Montair School

Math at Montair

SO HOW DO I KNOW WHAT MY CHILDREN ARE LEARNING IN EACH GRADE?

Parents can download the complete Common Core Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) by clicking here, but this can be a cumbersome resource. Attached you will find a document pulled from the CCSSM where we highlight the Critical Areas of Focus and the Required Fluencies for each grade, Kinder through 5th. The Critical Areas of Focus are the most important skills for students to master at each grade level. They are the priority standards that should be given the most time and attention. The Required Fluencies are the skills that students should have mastery over- allowing them to be quick and accurate. These required fluencies are areas where parents can really support their children with games, flashcards, and lots of extra practice. To find out more, watch this fascinating TED talk by Jo Boaler- Why Students in the US need Common Core Math

8 MATHEMATICAL PRACTICES

One of the most exciting elements of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics is the identification and development of the 8 Mathematical Practices for Kindergarten through 12th grade. These ...more

Problem of the Month

The SRVUSD works closely with the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative (SVMI).  The Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative is a comprehensive effort to improve math instruction and student learning. The Initiative is based on high performance expectations, ongoing professional development, examining student work, and improved math instruction.  Our partners at SVMI have developed some graduated math tasks called Problems of the Month (POMs) that our students will be experiencing once per trimester minimum.

 

Students are given a math task with levels A-E. A level problems are the most accessible and they become more complex and involve higher order thinking and math skills as the students move up the levels. After working independently on the tasks for a while, the teacher asks students at the same level to collaborate and share their thinking. This sharing is key to the process in that our students learn to construct viable arguments and defend their thinking. They also learn to listen to the reasoning of others and evaluate its merit. After this collaboration, the team creates a poster explaining their newly refined thinking and these posters are shared with the rest of the class and sometimes even the rest of the school. Other groups view and examine the various posters with guiding questions in mind.  Do I agree with this group's conclusions? Did they tackle the problem in a similar or a different way than we did? How so? Have I learned anything new that would make our poster stronger?

 

After this walk about and reflection, students return to their poster to revise it to reflect any new learning they discovered in the gallery walk. Then individually, students will reflect on their learning and write about their aha's.  This POM process is a wonderful opportunity for students to push their mathematical thinking and reasoning and to practice the 8 Mathematical Practices underlying the Common Core Standards for Mathematics. To learn more about POMs check the calendar for an upcoming parent education night—FAMILY MATH NIGHT (TBA).

 

At the bottom of this page, see a graphic to further explain this POM process. 

Problem of the Month Process

POM Graphic

Family Math Night Presentation

Last year, we hosted two Family Math Nights where kids and families could work together having fun solving math problems. It was geared to engage a wide range of learners, including the parents! 

 

Stay tuned for more information once we come up with our Fall event date. 

What are some good web resources to support my child with math?

You Cubed- Stanford University has put together a site rich in tasks and resources to push our students' thinking in deeply contextual ways. The emphasis of this site is on developing reasoning and finding the space to discover mathematics. 

 

Math Playground- This site is a fantastic interactive site that supports students' critical thinking and concept development as it walks them through a variety of problems to solve. All of the work begins with a problem...a word problem, requiring the students to think in context. Also, this site is great practice for the CAASPP testing in that the work requires the students to manipulate objects on the screen, to read carefully, and to check their work. 

 

Illustrative Mathematics- This site explains the common core content standards for each grade level as well as the 8 math practices.

 

There are some videos and some task examples for each. This is a good teacher and parent resource and some older students might also find it interesting. 

 

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics- This site is primarily a site used by educator/members but there are some great student explorations that are available to all. 

 

The Math Forum- This site has weekly problems to solve, puzzles and games, connections to other math projects with people around the world. There is even a question and answer format for kids. 

 

Eduplace-   This site is created by Houghton Mifflin publishers (we don't use their materials for math instruction in the SRVUSD). It has some interactive components for students to practice problems solving and mathematics in a fun format. 

 

Khan Academy- This site has resources for students and parents to learn more about various math concepts, strategies and procedures. It works like a tutorial. 

 

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives- This site offers a 30 day free trial for families or educators to explore a variety of math tools for a variety of grade levels to develop concept understanding and skill acquisition. These manipulatives allow students to discover which tools are best for which types of problems or tasks. 

For the Joy in Math: Videos and More

Below are a few links to videos where you and your kids can have fun with math. 

 

  • Abbot and Costello 7x13 In the Abbot and Costello clips, ask them what's wrong with the "logic" being demonstrated.  
  • Mr. Duey and Fractions
  • Making Math Cool  Check out this Ted Talk from Alex Kajitani. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kajitani and just loved his focus on making math memorable and fun. He focuses his work on engagement and on making our math instruction relevant to the students we are teaching. 

 

Maybe, you and your kids can create your own math videos/songs to share with the rest of us.