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Q&A #19591


Homeschooler

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 25, 2008 at 08:14:13
Subject: Re: Homeschooler

Hi Sheila,

I am not sure what you have taught your child already, but I can share
the "big" topics that my school system addresses. We cluster our teaching
around number and number sense, computation and estimation, geometry and
measurement, probability and statistics and patterns, functions and algebra.
Each grade level takes the ideas a bit deeper.  If you would like exactly
what is done at each grade level, you can use the following URL to look at
Virginia's curriculum.
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Instruction/sol.html#mathematics

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has five goals for
students:
Learn to value mathematics
Students should have numerous, varied learning experiences that illuminate
the cultural, historical, and scientific evolution of mathematics. These
experiences should be designed to evoke students' appreciation of
mathematics' role in the development of contemporary society and to promote
their understanding of relationships among the fields of mathematics and
the disciplines it serves: the humanities and the physical, social, and
life sciences.

Learn to reason mathematically
Skill in making conjectures, gathering evidence, and building an argument
to support a theory are fundamental to doing mathematics. Therefore, sound
reasoning should be valued as much as students' ability to find correct
answers.

Learn to communicate mathematically
To express and expand their understanding of mathematical ideas, students
need to learn the symbols and terms of mathematics. This goal is best
accomplished in the context of problem solving that involves students in
reading, writing, and talking in the language of mathematics. As students
strive to communicate their ideas, they will learn to clarify, refine and
consolidate their thinking.

Become confident of their mathematical abilities
Study that relates to everyday life and builds students' sense of self-
reliance will lead them to trust their thinking skills and apply their
growing mathematical power. School mathematics should prompt students to
realize that doing mathematics is a common, familiar human activity.

Become mathematical problem solvers.
Problem solving is the process through which students discover and apply
the power and utility of mathematics. Skill in problem solving is essential
to productive citizenship.

There are some resources that may help you at the following URL:
http://www.nctm.org/resources/families.aspx

You might also try the Family Math Books put out by EQUALS, at UC-Berkeley
http://sv.berkeley.edu/showcase/pages/fm_act.html  for some great games
and activities that help students from preschool all the way into high
school learn math concepts. These books explain the important strands
students should be learning about, to help parents understand ways to help
their children.

I hope this gives you somewhere to start. Let us know if you have further
questions. We are happy to try to help.

 -Gail, for the T2T service

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