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About Connected Mathematics

Throughout the Connected Mathematics curriculum, students are required to solve problems and defend their solutions. Writing clear and concise arguments is a skill that students practice on a daily basis. Most of the investigations require students to both solve the problem and explain their reasoning. Their written explanations may refer to calculations, tables, or graphs that they create or they may describe their solution in a step by step list. Teachers in this program encourage students to read their solutions out loud enabling them to hear whether their writing makes good sense or needs further clarification.

How can this Language Arts connection be further enhanced? Students might gain a sense of the importance of their Mathematical communications if they were written in conjunction with a Language Arts assignment. For example, a Language Arts teacher might assign a problem that asks students to explain to another student a method for changing fractions to decimals. In another case, a Language Arts teacher might develop an interdisciplinary lesson with a Mathematics teacher in which a letter is written to convince an advertiser to place a radio ad based on given survey data.

Unit Projects

In addition to the daily writing activities that go along with investigations, most of the units include a unit project that students work on independently. These projects usually have a specific task but a allow students the freedom to choose how they want to present their findings.

In the unit project for the book Prime Time students are given the option of writing a story, composing a poem, creating a poster, or finding some other way to highlight a special number.

In Shapes and Designs the unit project has students collect drawings, photos, and clippings that show examples of shapes being used in the world around them. They use these images to create a book, poster, story, report, mobile, movie, or slide show.

The unit project for Covering and Surrounding is to design a park to be placed on a piece of donated land. The park needs to meet specific geometrical requirements. Along with the drawing, students write a report and a letter explaining why their design should be chosen.

As with the Quakertown School District's assessment rubric and the PSSA assessments, a written explanation has become an essential part of a student's solution to a given problem. Communicating accurately and convincingly is crucial to demonstrating understanding in Mathematics.

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