Mathematics in CISD: Philosophy, Guiding Principles, Belief Statements
High quality mathematics curriculum and instruction engages hands, minds, and intellect through authentic, active learning that supports each student to achieve personal success. These learning experiences, assessed through a variety of methods, bridge the concrete and abstract by applying critical thinking skills and problem solving strategies in meaningful and relevant situations. Through the understanding of mathematical concepts and reasoning, every student will be prepared to communicate effectively using the language of mathematics as a tool to meet future challenges.
Guiding Principle (and Belief Statements) Number 2:
Mathematics curriculum and instruction must be rigorous and relevant in order to develop conceptual understanding and skills
- Mathematics relates to other content areas.
- Strands in mathematics are connected.
- Vertical and horizontal alignment is crucial when developing mathematical literacy.
- Mathematics develops higher level thinking.
- Teaching methods include multiple strategies such as: inquiry-based instruction, learner-centered instruction, multiple resources, and hands-on learning.
- Students and teachers use technology as instructional tools.
I recommend that we consider what NCTM President Linda M. Gojak shared in her President's Corner article What's All This Talk about Rigor?
Within the article, a clarification of learning experiences that do (and do not) involve rigor is shared and compared in the chart below.
that involve rigor …
|Experiences that do|
not involve rigor …
|challenge students||are more “difficult,” with no purpose (for example, adding 7ths and 15ths without a real context)|
|require effort and tenacity by students||require minimal effort|
|focus on quality (rich tasks)||focus on quantity (more pages to do)|
|include entry points and extensions for all students||are offered only to gifted students|
|are not always tidy, and can have multiple paths to possible solutions||are scripted, with a neat path to a solution|
|provide connections among mathematical ideas||do not connect to other mathematical ideas|
|contain rich mathematics that is relevant to students||contain routine procedures with little relevance|
|develop strategic and flexible thinking||follow a rote procedure|
|encourage reasoning and sense making||require memorization of rules and procedures without understanding|
|expect students to be actively involved in their own learning||often involve teachers doing the work while students watch|