Canada is a beautiful, stable country with a high quality education system recognized around the world. From Kindergarten to graduate school, students that are fortunate enough to receive an education in this country go on to do great things for their community and the world.
Part of Canada’s strong education system is based on consistent core learning in mathematics. Math skills are life skills: we use math in our everyday lives to budget our money, cook, measure, calculate distance and time, even checking the time requires some numeracy skills. Kids that have a solid foundation of math learning are well equipped to pursue a variety of careers and function productively in society.
Parents and guardians prioritize math learning for the very reason that it will offer so many benefits to kids in the future. With strong arithmetic skills and advanced math learning in secondary school, kids can choose from a number of math related careers that will guarantee them a stable livelihood. With a math background, you can complete degrees and programs in finance, business, medicine, science, education, accounting, engineering, the culinary arts, and academic research. In many university programs, academic stream grade 12 or college math is a prerequisite. With math, we create opportunities for ourselves.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that math can be a difficult subject and a challenge for many. In some cases, students will form gaps in their math learning, making it incredibly hard to pursue math at advanced levels. Thankfully, there are many strategies and resources Canadian students can use to support their math learning all the way through university.
If you are looking to learn more about math learning in Canada, you have come to the right place. This article will explore math learning in Canada from elementary to high school, and what students can do to improve their learning. Let’s start by exploring math learning across the country’s major cities.
Edmonton is one of the most affordable, cosmopolitan cities in Canada with plenty of opportunities for math students.
Math Learning Across Canada
Math Learning in Toronto and Windsor, Ontario
Toronto and Windsor may seem like opposites in terms of cities, but they both possess great universities and access to international, urban amenities. Both places are in Ontario, where K-12 students learn a comprehensive, modernized math curriculum that includes topics like financial literacy and coding.
Ontario’s curriculum is learned in the province and in international schools all around the world. The provincial assessment office, EQAO, ensures consistency and accountability, and is taken in grades 3, 6 and 9. During provincial assessments, student learning is checked and evaluated in the core areas of language and math.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and home to several universities and colleges where postsecondary students can pursue a large variety of degrees, professional programs and certificates. The University of Toronto, York, and Ryerson are the city’s major universities, with colleges like Humber, Sheridan and Seneca also offering degree and certificate programs.
Postsecondary students attending university in Toronto will enjoy an accessible transit system and the flexibility to commute from a family home or rent an apartment or residence on campus. While the cost of living in Toronto is much higher than that of other smaller cities, students will get to enjoy a bustling nightlife, top rated international restaurants and career and networking opportunities unlike many other places in Canada. Students will have the opportunity to choose from a vast range of mathematics and math related programs, and can continue to specialize in graduate schools or illustrious business schools like the Rotman or Schulich School of Business.
Windsor, located in Ontario’s southwestern tip, is a small town with big city amenities thanks to the neighbouring city of Detroit. Windsor students can enjoy all the skyline without any of the hustle, thanks to the city’s riverfront location across from the United States. The University of Windsor offers a great range of undergraduate and graduate programs in math and math related areas. St. Clair College also offers plenty of options for anyone that wants to take college programs or credit upgrades. For all of it’s fantastic amenities, Windsor has a low cost of living compared to Toronto or Vancouver.
Taking Math in Edmonton, Alberta
Edmonton is Alberta’s capital city and another standout when it comes to learning math. Located in mountainous Alberta, Edmonton students enjoy easy access to some of the world’s most beautiful parks and natural scenery. The city is also famously known for its gigantic mall, which contains an amusement park, hotel, waterpark, and extensive shopping selection.
In secondary school, Alberta students can choose course pathways suited for going straight to the workplace, college, or university. Academic stream courses prepare students for math degrees in university, and focus on abstract concepts. The Mathematics 31 course is an academic course that is prerequisite for many university programs.
Edmonton also has a cost of living that is much lower than most major Canadian cities, making it easy to get by on a student budget. The University of Alberta, Concordia, MacEwen, and the King’s University are just a few of the postsecondary schools students in Edmonton can choose from.
Math Programs in Montreal, Quebec
Montreal, located in ‘la belle provence’ or Quebec, is one of the most exciting cities students can choose from to learn math. Located on the banks of the vast St. Lawrence River, Montreal is home to vibrant bars and nightclubs, world-class restaurants, historic European architecture, and a truly multilingual population. Even if you are there to learn math, you will likely learn French as well!
