Thursday, August 28, 2014

Developing, teaching, and implementing Common Core State Standards Math curriculum

You've probably been hearing about the rollout of Common Core State Standards, especially since we've revamped our math curriculum for all our schools. Our math department has been hard at work over the summer developing teacher training, and teachers have come out of it excited to use the new curriculum in classrooms.

Not sure how to help your children with their homework? These questions and prompts are a good way to start:
  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
    • What are you solving for in the problem?
    • Can you think of a problem that you have solved before that is like this one?
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
    • Can you write or recall an expression or equation to match the problem situation?
    • What do the numbers or variables in the equation refer to?
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
    • How do you know that your answer is correct?
    • If I told you I think the answer should be (offer a wrong answer), how would you explain to me why I’m wrong?
  4. Model with mathematics.
    • Do you know a formula or relationship that fits this problem situation?
    • What does the number(s) in your solution refer to?
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
    • What tools could you use to solve this problem? How can each one help you?
    • Why is this tool (the one selected) better to use than (another tool mentioned)?
  6. Attend to precision.
    • What do the symbols that you used mean?
    • Explain to me (a term from the lesson).
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
    • What do you notice about the answers to the exercises you’ve just completed?
    • What do different parts of the expression or equation you are using tell you about possible correct answers?
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
    • What shortcut can you think of that will always work for these kinds of problems?
    • What pattern(s) do you see? Can you make a rule or generalization?

For even more questions to ask, download this parents' guide for developing math skills and visit the SFUSD Math Department website for further resources.

Take a look at how some of these practices have been implemented already in our classrooms:

Math image from Tim Geers, CC BY-SA 2.0