Math InformationThe Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards have been in place since 2010. A consortium of educators from across the nation developed the standards in a push to increase student readiness for college and careers. Education departments from most of the fifty states have adopted the standards which are now being implemented nationwide.
We are teaching to the AZCCRS in our entire math program. Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards is more than just a new curriculum; it is a completely different way to approach mathematics instruction. In the past, teachers generally started with giving direct instruction on a specific skill. Eventually students were given the opportunity to apply the skills in real world situations (mainly story problems). The shift to AZCCRS is completely reversed. Students begin with a contextual situation and spend time understanding the problem conceptually. The teacher will introduce the skills that will help students solve the problems more efficiently (the algorithms we all learned in school). Instead of our students having a surface understanding of the concepts, they will explain how and why, and then be able to justify their work and create multiple representations of the objectives.
So, what will this mean for our students? First of all, they will be required to think for themselves! They will also need to work cooperatively with a group of learners to accomplish their goals. Students may find it frustrating at first – the teacher won’t just give them the answer or show them the steps to take, but will ask questions that will guide the students to the end result. Homework will also look different as there could be current skills, review skills, or even preview skills. There will be fewer assigned problems. These problems will require students to think deeper and develop a level of true understanding, as well as answer in detail what is asked of them.
You can help your child with the transition by encouraging them to persevere. Instead of giving help with homework, ask questions that might lead your child to a discovery. And most of all, help them understand that they can do it – and be patient as they relearn how to learn! The concepts we are teaching haven’t changed but the way the students think about them has!I am working hard to make sure the shift to AZCCRS is as easy as possible. Thanks in advance for your patience and support!