Covid-19, NTI, and School Data Needs Part 3: Mathematics

While there are smart student characteristics that are common to all disciplines and all grade levels, there are some characteristics that indicate strength in a given discipline. In math, for example, there are a number of variables that determine whether or not a student will develop as a “proficient” mathematics student. A brief summary of these characteristics is included in the chart below:

Characteristics Required for Proficiency in Mathematics

Current Tools Available

Usable in Regular School Setting

Usable in VI or NTI Setting

Priority

A positive attitude about mathematic study

 

 

 

 

Mastery of the reading and writing skills required on state mathematics assessments

 

 

 

 

A work ethic that includes maintained high-level engagement in tasks

 

 

 

 

A positive perception of  self as mathematician

 

 

 

 

Arithmetic fluency (e.g., number fact fluency)

 

 

 

 

Mastery of course-appropriate concepts

 

 

 

 

Successful real-world applications of arithmetic

 

 

 

 

Mastery of the arithmetic formats and venues

 

 

 

 

Mastery of arithmetic operations

 

 

 

 

Mastery of grade level algebraic concepts

 

 

 

 

Mastery of grade level algebraic operations

 

 

 

 

Mastery of grade level algebraic thinking and problem-solving

 

 

 

 

Successful real-world applications of algebra

 

 

 

 

Mastery of algebraic assessment formats and venues

 

 

 

 

Mastery of grade level geometric concepts

 

 

 

 

Mastery of grade level geometric operations

 

 

 

 

Mastery of grade level geometric thinking and problem-solving

 

 

 

 

Successful real-world applications of geometry

 

 

 

 

Mastery of grade level geometry assessment formats and venues

 

 

 

 

Mastery of calculus concepts

 

 

 

 

Mastery of calculus operations

 

 

 

 

Mastery of calculus thinking and problem-solving

 

 

 

 

Successful real-world applications of calculus

 

 

 

 

 

This development goes on to include statistics, mathematical operations from other disciplines, etc. in a standards-based world. It is inappropriate for a teacher to say a student is a bad math student without identifying the competency area listed above and the specific element(s) within the competency area that undermine that student’s proficiency.

It is important to note that many of the characteristics of a proficient math student fall outside of the taught curriculum area. During the second semester, it is critical for math teachers to attend to both the taught and the experienced curriculum and to monitor student growth in competency areas that were previously seen as “not proficient.”

 

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