Philosophy - MATH Thematics

 

Middle Grades Math Thematics (STEM) is designed to provide teachers with curricular materials that are mathematically accurate, utilize technology, and provide students with bridges to science and other mathematical fields. The materials are designed to integrate communication into mathematics by providing opportunities for students to use reading, writing, and speaking as tools for learning mathematics. MathThematics materials are problem-centered, application based, and use technology where appropriate. Many lessons are designed to be project oriented and have students work cooperatively. New assessment techniques are used throughout the materials.

In designing the curriculum, the staff worked cooperatively with IBM, McDougal Littell, Texas Instruments, and Microsoft. After 5 years of national field testing, the materials were rewritten and published by McDougal Littell for use during the 1998-99 school year.

Students who complete the MathThematics curriculum will have acquired the mathematical skills necessary to solve problems, to reason inductively and deductively, and to apply the numerical and spatial concepts necessary to function according to their needs in a technologica society. Students will be independent learners, well prepared for both work and further experiences in mathematics. They will have the knowledge, ability, and confidence to explore mathematics at the secondary level. They will be experienced in working with extended projects, cooperative learning activities, technology, hands-on materials, applications, modeling, and new assessment techniques. MathThematics students learn to think mathematically, to become decision makers, and to view mathematics as relevant to their lives and connected to other areas.

The developer's goal is to convince students that mathematics is exciting and useful and to expect students to learn mathematics by doing mathematics in a variety of settings. Students leaving this program should be very strong in communication skills and solving application problems. Topics such as quantitative literacy and discrete mathematics receive much more emphasis than in the traditional curriculum.