The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe the habits of mind and skills that mathematics educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students.
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The Standards for Mathematical Practice are a set of guidelines that describe the habits of mind and skills that math teachers should aim to develop in their students, starting from the early grades and continuing throughout their academic careers. These standards were developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in the United States as part of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which has been adopted by many states as a framework for their math curricula.
According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative website, the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice are as follows:
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- Model with mathematics
- Use appropriate tools strategically
- Attend to precision
- Look for and make use of structure
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
These standards are intended to help students become proficient in mathematical thinking and problem-solving, rather than just memorizing formulas and algorithms. As the website states, “while the Standards set grade-specific goals, they do not define how the standards should be taught or which materials should be used to support students.”
A quote from renowned mathematician and educator Seymour Papert encapsulates the spirit of the Standards for Mathematical Practice: “The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.”
Here are some interesting facts about the Standards for Mathematical Practice:
- The Standards were first published in 2010 and have been gradually adopted by U.S. states since then.
- The Standards were developed with input from teachers, curriculum experts, and mathematicians.
- The Standards are based on research on effective math teaching and learning.
- The Standards are intended to be integrated into all areas of math instruction, not just taught as a separate set of skills.
- The Standards have been the subject of some controversy and debate among educators and policymakers.
Here is a table summarizing the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice:
|1||Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them|
|2||Reason abstractly and quantitatively|
|3||Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others|
|4||Model with mathematics|
|5||Use appropriate tools strategically|
|6||Attend to precision|
|7||Look for and make use of structure|
|8||Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning|
This video discusses the eight standards for mathematical practices that are foundational to the Common Core standards. The importance of problem-solving and perseverance is emphasized, along with creating a safe space for students to collaborate and engage in peer review. Modeling real-world problems is encouraged, and the use of technology is encouraged alongside problem-solving skills like mental math. The last two standards focus on using structure and repeated reasoning, and the importance of fundamental math practices is emphasized as lifelong skills. These skills are vital for all students graduating today, regardless of their intended field of study.
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The Standards for Mathematical Practice (MP) describe the skills that mathematics educators should seek to develop in their students. The practices rest on important processes and proficiencies with longstanding importance in mathematics education.
These standards include: making sense of problems and quantities, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others, modeling with mathematics, using appropriate tools strategically, attending to precision, looking for and making use of structure, and looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning.
Practice Standards Make sense of problems & persevere in solving them Reason abstractly & quantitatively Construct viable arguments & critique the reasoning of others Model with mathematics Use appropriate tools strategically Attend to precision Look for & make use of structure