The Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) in mathematics contain challenging new expectations for students and teachers. In the past, students were taught to find answers to math problems quickly often by learning various algorithms (a series of steps followed in arithmetic to derive an answer) and by memorizing quick tricks.
Today, not only do students learn to find answers to math problems but they also required to understand the meaning behind the mathematics used to find those answers. The goal is to make math useful as a meaningful tool to solve future problems long after the student has left school. In the process, our students develop mathematical ways of thinking such as:
looking for patterns and seeing regularity in repeated reasoning;
being precise with calculations and use of tools;
persevering in problem solving; and being able to explain his or her thinking while listening and evaluating others.
In meeting these standards, our school looked to a new resource developed in New York State called Engage New York. This curriculum addresses these challenges head on by aligning topics and lessons directly with Common Core Learning Standards. Each module provides a balance of conceptual understanding, fluency practice, and meaningful applications. Students solve problems that call for analytical and creative thinking.
As a parent, you may see or hear some terms that are unique to Engage New York. The lessons at each grade level are grouped into “modules.” Each module contains” topics” and lessons. A typical lesson runs between 60 and 70 minutes. During this time, students review and practice previous learning during a short “fluency practice.” Then new learning is presented during the “development concept” section using various mathematical models. Students have the opportunity to apply this new learning in a “practice set” of problems guided by the teacher. The lesson ends with a “student debrief” and an “exit ticket”. A homework sheet is also available for additional practice.
Below are some additional online resources. You may also contact your teacher if you have further questions or want more information.
Parent newsletters include a synopsis of every module in Engage New York (also known as Eureka Math) and introductions to some of the less familiar representations used.
Unsure which Module or Lesson your student is working on? Look in the upper right corner of their paper for help.