Students work to make sense of ideas by participating in problem solving, guided explorations, and mathematical discussions. Problems presented to students often have multiple solutions or varied methods for reaching solutions. Because reflecting on and writing and talking about mathematical concepts and strategies contributes to student learning in significant ways, there is a strong emphasis on communicating mathematically. Students are consistently asked to explain their reasoning, reflect on the accuracy of answers, prove that methods for solving problems work, compare strategies, and describe and represent what they know about a mathematical idea. Teachers regularly assess students during a unit of study and at its completion to monitor student progress and make instructional decisions.
Our core curriculum in elementary mathematics is Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. In addition to this core program, we use a variety of other complementary resources including both published materials and district created materials to provide more practice, to differentiate instruction, and to embed more problem solving.