Working Mathematically Curriculum Scaffold
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The big idea is that:
All students can learn to work like a mathematician.
There are several overlapping dimensions to this idea:
- Mathematicians learning to count.
- Mathematicians learning to reason.
- Mathematicians learning to measure.
- Mathematicians learning to make connections.
- Mathematicians learning about shape and space.
- Mathematicians learning to predict random events.
- Mathematicians learning to communicate with others.
To assist in the exploration of these dimensions we arbitrarily use
structures to guide our planning. One successful example of a structure is
Maths With Attitude:
- Number & Computation
- Pattern & Algebra
- Space & Logic
- Chance & Measurement
- Teacher team selection from local best practice
Another structural guide (not necessarily as successful) is a sequence of
text book chapters.
Within any planning structure:
- We build units to draw focus to particular aspects of the dimensions.
- Often a unit includes aspects of several dimensions.
- Units bring best teaching practice into coalition with content and context.
- Therefore, to generate purpose and interest within any unit we choose problems to explore, and pedagogy to present them, because interesting problems are the starting point for the work of all mathematicians.
- Doing so begs the question: How do mathematicians go about solving problems? which is what kindles yet another experience of learning to work like a mathematician as described by the one page statement of the Working Mathematically Process.
- The problems chosen to fuel the units are presented through a balance of:
- Whole class investigations ... modelling how a mathematician works
- Tasks ... invitations to work independently as a mathematician
- Tool/skill practice ... to support learner mathematicians to more effectively tackle other problems
The whole thing is not linear - it's a web.