Mathematics at Tomball Elementary
So what is 21st century instruction in an elementary math class? It is bold. It breaks the mold. It is flexible, creative, challenging, and complex. It addresses a rapidly changing world filled with fantastic new problems as well as exciting new possibilities.
We must teach mathematics for understanding. Students must...
- Discover a variety of ways to compute
- Communicate about math
- Use math to communicate
- Demonstrate a sense of number
- Develop the ability to solve problems creatively
- Expand mathematical ways of thinking
To be successful, students need to think mathematically-to approach problems in many ways. This shift can be accomplished if we make a corresponding shift in instruction, teaching students how to develop higher-order thinking skills. We need to move instruction away from direct instruction and individual worksheet practice toward active engagement through minds-on and hands-on investigations; cooperative learning; and partner, small-group, and class discussions.
My primary role as math specialist is to assist teachers with unleashing each student’s highest intellectual ability through the gradual release of responsibility. Math instruction aims to ensure that expectations for teaching and learning are clear, consistent, and tightly aligned to the goals of the standards themselves. Mathematics instruction requires focus strongly where the standards focus, coherence across grade levels to link major topics in each grade and rigor with equal intensity of conceptual understanding, procedural skills and applications.