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A change in your child's mathematics curricula may take some adjustment… after all, most parents have learned math by memorization of a specific set of principles or rules to solving problems. However, as research supports, this does little to help students develop a deep understanding of the content or the flexibility to apply math skills into the real world.

Programs like Pearson's Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (grade levels K-5) and Connected Mathematics (grade levels 6-8) offer an entirely different method of teaching and learning mathematics for teacher and students. These math programs were born out of decades of classroom experience and long-term, informed research. Instruction focuses on the development of mathematical proficiency and computational fluency. Computational fluency is described as the ability to understand the concepts, effectively compute or carry out the mathematical procedures, devise strategies to solve problems, and reason or use logic to explain the solution and how they achieved it, and finally engage in the content seeing it as sensible, useful, and doable. The end result is a greater understanding of the content and the flexibility to apply what is learned in students' personal and, eventually, professional lives.

    "All students should be able to reason and communicate proficiently in mathematics. They should have knowledge of and skill in the use of the vocabulary, forms of representation, materials, tools, techniques, and intellectual methods of the discipline of mathematics, including the ability to define and solve problems with reason, insight, inventiveness and proficiency."
    - The overarching goal of the Connected Mathematics Project; connectedmath.msu.edu

The goal of Investigations and Connected Mathematics is to develop a computational fluency by which a student can develop a deep understanding of math and demonstrate flexibility in the methods they employ. Further, they are asked to explain their methods and produce accurate answers. Typically the number of problems presented are fewer than that of traditional instruction to give students more time to reason, build and test theories, try multiple solutions, and make connections. Presentation of their outcomes is done both orally and in writing giving students the chance to organize their thinking and open a dialogue with their teacher and peers.

Research has demonstrated that students using the Investigations and Connected Mathematics curriculum develop a deep understanding of mathematics content and how to apply their knowledge both inside and outside of the classroom. A comprehensive mathematics education allows students to fully understand the theories behind the technical skills and gives them powerful and efficient methods to succeed in their continued education and beyond.

Development, Investigations and Connected Mathematics are funded by NSF, The National Science Foundation.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Programs that apply for a grant bring a large body of research prior to the development of the program and are also committed to collecting evidence of success after the program is implemented.

Visit the NSF website for more information.

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