Math Specialist

What We are Learning

Math enrichment groups are going on in grades 3, 4, and 5!

Grade 3
Students are studying number systems. First, they are exploring our own base ten numeration system. They will focus on the role that place value plays in our base ten number system Then they will compare and contrast different numeration systems. Specifically, they will learn about ancient Egyptian number system and the Chinese number system.  

In addition to the place value and numeration unit, students will participate as a team in the Continental Math League problem solving competitions. This competition is a fun, national competition for third graders who enjoy problem solving. These competitions are in January, February and March.

Grade 4
Students are studying algebra. Students will study variables, expressions and equations, and how to use logical reasoning and problem solving strategies. Students will solve one- and two-step equations and solve sets of equations that involve two unknowns using one or more of the following strategies:  guess and test, an organized list, and substitution. In this challenging and fun unit, students will get a chance to solve variable puzzles and even learn and create a magic trick.

Grade 5 
Students began their enrichment with learning about how variables change in relation to one another. They analyzed graphs to determine what was happening in given situations (i.e. distance ran increased as time increased). Now, students are focusing on problem solving. Students are challenged to use a variety of strategies to tackle these rigorous tasks! 

If you have any questions, please call 860-236-3315 x3307

More information on the CCSS



The role of Math Specialist is to support and enrich students in the area of mathematics based on individual student needs.

The Math Specialist coaches teachers in best practices in math instruction, including differentiation, guided math groups, and utilizing mathematical discourse during lessons. As a team with teachers, the Math Specialist uses data to make sound instructional decisions to help students succeed in math. At Smith School, we are fortunate to have two math tutors to assist the Math Specialist to meet the needs of students by taking small groups or individual students for math support as well as work in classrooms to support both teachers and students. Mrs. Foley is the math specialist and Ms. Alison Manaresi and Mrs. Kate Gaumer are the math tutors.

Alison Foley

Mathematics Teacher

I have previously taught fifth grade for 2 years in Massachusetts and fourth grade right here at Smith School for 7 years. My first love has always been math, however, so I was thrilled to move into the role of math specialist ten years ago. I researched mathematical discourse for elementary students and effective mathematical teaching practices for my Masters degree. I live in Simsbury with my husband and daughters Heather (9) and Lana (5). I enjoy swimming, walking, spending time with my family and traveling (especially to Rhode Island and Cape Cod). I also love my three cats Poppy, Jack, and Grey Ghost.