Mathematics in its purest sense is the study of quantity, structure, space, and change - or more commonly known as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and analysis. For our students, mathematics is a tool that is used to better understand and make sense the world around them, while providing an increasing collection of "skills" that are applicable to their current and future lives.
The mastery of mathematics is crucial to be well equipped for the 21st Century. Our students are expected to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, to be able to access and analyze information, and possess natural curiosity and imagination. The West Bloomfield School District is committed to helping each child reach the highest level of competency in mathematics, from kindergarten through their senior year in high school.
West Bloomfield has a comprehensive K-12 Mathematics Program. West Bloomfield School District’s curriculum is aligned with Michigan State Standards for Mathematics ( http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/K-12_MI_Math_Standards_REV_470033_7.pdf ).
Our curriculum focuses on building deep conceptual and procedural understandings of mathematics in order to be flexible and adaptable problem solvers. Our curriculum is built on a spaced learning model in which concepts are introduced, developed, and mastered throughout the year and not in just one unit of study. Connections between concepts are consistently highlighted throughout the year and students are asked to make use of these connections in their problem solving.
In support of this curriculum, West Bloomfield School District’s instructional model balances the use of guided direct instruction with full group and small group problem solving, investigation and exploration. Instructional tasks provide multiple entry points for students to promote access and rigor for all students.
Grade 6-8, Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 utilize Core Connections from College Preparatory Mathematics (http://cpm.org ) as its core instructional materials. Grades K-5 utilize Bridges in Mathematics from the Math Learning Center. Each of these programs aligns with our desired instructional model and the Michigan State Standards for Mathematics.
Core Connections is “…built on rich, meaningful problems and investigations that develop conceptual understanding of the mathematics and establish connections among different concepts. The lesson problems are non-routine and team-worthy, requiring strategic problem solving and collaboration. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to justify their reasoning, communicate their thinking, and generalize patterns.” (cpm.org)
Each day students work in teams through a scaffolded set of real world math problems. Through their problems solving work, students explore and observe key mathematical ideas. As students are working, the teacher is structuring and supporting the work via prompting and questioning. Prior to and following group problem solving, the teacher uses direction lecture and guided full group discussion to help name and develop deeper understanding of the mathematics revealed during team problem solving.
You can learn more about Core Connections at each level or course below, including
- Grade level/course introduction and key learning targets
- Lesson and course structure,
- Table of contents
- Correlation guides
- Student and parent supports.
Bridges in Mathematics is a comprehensive K–5 math program. Each day, students are engaged in a Problem or Investigation focusing a key mathematical concept. During the lesson, students are prompted with a whole class problem and provide time to explore and think about the problem individually as well as in small group. The teacher then uses full group discussion to see and hear student thinking and name and discuss mathematical ideas. Lessons are rich in the use of talk, writing, models, pictures, and movement. Students are prompted often to share their own thinking and to listen and critique the reasoning of others. I
In addition to the main Problem and Investigation portion of the lesson, students experience Work Places. Work Places are center-based activities, problems, and games. Students may work individually, in partnerships or in small groups of 3 or 4 students depending on the Work Place activity. Work Places often have varying levels of challenge to meet the needs of all students. During this time teachers observe, prompt and question students on the mathematical focus on the Work Place. A teacher may also pull a small group for guided instruction in order to intervene, reinforce, or extend student understanding.
Number Corner is the skill-building component of Bridges. Each month students are engaged in a set of 5 Math Workouts. These Workouts are lead as a full class guided group experience. These Workouts focus largely on critical grade level mathematical concepts such as number and operation sense, computational fluency, problems solving, and data collection and analysis. The concepts focused on each month changes.
Number Corner occurs daily for 15-20 minutes.