Mathematics Department’s Vision: To develop creative thought leaders and problem solvers, who are driven by the pursuit of lifelong learning and development.
Mathematics Department’s Mission: The Mathematics Department aims to cultivate and foster a deeper level of understanding of mathematical concepts by creating a learning environment that develops student’s curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving tool kit, and independence. We aim to help students recognize themselves as active participants in the learning process and not mere receptacles that knowledge is deposited into; simply put, we want students to be empowered to pose their own questions and create their own solutions, with the guidance of their peers and teacher. We strive to develop students who are resourceful and inquisitive, and able to apply what they’ve learned in the world around them.
Mathematics Department Lesson Flow:
Step 0: Purple Pen Corrective Activities
Based on data collected from the previous lesson’s quick check/lesson quiz, teachers create and facilitate activities that target common student misconceptions and errors. Students are given the opportunity to identify and correct these errors while simultaneously being encouraged to discuss and reflect on why these mistakes are important and how they can be used as learning tools. This process empowers students to be comfortable with making mistakes, build their resilience, and internalize that mistakes are an integral part of the learning process.
Step 1: Problem Based Learning
Students will explore, discuss, and connect their solution to solve a story problem that was presented at the end of the previous class and completed at home. The story problems have been designed to spark student curiosity, activate prior knowledge, build conceptual understanding, highlight that there are multiple pathways to arrive at the same destination, and introduce them to the upcoming learning objective.
Step 2: Visual Learning
Students are given another opportunity to participate in whole and small group discourse as they are guided through a series of examples with built in visual models, videos, and questions that aim to manifest a student’s conceptual understanding; while also giving students the space to make connections to the opening activity.
After having the opportunity to explore and do mathematics students will complete independent practice and problem-solving problems.
Step 3: Assess and Differentiate
To conclude the day’s lesson students will complete a brief self-assessment and a five-question diagnostic assessment to determine whether they need remediation or enrichment. Depending on their performance on the diagnostic assessment, students will be given a remediation activity to help prevent any gaps from forming or they will be given an enrichment activity to push their capabilities.
Step 4: Cliffhanger? Curiosity Corner? What’s next? (I need some help thinking of a creative name for this)
Upon completing their self assessment and lesson diagnostic, students are presented with a mathematical story without a specific question initially. Then, two to three students are asked to repeat the story in their own words; and finally students are asked to think about what questions could be asked. The questions can be mathematical or not. After students have become invested in the problem, they are then presented with the question that they have to answer while at home. The goal of the story problem is to get students excited and curious about the upcoming lesson.