Why are we doing Washington State Learning Standards in Math?
- These standards were adopted in 2011. They outline what students should learn at each grade level in order to foster College and Career Readiness.
- The Washington State Learning Standards for Math include eight practice standards that are the same for grades K-12. These are the all-important skills that help students develop into mathematical thinkers and problem-solvers.
- Like any standards, Washington State Learning Standards do not dictate how a teacher should teach. They do, however, lend themselves to more inquiry-based teaching methods.
Why can’t you teach math the way I learned it?
- Research shows that students do not learn math deeply with traditional teaching methods (teacher at the board dispensing knowledge).
- When students leave high school for a career or college, it is imperative that they be able to understand problems, determine a solution path, communicate their ideas, and justify their reasoning no matter what kind of work they end up doing or what they end up studying.
So what will my child’s math class look like?
- Group work
- Lots of discussions
- Productive struggle
Why isn’t the teacher showing the kids how to do the problems? Why do they have to figure it out on their own?
- This is called productive struggle, and it:
- Promotes deeper understanding of math
- Helps students to see that their effort is worth it
- Yields results
- Empowers students to see themselves as mathematical thinkers with worthwhile ideas
- Helps students feel hopeful about math; chips away at the idea that you are either born with a “math brain” or you are not
- Emphasizes understanding and ideas rather than speed
How can I help my child be successful in math?
- If you have “math anxiety” or struggled with math yourself, try not to share negative messages about math with your children. This has been shown to impact their achievement!
- Access Parent Resources:
- CPM (Core Connections) http://cpm.org/parent-support/
- Includes links to homework help and parent guides by course/chapter
- Illustrative Math:
- Grade 6: http://im.openupresources.org/6/families/index.html
- Grade 7: https://im.openupresources.org/7/families/index.html
- Grade 8: https://im.openupresources.org/8/families/index.html
- For more about research based math instructional practices: