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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Developing and Assessing the Standards for Mathematical Practice

As I focus on the start of the year, I am cognizant of the need to immerse students in the Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs). Each day, two to four students will have the opportunity to share their mathematical thinking with the class. I will give students a template and a rubric to guide their preparation and presentation.

I will assess students' presentations using the rubric and keep track of their scores and presentation goals. Beginning this routine at the start of the year will ensure that students' voices take center stage in the math classroom.

Further, I will embed the SMPs in our daily learning in the following ways:

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
I will teach students the SRSD approach to math problem solving. I will assess their initial skill and develop skill with problem base efforts and problem base assessments (PBAs) that connect to each unit of study.

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. 
While this standard will be part of every unit, it will be a main focus of the start-of-the-year Examine Landmark Numbers and Figures study.

3. Model with mathematics.
The entire year will focus on visual literacy by connecting number to shape; looking for numbers and figures in the world around us, and illustrating mathematical concepts and knowledge with paper and pencil, online tools, coding, and photography.

4. Use appropriate tools strategically.
Students will have the opportunity to learn about all the available math tools during start-of-the-year units including Numbers that Define You and Examine Landmark Numbers and Figures. The tools will be housed carefully in a math corner of the room for ready access. Students will have the opportunity to use online and hand-held tools regularly as we explore and study mathematics.

5. Attend to Precision.
Daily students will attend to precision as we work together on math problems and projects. In the evenings, they'll have opportunity to develop this skill as they practice math with online sites and solve problems and analyze in their math journals. Further, when students present their math writing, problem solving, and analysis at the front of the room, they'll further have an opportunity to work on precision with language, visual models, and presentation.

6. Look for and Make Use of Structure.
During classroom learning experiences, students will have lots of opportunity to learn about and make use of a variety of mathematical structures and processes to create structure. Further, a number of structures will be presented in their nightly journal pages which will give them the opportunity to practice using structures provided and employing their own structures. The SRSD approach will also introduce structures and processes that develop strong mathematical thinking and endeavor.

7. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
As pattern seekers in all areas of study, students will be on the look out for regularity with regard to their work in all disciplines. The following statements will assist their work in this regard:

  • I notice that ____________ regularly occurs when ______________.
  • When _____, then ________.
  • If ________, then __________.
  • The pattern occurs when ______________.
  • The pattern looks like _______________.
  • We can expect that ____________ results in ______________.
  • I predicted __________ because ______________________________.
Regular attention to the SMPs will build strong mathematical thinking skills and confidence, and these deep mathematical thinking and process skills will transfer to learning in all areas of the curriculum for greater learning/teaching success by providing systematic cognitive pathways for problem solving, analysis, organization, patterning, and connection making.