Gifted children are often visual, conceptual learners who intuitively understand math concepts well beyond their years, although their ability to write numerals or memorize math facts may be average or lower.

Our students work in mixed-grade groups according to their readiness. It’s not unusual to see a third grader learning alongside a first or sixth grader. 
Students study math for one hour daily, in addition to the math concepts encountered in their Expedition work. Our program uses Singapore Math and Art of Problem Solving. In comparison with typical math programs, the Singapore Math curriculum covers foundational concepts in much greater depth, which is ideal for gifted learners. Singapore Math also makes extensive use of concrete objects and model drawing to visualize problems.  This is perfect for our many visual-spatial learners, and promotes flexibility in our symbol-oriented students.
When our students are ready for pre-algebra, they progress to The Art of Problem Solving. The program, specifically written for gifted students, emphasizes deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Students are challenged to apply these concepts to solve complex, non-routine problems.

Math Circles 

Every Friday at Helios, we feature Math Circles, which are complex, open-ended math challenges that students solve as a group. They work together to define mathematical questions, notice patterns and test solutions, often discovering multiple approaches to the same problem. Students are doing the real world work of mathematicians; beyond writing and solving symbolic math problems, they generalize, prove, and investigate unusual mathematical questions. This type of problem solving is particularly compelling for gifted learners. While many schools in the Bay Area offer a version of a Math Circle as an enrichment activity, Helios includes it in the regular curriculum.

Try a sample Math Circle called "The 4 Coins Question" by clicking here.

Math Circle Photo Thousand Lockers Problem
Boy looking at math poster.

"We see Math as a joyous art - not just a calculation"

- Linda Zadik, Assistant Head of School