STEM K-8 Math Program Vision and Goals

STEM teachers talk regularly about math instruction.  Teachers are grappling with how to challenge and support the wide range of learners in classrooms, best practices in math instruction, and mastering common core standards.  On April 26 staff discussed our vision and goals for STEM’s math program. The outcome of that conversation is pasted below. At Wednesday, May 3rd’s 6:30-8:00 pm PTA meeting parents will have an opportunity to discuss and respond to this draft statement about our vision for math at STEM.

Vision and Goals for STEM K-8’s Math Program 

  • Built on strong depth of knowledge regarding common core standards, both at and across grade levels.
    1. Content and Practice standards.
    2. Based on grade level progression documents that incorporate developmental and mathematical readiness.
    3. Balances needs for acceleration, challenge, and support (how, why, and when).
      1. Middle school students need to meet requirements for Algebra and beyond.
  • Supports ongoing development of instructional best practices
    1. Provides a clear professional development sequence.
    2. Emphasizes differentiation and rigor.
      1. Recognizes differences between and provides opportunities for challenge and acceleration.
    3. Develops formative assessments to monitor student learning and build further understanding.
    4. Addresses the widening range in student skills partly connected to changes in student population.
    5. Takes advantage of STEM math opportunities in PBL and other disciplines.
  • Instructional and assessment materials support efficient teacher preparation and student learning.
    1. Includes supports for differentiation and multiple math pathways that build conceptual understanding and elicit student thinking.
    2. Supports baseline, formative, and summative assessments aligned to standards.
  • Clear criteria for student success
    1. Historically was mastery of standardized tests, opportunities for acceleration and challenge.
    2. SBA performance tasks require deep knowledge and application of skills, and are based on common core standards.
      1. There are debates around whether test format is fair for all students.
    3. Includes common assessment practices within and across grade levels.
    4. Communicates skill and performance levels as students transition between grade levels.
    5. It’s important to our community that Middle school students meet requirements for Algebra and beyond.

Celebrate STEM

Sometimes the clouds break and sun shines in! I want to send some love to all the families and staff whose amazing contributions powered the Steampunk Auction on Saturday night!  It was an amazing celebration of STEM community that provides critical support for the programs that  empower our vision. Special thanks to Robin Graham for her auction leadership and all the other volunteers who helped secure donations, produce class art projects, and organize an astounding event.  Your work makes a difference!

Thanks everyone!