Here at ISB, we have implemented the Investigations Math curriculum, a program that focuses on communication of mathematical ideas, engagement of hands on activities, and a “workshop” style classroom.
Six major goals guided the development of Investigations. The curriculum is designed to:
- Support students to make sense of mathematics and learn that they can be mathematical thinkers
- Focus on computational fluency with whole numbers as a major goal of the elementary grades
- Provide substantive work in important areas of mathematics—rational numbers, geometry, measurement, data, and early algebra—and connections among them
- Emphasize reasoning about mathematical ideas
- Communicate mathematics content and pedagogy to teachers
- Engage the range of learners in understanding mathematics.
Underlying these goals are three guiding principles:
- Students have mathematical ideas. The curriculum must support all students in developing and expanding those ideas.
- Teachers are engaged in ongoing learning about mathematics content and about how students learn mathematics. The curriculum must support teachers in this learning.
- Teachers collaborate with the students and curriculum materials to create the curriculum as enacted in the classroom. The curriculum must support teachers in implementing the curriculum in a way that accommodates the needs of their particular students.
Based on extensive classroom testing, Investigations takes seriously the time students need to develop a strong conceptual foundation and skills based on that foundation. Therefore, each curriculum unit focuses on an area of content, in depth, providing 2 to 5 1⁄2 weeks for students to develop and practice ideas across a variety of activities and contexts that build on each other. The units also address the learning needs of real students in a wide range of classrooms and communities. The investigations are carefully designed to invite all students into mathematics—girls and boys; members of diverse cultural, ethnic, and language groups; and students with a wide variety of strengths, needs, and interests.
The third grade team looks forward to a year of “investigating”!!