Students that choose Montreal as a place to study will find plenty of great postsecondary options like McGill, Concordia, the University of Montreal and Laval. Montreal follows the Quebec curriculum and education system, where students must attend a year of CEGEP or college prior to moving on to University. If you are studying math to earn a medical science related diploma or degree, you will find plenty of pharmaceutical companies with a homebase in Montreal.
Learning Math in Vancouver
On Canada’s west coast is the beautiful, glass skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is one of the most popular places for math students as it is home to the truly one of a kind University of British Columbia, as well as Simon Fraser in the downtown core.
Students that choose Vancouver have access to one of the most scenic cities with mountain and ocean views at every turn. Vancouver is also home to a wonderfully diverse population, and you will find no shortage of delicious food. Downtown Vancouver is a place you can go to a busy bar, kayaking and biking around a Pacific forest all in one day.
K-12 students will follow the British Columbia curriculum. BC students take assessment exams in high school, which ensures that students are ready to attempt the academic rigour of advanced math in the senior grades and university. The recently revamped curriculum emphasizes real-world skills and math applications.
The Best Ways to Learn Math Online
So much math instruction takes place online these days, especially as the pandemic has extended learning from home options. What are the advantages and disadvantages of online learning?
Advantages of Online Learning
Online math courses at any level are excellent for people who prefer to avoid commuting and want to learn in the comfort of their own home. Many students may be mature adults who have family responsibilities and jobs, so an online environment is an ideal and flexible option. You won’t have to take the bus, look for parking, or lose time in your day transitioning between locations.
If you or your child struggle with anxiety, online courses can take the stress out of being in a classroom or stressful social environment. It’s not uncommon for students who are quiet in class to have found a voice online thanks to different ways of communicating information, such as through a chat or discussion board.
Disadvantages of Online Learning
While online learning is convenient, there are certainly some downsides to it. Traditional, in person math classes enable teachers to observe students closely and look over their work and problem solving as it is happening. They can demonstrate manipulatives or other strategies with the added context of body language, which can sometimes get lost online. Finally, online math learning can be isolating: you may find it harder to build community or connections with your peers.
Windsor is one of Canada’s most unique cities with some of the best schools and resources for studying math. Find out why so many students are choosing Windsor!
How Do You Become a Better Math Word Problem Solver?
Word problems are the bane of many students’ existence in elementary school. What is a word problem? Typically, a word problem is a math question posed using language depicting a ‘real world’. They often require multiple steps to solve, and the expectation for students is to show each step of the problem solving process. Many students struggle with word problems for a variety of reasons. Here is a quick look at how students in elementary and secondary students can become better world problem solvers.
Break Down the Language
Sometimes solving a word problem simply comes down to simplifying the language into shorter ideas, and reading the problem carefully. Underline key points, and take notes, leaving out the less important information. Identify any words or phrases you are unfamiliar with, and look up the meaning or ask the teacher for clarification.
Simplifying and understanding the language of the problem should better illuminate what problem you need to solve.
Master Mental Math
A lot of math problem solving can be made much easier when kids have memorized important math facts, can estimate answers quickly, and understand the processes behind common operations like multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. The same goes for memorizing basic formulas for calculating the area or perimeter of basic shapes, which makes 3D problem solving easier. When students have a firm grasp on how to make calculations, they can quickly identify the strategies they will use to apply to a word problem.
Strong mental math skills can take years to develop so make sure that you or your child start early. Math games online are a powerful and easy tool to practice mental math skills, as are completing math workbooks with repetitive exercises over time. With practice, you’ll find it much easier to answer math problems and to envision solutions in your mind.
Use a Word Problem Solving Strategy
There are a number of word problem solving strategies students are taught to use in school, and while they will vary in terms of complexity and steps, identifying one that works for you or your child can be important. Typically, word problem solving strategies involve breaking down the problem solving process into steps, and a student would show each step in their math notebook or assessment. One example is called GRASS, which stands for Given, Required, Application, Solution and Statement. Each step is summarized below.
Given - Rewrite the information given in the problem in notebooks.
Required - Write what information you are required to find out when you solve the problem.
Application - Write which strategies you will use to solve the problem (ex. Formulas, operations, equations).
Solution - solve the problem using the strategy you have identified, and show your work.
Statement - state your answer in a sentence.
The downside of using a strategy like GRASS is that it can seem like a lot of extra steps for students who are eager to do the math. However, strategies like this are highly effective for showing your thinking clearly so you can get full points.
