At Dropkick Math Academy, we understand that students have varying styles of learning. That is why our approach respects what we know about how students learn by providing alternatives in the approach that cater to each student’s individual needs.

We sequence the content in a developmentally appropriate way, ensuring students can build on their understanding as they progress. Our emphasis is on conceptual understanding, as opposed to rote memorization. With this approach, we aim to build confidence and independence in our students, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed and excel in math.

Research-Based Learning

Dropkick Math Academy offers research-based, student- centred learning that follows the same outlines provided in the Ontario math curriculum. Our programs align with many educational researchers, including Marian Small, Jo Boaler, and Catherine Fosnot, using models to develop children’s deep reasoning, problem-solving, number sense and critical thinking skills.

Our information includes:

Developmental learning
of mathematics.

Recognized common areas of difficulty in mathematics that students have, and research in best instructional practices for addressing these areas of difficulty.

Current research around how to support students who are struggling in math; in particular, addressing both different learning styles and alternative strategies for learning a mathematical concept.

Strategies to Target Challenges

Understanding the concept of developmental learning in math can go a long way in assisting students who face common difficulties in this subject. Often, difficulties arise from students being taught concepts before they are developmentally ready for them or inappropriately. However, research has shown that there are specific strategies that educators can use to target these challenges. These strategies can be instrumental in helping students overcome their math difficulties, ensuring that they have a solid foundation in the subject and, ultimately, helping them achieve success in their academic pursuits.

Current Research On Supporting Struggling Students Suggests The Need To Incorporate The Following In Any Remediation Program:

Differentiated Programming

Visual Representation


Conceptually-based explicit instruction

Meaningful practice

Math Discussion

The Four Pillars of Math

The four pillars of math are essential for students to understand in  order to achieve success in mathematics.

These four concepts, including number sense, operational sense, proportional reasoning, and algebraic reasoning, provide students with a strong foundation to build upon as they progress to more advanced mathematical concepts. Mastery of these four fundamental principles
equips students with the necessary skills to approach and solve any problem they may encounter in math. By focusing on the four pillars of math, students can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the subject, ultimately leading to greater confidence and achievement in
their math studies.

Number Sense

Number sense is a vital skill that enables individuals to understand the meaning and magnitude of numbers. It goes beyond simple calculations and involves a deeper understanding of how numbers work and how they can be used in different contexts. As children grow and learn, their number sense evolves as well, adapting to the challenges they face. They begin to develop an awareness of numbers at a young age, starting with counting and gradually moving toward more complex concepts like fractions, decimals, and ratios.

By nurturing this skill, individuals can improve their ability to reason with numbers, interpret data, and solve problems. Despite its importance, number sense is often overlooked in traditional math education, highlighting the need to recognize and value it as an essential part of mathematical literacy.

Operational Sense

Operational sense is a fundamental building block for children’s mathematical development. It is a concept that goes beyond merely memorizing basic math operations but focuses on understanding how they work together in real-life problem-solving situations. Those who have a strong grasp of operational sense can easily recognize the relationship among the different operations and develop effective systems for computing numbers.

This skill enables children to identify patterns and connections between numbers and apply logic and reasoning to find solutions. Children can build a sturdy foundation for future mathematics and critical thinking success by honing their operational sense.

Algebraic Reasoning

Algebraic reasoning is a fundamental way of thinking that uses mathematical concepts to solve problems and understand relationships. This approach is an essential skill that is introduced early on in learning and continues to play an increasingly important role through grades 4 to 9.

By using algebraic equations, graphing, and creating tables and charts, algebraic reasoning can be used to solve problems in a variety of ways. It is a powerful tool that can help students comprehend complex ideas and make predictions about the future. By mastering algebraic reasoning, it can help them gain a better understanding of the world around them.

Proportional Reasoning

Proportional reasoning is a fundamental concept in mathematics, which is often seen as the key to understanding abstract mathematical concepts. It is a theme that runs consistently throughout all areas of mathematics, providing the foundation for solving many complex problems. Additionally, proportional reasoning is not just a process but rather a way of thinking about numbers in relative terms to understand their relationships to one another.

This way of thinking is essential for solving problems and answering questions in a variety of mathematical contexts. Once students have mastered proportional reasoning, they can apply this concept to solve problems in almost any field, from science and engineering to economics and finance.

Mastering The Four Pillars

In order to achieve success in math, it is essential to master each of the four pillars. While these basic mathematical concepts might seem simple, they form the foundation for all future math learning. Neglecting to understand just one of these pillars will result in a shaky foundation that will significantly impact future math success.
It is important to approach math education with a holistic mindset, learning each of the four pillars together in order to build a strong, unbreakable mathematical foundation. By doing so, students can better understand the logic behind mathematical processes and even begin to develop shortcuts and strategies to solve complex problems. So, let us all remember to always prioritize the four pillars of math in any learning environment!

The Importance Of A Strong Foundation

At the Dropkick Math team, we understand the importance of laying a strong foundation when it comes to math education. That’s why we are committed to helping students master the Four Pillars of Math. Students can approach complex math problems confidently and easily by excelling in these areas. We firmly believe that building a strong foundation in these four pillars is the best way to set students up for success in their math education.

Learn more about the four pillars