowing his brain down and breaking his thinking into step by step chunks for others to understand.  Liam really struggled with using words to explain his math thinking.  So I approached Exemplars in a very specific step-by-step process.  

The first day we took a long time just talking about the problem and if he felt overwhelmed we would stop.  Once I started using unit fix cubes specifically and we started talking about how colors represent different parts of the math problem it became so simple it was like a lightbulb went off for him.  Liam constantly wanted to make his math more complicated. He often wanted to use multiplication when it wasn’t effective or efficient—so we spent a long time, probably a week, just talking about what mathematical method is efficient, and what problem-solving strategy would make sense not which problem-solving strategy is harder or smarter.  He’s been doing math worksheets for so long.

I love how the math Exemplars really show rigor, grit, perseverance.  I’m a huge fan!  Our next step will probably be to go through each problem and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of his work.  I’ll probably focus on using the exemplar problem solving procedure focusing on the last step of making a connection!

If you have any tips or suggestions I would love to hear them thank you so much for sharing the free materials!


For more information on Getting Started with Exemplars Tasks check out these videos: