The mathematics program in TCAPS is focused on students developing both conceptual and procedural understandings of mathematics and applying their understanding to solve authentic problems. The curriculum offered is aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
In grades K-5, the published curriculum is “Math Expressions.” The early grades emphasize understanding the base-ten place value system, number and operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Students explore a variety of problem types in order to build the flexibility and independence necessary to negotiate the more complex mathematical situations they will encounter in middle and high school. During math lessons, students engage in “Math Talk,” discussing solutions and strategies with peers in order to explain and justify their thinking. Elementary classrooms also utilize student leaders and a helping community in order to build autonomy and confidence. These structures enable students to learn mathematics with understanding, fluency, and confidence.
In grades 6-8 the published curriculum is “Connected Mathematics 3 (CMP3) “ This program builds on the “Math Expressions” curriculum, moving into more formal work by developing mathematical knowledge, understanding, and skill along with an awareness of the connections among mathematical strands Students move from work with ratios and proportional relationships, early expressions and equations in 6th grade to continuing to work with ratios and proportional relationships, arithmetic of rational numbers, and linear relationship in 7th to algebra and functions in the 8th grade. Each year students also work in geometry, data and probability. There are Academically Talented class options at each grade level as well. Students also have opportunities for earning high school credit as middle school students.
In grades 9-12 offer choices for either “Contemporary Mathematics in Context” or a more traditional program, published by McDougal Littell and Houghton Mifflin. Both curricula are aligned to Michigan’s high school content expectations and state and national assessments. There are a variety of accelerated classes available to both curricula as well. In addition, students may take Advanced Placement classes in statistics and calculus to achieve college credit while still in high school.
The State has changed the requirements in mathematics beginning with the Fall 2007 freshman class, the graduating class of 2011. All students are required to have four years of high school mathematics.
The district participates in ongoing professional development for its mathematics staff. Much of the professional development is done through released time with trained presenters. Some work is done through outside conferences and summer workshops.
Student success is monitored closely. Curriculum-linked assessments are given at all grade levels. The NWEA MAP Growth assessment is given to students three times each year. State assessments are given in grades 3 through 8 and 11th. The EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT tests are given to all students in 8th, 10th and 11th grade. Advanced Placement tests are given at the end of the Advanced Placement statistics and calculus courses, usually in 11th or 12th grade.