While I love the Common Core’s Standards for Mathematical Practice, one thing I’ve been trying to figure out is how to communicate them to my students. The language of the standards isn’t very accessible for 8th graders, and several of the standards are challenging to communicate no matter what language is used.
I want to write a brief, watered down version of the standards to post on the wall of my classroom for students to refer to, and to establish as mathematical values for students to strive towards. Here’s a first attempt at articulating what those might look like. Statements in bold are what I will be making into a poster for my wall.
MP.1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them —
I persevere when solving hard problems
- I find out everything I can, even if I don’t know how to get to the answer
- I draw a picture or try a different method if I get stuck
- I estimate or make a prediction if I can’t find a precise answer
MP.2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively —
I don’t know about this one. I may cut it, because I don’t know how to articulate it in a way that will be valuable for my students. I think this may have more to do with the questions I pose to students than anything else.
MP.3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others —
I present my thinking clearly and help others to do the same
- I create written work that is well organized and clear
- I argue to support my ideas
- I use mathematical language to communicate effectively
- I disagree respectfully and build off of my classmates’ ideas
MP.4: Model with mathematics —
I use mathematics to solve real-world problems
- I identify mathematical tools that correspond to real-life situations
- I use estimations and predictions to check if my answer makes sense
MP.5: Use appropriate tools strategically —
I think I will cut this one as well. Students will gain these skills by using tools, but it doesn’t happen enough in my classroom right now to feel honest naming it as a key value.
MP.6: Attend to precision —
I communicate precisely and pay attention to detail
- I use appropriate mathematical vocabulary when necessary
- I make note of all key information in a problem and check that I know what it means
- I use pictures, notation, and labels to make sure my work is clear
MP.7: Look for and make use of structure —
I find multiple ways to solve problems, even simple ones
- I approach problems with an open mind
- If look for new ways to solve problems, even if I already know one method
- I consider my classmates’ ideas to find strategies that make sense to me
MP.8: Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning —
I look for patterns in math to deepen my understanding
- I find rules when solving similar problems
- When I have a hypothesis, I test it to make sure it works
- I explore new concepts using ideas I understand to find strategies that work for me
- I believe I can solve a problem, even if I haven’t seen one like it before
Needs a lot of tightening up, but I’m excited about putting something like this on the wall for students to reference.