Our elementary teachers spent part of their evening yesterday talking mathematics – specifically, strategies for ensuring students’ deep understanding of concepts and skills.
Monday was part one of a three-part workshop series led by Mrs. Jodi Chewning and Mrs. Anne Keo; additionally, it is a continuation of a training initiative that began in October 2011. Sessions 2 and 3 will take place in the coming month.
The days of drill and test prep being enough for students to “pass” math assessments are behind us.
Virginia’s revised math standards demand critical thinking, application, the ability to make connections among multiple concepts, and – occasionally – even a bit of creativity. Take a look at an example of an elementary SOL test question from the previous standards (left), as well as one from the updated standards (right):
The new standards and corresponding assessments do a much better job addressing the skills and competencies we all know to be critical to success in the work place, in post-secondary education, and in life. And despite the evolution of Virginia’s SOLs, excellent teachers have never lost sight of this kind of lesson design or instructional delivery. Great math teachers have always focused on ensuring that their students understand the “how” and “why” of mathematics.
We’re grateful we have so many of them here.