Current Math Department Foci
- Correct student placement. It is imperative that students are placed in classes where they encounter challenges and experience success. We have been working with our feeder schools to make sure that our incoming freshmen are placed in the correct math class with the help of various assessments. We have also been working within our own department to make sure that we give correct advice to our own students regarding their next math class. Our work in the vertical alignment of the state math standards from one course to the next serves as a tool in this discussion and supports one of our goals in this year’s WASC report. This will be one of the many items that we’ll continue to work on as a department for the remainder of the year and the following year.
- Real problem solving. A lot of math curricula are designed to teach students the steps for solving certain types of questions. The real test in later math courses or on the job will increasingly be whether students can independently figure out how to put together all the different specific skills to solve a type of problem they've never seen before. This sort of ability isn't tested for on standardized tests and usually isn't an explicit part of normal curricula, but CAN be taught and is something students can improve at with guided practice. A few of our teachers have been collecting resources that can help address this important goal, and have been working on identifying appropriate places within the existing curriculum to bring out opportunities to practice this 21st century skill