The mathematics curriculum of the Saucon Valley School District is based upon the Common Core standards. Pennsylvania is one of forty-three states that adopted the Common Core and subsequent PA Core State Standards to provide clarity and specificity to mathematics instruction, both in terms of content and practice. To access the PA Core State Standards visit www.pdesas.org/CMap/CFramework To access the Common Core State Standards for Math visit www.corestandards.org/Math
The ultimate goal of the teaching and learning of mathematics is to foster student enthusiasm and curiosity through growth in understanding of mathematical theory. To this end, the mathematics curriculum of the Saucon Valley School District seeks to foster student abilities to reason logically, problem solve and exhibit a disposition to persevere with real-life problem solving situations. For kindergarten through grade eight, standards are defined by the mathematical domains at each grade level. For high school mathematics, the standards are organized by conceptual themes.
In addition to content standards, the Standards for Mathematical Practice address processes and proficiencies tied to student learning. These mathematical practices span all grade levels and emphasize proficiencies in problem solving, reasoning, communication and strategic competence that all students should develop.
The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe the variety of proficiencies that mathematics educators at all levels seek to develop within their students. The eight Standards are listed below:
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- Model with mathematics.
- Use appropriate tools strategically.
- Attend to precision.
- Look for and make use of structure.
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
Math in Focus® is the U.S. edition of the highly effective Singapore Math® by Marshall Cavendish. The program is designed to develop students’ foundational understanding through hands-on learning, visuals and pictorial representations. Math in Focus® is built upon a framework developed by the Singapore Ministry of Education and draws on mathematical best practices highlighting problem solving as the focus of student learning.
Four Core Areas of Math in Focus®
Mathematical Problem Solving: Mathematical problem solving is central to student learning. Problem solving is directly embedded into daily instruction. Student thinking and application of learned skills and content is challenged in “routine” and “non routine” problems and activities. Please click here for more information on Mathematical Problem Solving.
Model Drawing: Model drawing is a way to represent word problems and number relationships using pictures, (rectangle bars), to support understanding beginning in Second Grade. Pleas click here for more information on Model Drawing.
Place Value: Place value is the system of writing numbers in which its value is determined by its position to other numbers. Place value is a foundational skill for many other mathematical concepts. Please click here for more information on Place Value.
Underpinning Concepts: The goal of the underpinning philosophy is to ensure students’ ability to achieve mastery of mathematical concepts, computational skills, problem solving skills and application of math to daily activities. Pleas click here for more information on the Underpinning Concepts.
In order to align students for mathematical success, it is imperative to have an effective process for placing students on the appropriate trajectory for mathematics instruction through the middle school level. In concert with the placement process, is the requirement for all students to master key concepts and practices in order to develop and utilize their mathematical competence. This thinking provides the foundation for the necessary confidence and academic prowess our students will need as they continue in future mathematics study. Therefore, our goal is to find the mathematical “sweet spot” for our learners including the provision for students to move fluidly and flexibly between courses when appropriate.
Click to view the SVSD Mathematical Pathways Handbook and the SVSD Mathematical Pathways Parent Presentation
It is understood that the learning needs of Saucon Valley students are varied, yet unique. To support these needs, Mathematical Pathways have been created for the following five purposes:
- To clearly define data driven benchmarks and criteria for placement into math courses that will maximize foundational learning and decrease potential learning gaps.
- To provide clear and transparent communication to teachers, students and parents regarding best instructional placement options for students.
- To support and monitor student transitions into appropriate pathways enhancing the achievement of mathematical standards.
- To utilize cross-grade placement options for elementary to middle and middle to high school level classes when appropriate and necessary to meet student needs.
- To emphasize mathematical enrichment and remediation at all levels to the maximum extent possible for all students.
Two additional opportunities to extend mathematical problem solving and promote higher order thinking for our students has come our way! The Saucon Valley School District is very proud and excited to continued participation in the Continental Math League (CML) Challenge, Euclidean Division! The Continental Math League is a national math problem solving competition designed to allow our students to try difficult and challenging math application problems. This opportunity is open to ALL students in grades 2-5.
Also, Hands-On Equations will be used in grades 3 and 4 to augment instruction. Hands on Equations is a supplementary program that can be used with any math curriculum to provide students with a concrete foundation for algebra. It uses a visual and kinesthetic instructional approach to demystify abstract algebraic concepts. This hands-on, intuitive approach enhances student self-esteem and interest in mathematics.
As students move into the upper elementary and middle grades, the focus of mathematical study shifts toward a formal study of algebra. Students continue their study of numbers and number relationships by expanding to rational number computation and estimation, as well as relationships among fractions, decimals and percents.
Problem solving and reasoning skills are further developed through experience involving area, volume, probability and basic statistics. In algebra, linear relationships and their representations in tables, graphs, and equations are explored. Facility with proportion is developed through ratio study, similarity, scaling, linear equations and slope.
A variety of courses offered for high school students in the Saucon Valley High School are available. Coursework is designed to meet the needs of all students including students completing their study of Algebra 1 up to and including AP coursework typically learned in college (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC). For further information regarding course content and details, please click here to access the High School Program of Studies.