The mathematics program in TCAPS is focused on six important areas. Those include curriculum, effective instruction, student understanding, assessment, equity and technology. The curriculum offered is aligned with state and national standards, specifically grade level and high school content expectations (GLCE’s, HSCE’s).
In grades K-5, the published curriculum is “Investigations in Number, Data and Space.” The early grades emphasize number and operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Students also work with ideas from geometry, measurement, data and probability, and algebraic reasoning. Students build a strong understanding of numbers and their properties, which allows them to transition into the more abstract ideas of algebra at the junior high level. They also build their mathematical vocabulary moving from informal to more formal definitions. The vocabulary of geometry, data and probability are challenging for young students so building intuitive ideas and descriptors is helpful for them.
In grades 6-8 the published curriculum is “Connected Mathematics 2 (CMP2).” This program builds on the “Investigations in Number, Data and Space” curriculum, moving into more formal work with fractions, decimals and percents. Students move from work with number and operations in 6th grade to pre-algebra in 7th and algebra in the 8th grade. Each year students also work in geometry, data and probability.
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 from TCAPS. Some work is done through outside conferences and summer workshops. TCAPS has a working relationship with Western Michigan University, Michigan State University and Harvard. These universities bring additional expertise and vision to our math teachers and math leaders at all grade levels.
Student success is monitored closely. Local assessments are given at all grade levels. State assessments are given in grades 3 through 8 and at 11th grade. 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.