Mathematics is viewed not as a fixed body of knowledge to be transmitted, but as a way of thinking and a language. To study mathematics is to inquire into this language and learn to think in this way, rather than solely as a series of facts and equations to be memorized.
UCC students acquire mathematical understanding through ever-increasing levels of abstraction and experience in what it's like to think and act as mathematicians. Teachers plan activities that allow students to construct meaning through direct experience such as exploring, playing and manipulating materials and objects, as well as through conversation.
Teachers provide mathematical symbols and processes so that students can represent how these concrete examples can be described and recorded using the language of mathematics. Students select and use appropriate symbolic notation to record their thought processes. They're frequently asked to explain their thinking, both orally and in writing, in order to share alternative models of solving the same problem.
We utilize the "Everyday Mathematics" program as well as supplementary materials to teach the big ideas in mathematics. Our program provides instruction, experience and practice in patterns, numeration, place value, computation, geometry, measurement, decimals, fractions, graphing and problem-solving. It includes mental math challenges, hands-on activities, cooperative learning and the sharing of solutions.
Most lessons begin with a math message or provocation. There are opportunities to work in small groups according to readiness, interest and learning profiles. Games and cooperative learning are used to develop depth of understanding.
Extension work happens within the program and during class time. Extension is meant to deepen and broaden learning. Extension work may be quite self-directed. It may be connected to the inquiry when appropriate, or may be quite open-ended and connected to student interest and initiative.
Differentiation and extension are provided through the "Everyday Mathematics" program and with the aid of supplementary resources.
Cooperative learning is an expectation in the program. We value participation, explaining, thinking, leading, questioning further and sharing thought processes with peers.
Our math scope and sequence was developed in 2008 in consultation with our Middle Division head of math following a review of our math program and practice.