Get Extra Help from Your School
Many school boards are granted funds to provide extra math support and tutoring within individual schools, so students looking to improve their problem solving skills should look into whether extra homework or math help is provided during lunch or after school.
Math help is usually organized by teachers in the school. For many students, hearing a math concept explained by someone different can make all the difference, so try to get into a group with a different teacher than the one you have if possible. During these sessions, you can expect to work in a smaller group to gain detailed instructions on how to solve math problems, get one-on-one support, or get help on what you are currently doing in class.
Toronto is more than Canada’s largest economic and cultural hub with so many great schools recognized all around the world for mathematics learning. Read all about learning math in Toronto!
What Should You Do if You Need Homework Help in University Math?
University students will obviously be solving more complex and challenging problems at their level of learning. While there can be pressure to do it all on your own, older students should use all the resources at their disposal to enhance their performance at school.
Maximize Tutorial Sessions
In university, you will typically attend classes in lecture format with a professor and then attend smaller tutorial classes for smaller group discussion and instruction led by a teaching assistant (TA). The TA is typically a PhD student who is highly knowledgeable in the subject. Make the most of your tutorial sessions by attending every session so you can ask questions and gain valuable insights from your TA and classmates.
Start a Study Group
One place to start is your own peer group. When you are in a math course, try to connect with other students to see if you can form a study group. Study groups are great ways to share different strategies, discuss and share ideas, and use each other’s guidance to better understand what your professor is teaching.
Study groups are also a great way to make friends in school and build your network. Plan to meet your group at a library, where you will find plenty of conference rooms available for booking. After an afternoon of studying, you can enjoy the rewards of a drink at the pub or a meal at a local jaunt!
Use Math Videos
You’ll be surprised how much information and videos you can find out there on the internet with a simple Google search. Sites like YouTube contain thousands of math videos you can use to support your learning at the highest level, from demonstrations to lectures and explainers. Use math videos to supplement your learning at home or when you are taking a study break at school.
Make sure you are getting quality, accurate information by checking the sources of the video and checking the content against your own knowledge. It’s important to remember that there is a lot of misinformation out there!
Debating between college or university math programs? Find out everything you need to know about studying math in Montreal.
Does Math Tutoring Actually Work?
For math students at any age, tutoring is one of the best ways to strengthen your math skills and enhance your coursework. Tutoring is basically finding someone who is qualified and knowledgeable in the subject you want to learn, and paying them to provide personal guidance and instruction.
Depending on the age of the students, different types of tutors can be used. Students struggling with math at the elementary level will require a general tutor who is simply a few years ahead in their learning. Families might hire a high school or university student, for example, while others may opt for a professionally trained teacher.
Ideally, an elementary tutor can help the child across different subjects, so the student can get help in areas beyond math as needed. In many cases, it is not simply about reviewing concepts learned in class but also working on learning skills that is important. Working on skills like listening, staying organized and independent problem solving are important habits that support overall learning.
High school students will need someone who is confident in math at a more advanced level and has a specialization in the subject. This can include university students and trained educators. The best tutors for high school students will understand the provincial curriculum, and be able to to help the student work toward their long term postsecondary goals.
University students of math will have a much smaller pool of prospective tutors as they will need someone who has more educational experience and skill than they have. Students in advanced level mathematics may find that they have to seek help from math experts outside their community, making online tutoring an ideal option.
A background in mathematics can open up dozens of amazing career opportunities. You can find some of the best university and college programs in Vancouver.
Find an Online Math Tutor
Online math tutoring is one of the best and convenient ways to get targeted math help. An online tutor can meet you safely in a virtual environment to provide additional instruction and target your needs as a student.
Virtual tools for teaching and learning have advanced radically in recent years, with so many new digital manipulatives and ways to use streaming platforms like Google Meet, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. These advances have greatly improved the quality of instruction offered.
For university students, online tutoring can be a great way to recruit expert help, as you may find it hard to find support in the area you are learning. Finding a tutor online can enable you to source advanced level tutors from across the country.
The best way to find an online tutor is to use Superprof.ca. Superprof has listings for thousands of tutors across Canada who can help students with their specific learning needs. The site is streamlined, intuitive, and incredibly easy to use to find a math tutor or private instruction in any interest or discipline you are focused on.
You can use the site to message tutors directly and start conversations to see if they will be a good fit. The site also contains a function to pay tutors so you can feel safe sending money - all you need is a credit card or PayPal account.
Superprof is the best place to find a math tutor- check out the site today!
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