A current debate within Alberta involves the effectiveness of our mathematics curriculum. Educators defend that we have a high-quality curriculum but need to continue to maximize how effectively we implement it and help families and the community understand the underpinnings of the approaches we're using.
Alberta Education has prepared the following communication tools to promote understanding of mathematics among teachers and parents:
- Teacher bulletin: Helping parents understand the K-9 mathematics program of studies
- Clarification of expectations regarding basic number facts and strategies
- Fact sheet for parents: Sample standard/traditional algorithms
- Math Video Series
- All parent resources, including 10 more fact sheets for parents, can be found here.
Dr. James Tanton works to promote understanding of mathematics and to demonstrate why the current curriculum and methods of math instruction are on the right track. His 4:18 minute YouTube video does a great job of summing these messages up for all audiences (click here to view).
Being numerate means having the confidence and skill to use numbers and mathematical approaches in all aspects of life - at work, in practical everyday activities at home and beyond, as consumers, in managing our finances, as parents helping our children learn, as patients making sense of health information, as citizens understanding the world about us.
Numeracy complements literacy and is sometimes called ‘mathematical literacy’. Both skills are needed in order to function fully in modern life.
Being numerate means being able to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts and to apply these in a range of contexts and to solve a variety of problems. Being numerate is as much about thinking and reasoning logically as about 'doing sums'.
It means being able to:
- Interpret data, charts, and diagrams
- Process information
- Solve problems
- Check answers
- Understand and explain solutions
- Make decisions based on logical thinking and reasoning.
Numeracy involves skills and abilities to use numbers and solve problems in real life.
Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortium (ARPDC) is implementing a series of webinars entitled Early Mathematics Professional Learning. Click on the link below to go access all content and recorded webinars available.
This is a broad, deeply developed, Alberta resource and includes not complements essential understandings for teachers, but all kinds of other resources. Click on a concept on the wheel - only "Equality" is complete so far - and find affiliated resources. One very interesting aspect is the section on Parent Communication. It provides you with resources on how to explain these concepts to parents.
Clarifications for Mathematics K-9
Alberta Education is clarifying some of the content in the K-9 Program of Study for Mathematics please see the following link for up to date changes to the indicators and the Program of Study for Mathematics K-9 https://education.alberta.ca/mathematics-k-6/updates/
Alberta Education also has many supporting documents for the Mathematics Program of Study please follow this link for the achievement indicators, authorized resources, additional support documents, fact sheets, videos, Frequently Asked Questions and the English-French Mathematical Lexicons. https://education.alberta.ca/mathematics-k-6/program-supports/
Instructional Strategies and Supports Alberta Education
This section of the inclusive education library includes Making a Difference: Meeting Diverse Needs with Differentiated Instruction, and sample strategies and supports for mathematics. Once you are connected to this link please look under Mathematics Instructional Supports or Mathematics Instructional Strategies. http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/ieptlibrary/lib08.html