Question: How are math facts LEARNED in Investigations?
Answer: Students learn math facts best by using strategies, not only by rote memorization. Math Facts are practiced day-to-day as a component of the curriculum through: BINGO Games, Array Cards, Facts I Know, etc.
Question: How are math facts TESTED in Investigations?
Answer: In K-2, assessments of the facts generally involve the teacher doing an activity with individuals or small groups of students. In 3-5, facts are assessed by giving students a sheet of about 30 problems and giving them 3 minutes to solve as many as they can.
Question: Will the standard U.S. ALGORITHMS be taught within the framework of the Investigations program?
Answer: Yes. The standard U.S. Algorithms are presented as strategies for solving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems. However, the standard algorithm is not taught first, it is explored after other strategies that more readily promote a strong number sense are introduced and practiced. If a child is using a standard algorithm, they will be encouraged to explain their thinking for each step that is performed.
Question: What does ASSESSMENT look like in both CPM and Investigations?
Answer: Students are assessed on an ongoing basis. Assessments are varied and include individual tests, team tests, teacher observations, quizzes, homework, group work and extensive anecdotal records kept by the classroom teacher. Students are assessed and are given a grade in two main categories for math: “Understands/Masters Concepts” and “Communicates Mathematically”.
Question: Will my child be prepared for STANDARDIZED TESTS such as the PSSA, Keystone and SAT?
Answer: Yes. Part of what facilitated this change was a desire to better align our instruction with the rigors of these tests. By offering these math programs to our students we are setting them up to be more successful. The College Board (SAT) and PSSA tests are both changing within the next two years to reflect new mathematical standards and practices. Our new math programs are also aligned with these standards and practices. Traditionally, our students have struggled with conceptual understanding and communicating their thinking on these standardized tests, these programs will also help to address these deficiencies.