Big changes have occurred in the Mathematics Curriculum over the past few years, with more changes in the works. So what is this Math 1, 2, and 3 stuff? With the adoption of Common Core State Standards, the State of North Carolina developed an integrated curriculum to address the CC standards. Buncombe County district leaders and teachers have worked hard to then interpret and develop ways to implement the new standards. The new standards have shifted the way mathematics is to be taught and what the classroom looks like. So why Common Core? Common Core is a response to the need for a nationwide curriculum goals so when students move from state to state the end goals for all students are the same. The math goals were developed by leaders in the mathematics and mathematics education fields. Colleges and businesses also needed better students and employees. The need to do a task repetitively, quickly and accurately for 8 hours a day is becoming a thing of the past in today’s workforce. Those are jobs handled by robots. Today’s businesses need problem solvers, people who can work in multiple departments on any given day, and who can communicate ideas effectively with other. From this demand came the eight mathematical practices that every high school graduate should be proficient in.
Summary of the Mathematical Practices
So what shifts should parents be seeing?
Greater focus on fewer topics
Coherence: Linking topics and thinking across grades
Rigor: Pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application with equal intensity
Active Learning: Students need to be able to reason about problems and explain mathematics. Real learning is more than students listening to a teacher. Think about your own learning experiences. You probably remember those times when you actively participated in a learning activity more than when you just listened to and watched the teacher.