Math: Curriculum Project Team
The current Math curriculum was adopted by the School Board on April 4, 2017. The adoption process followed the procedures outlined in the Instructional Materials Selection Administrative Regulation II/IIA-AR.
- Best Practices in Math Instruction
- Math Project Team Reports
- BSD Math Learning Targets
- Instructional Resources
Recognizing that effective teaching is the most important factor in student learning, our teachers need to know and understand the mathematics they teach, as well as participate in on-‐going professional development to enhance knowledge of content and best practices. To incorporate the following best practices effectively, teachers need to routinely reflect and collaborate on instructional practices, student progress, and understand the mathematics they teach at a deep enough level to be able to explain and apply their understanding in a variety of situations.
Below is an outline of “guidelines for powerful and meaningful” math teaching and learning:
- All students understand that mathematics is a dynamic, coherent, and interconnected set of ideas.
- All students are supported in developing a deep understanding and the ability to use mathematical concepts powerfully.
- All students understand and use counting strategies, number concepts, operations, and computational procedures to solve problems in context.
- All students engage in reasoning algebraically as early as kindergarten and throughout their K‐12 school years.
- All students build an understanding of mathematical concepts in algebra, geometry, measurement, data, statistics and probability, through the use of real-‐world, realistic, authentic, and meaningful contexts within and outside of mathematics courses.
- All students participate in an ongoing assessment process that provides an understanding of what students know and guides meaningful decisions about the instruction and support required to move the learning forward.
- The focus of instruction should enable all students to successfully engage in critical cognitive processes by:
- Helping students to make connections to their prior mathematical knowledge, and between mathematical concepts and procedures.
- Providing students with authentic, challenging, intriguing, mathematically rich, and even counterintuitive problem solving tasks that require them to think and build mathematical knowledge and perseverance.
- Guiding students in how to use representational strategies that include:
- Discussing the problem in small groups (language representations).
- Using manipulatives (concrete, physical representations and tactile sense).
- Acting it out (representations of sequential actions and bodily kinesthetic sense).
- Drawing a model, diagram, or graph (visual, pictorial representations).
- Making a list or table (symbolic representations).
- Encouraging and helping students to communicate their ideas by using a full range of language representations – speaking, writing, reading and listening.
When observing math instruction in the BSD, one should see aspects of each of the following practices:
- The activity is based on a grade level Learning Target, or a transferable skill building to the Learning Target*.
- The lesson is clearly linked to previous and future lessons leading students to understand the connections.
- The learning needs – academic background, life experience, culture and language – of students are the basis of teaching points for all students or some groups of students in order to ensure their success and help them make meaning of key mathematical concepts.
- The Learning Target is communicated through verbal and visual strategies and is used as the basis for students as they check for their understanding.
- Questions are posed to probe and deepen students’ mathematical understanding and to uncover misconceptions. Errors are expected and celebrated because brain research shows that is when the most learning takes place.
- Students are engaged in inquiry in order to uncover concepts, clarify and deepen understanding, and assess their thinking.
- Students are productively collaborating, participating in quality discourse and taking ownership of their learning in ways that support their mathematical learning.
- Students are engaged – speaking, reading, writing and/or listening – in meaningful struggle related to an authentic, challenging, intriguing, mathematically rich, and even counterintuitive, problem-solving task.
Curriculum & Pedagogy
- The tasks, materials and/or assessments are aligned to the purpose of the Learning Target and differentiated to be appropriately challenging and supportive for all students.
- All the tasks/activities are aligned to a clearly articulated Learning Target or purpose to which the students can connect their work and mathematical thinking and have opportunities to explore math topics more deeply.
- When appropriate, teachers use language supports and scaffolds (sentence frames, accountable talk, vocabulary, etc.) as well as hands-‐on materials and visual aids.
- Students are using one or more representational strategies – discussion, manipulatives, acting it out, drawing a model, diagram or graph, making a list or table – to explore and solve an authentic, challenging, intriguing, mathematically rich problem.
- Students are engaged in tasks and activities that promote learning and independence and are encouraged to explore multiple solution processes.
Assessment for Student Learning
- Students are given multiple assessment opportunities with the instruction and support required to move them forward.
- Assessments are aligned to Learning Targets allowing students to demonstrate their level of proficiency.
- Students are using assessment data to assess their progress, set learning goals, and/or monitor their progress over time.
- Teachers use formative assessment data to drive and adjust instruction.
Classroom Environment and Culture
- The arrangement of materials, supports, and physical environment scaffold student learning and the purpose of the activity.
- Resources, materials and technology are used to promote student learning and aligned to the Learning Targets or purpose. All students have access to what they need to support their individual learning.
- The transitions promote learning and maximize instructional time.
- Students understand and adhere to the classroom norms appropriately and their actions demonstrate divergent thinking, risk taking, respect, and a desire to collaborate.