Magazine article Children's Technology and Engineering

Core Connections: Math

Magazine article Children's Technology and Engineering

Core Connections: Math

Article excerpt

Dear Colleagues,

There is little doubt among educators that mathematics is important. In some elementary classrooms and schools, this may be because mathematics is one of the two core content areas that determine whether or not a school is classified as having made adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the federal mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act. With such a great emphasis placed on math for this reason, many schools have increased the amount of time and money spent on math. At the elementary level, math is often considered equal in importance to English language arts, or comes in a close second. But just a few years later, when students are in middle school, math moves to the head of the line as parents push for their children to be placed in accelerated math, or to complete Algebra I by the end of middle school because of the assumption that without doing so a child does not have the chance to take calculus and get into a quality college. Federal mandates and parents' desire for their children to succeed in college and life are certainly compelling reasons for focusing on math, but are not the only ones.

There are also countless teachers and schools that value math because of its application in daily life, the workplace, and society. These educators believe in the need for students to be educated to function in an increasingly quantitative world. But teachers are not the only ones sounding the alarm on the need to stress the application of math in everyday life. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics, published in 2010 by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, take this same approach to math teaching and learning. The Standards "call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real-world issues and challenges. …

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