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Get ready, math teachers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So Texas just released a draft copy of the proposed revisions to the Mathematics TEKS...all I can say is WOW!  There are some serious, and I mean serious, differences between our current TEKS and what they are proposing.  Don't get me wrong...some of it is excellent!  I love that they are including subitizing and number combinations to 10 in kindergarten; explicitly laying out expectations with regard to the three types of subtraction; use language like "unit fraction" in 3rd grade;  and recognizing strategies such as partial products and partial quotients as legitimate means to multiply and divide.  These are things that we've been encouraging our teachers to do already, and now there are explicit expectations from the state that support our work.

Some of the differences...just in Number and Operation?  
  • Place value to 999 in first grade
  • Big shift in emphasis on fractions in second grade
  • Move from place value to the ten thousands in 3rd grade to place value to the billions in 4th grade
  • HUGE focus on fractions in fourth grade (decomposing, finding equivalents, using common denominators to compare)
  • No reference to whole number place value in 5th grade, but of course another HUGE emphasis on fractions (adding fractions with "uncommon" denominators and multiplying and dividing fractions with a whole) and decimals (multiplying and using in quotients).

I haven't had time to look beyond Number & Operation.  When you first look at it, it all looks VERY specific and VERY long.  However, upon closer look you will notice that they've really narrowed it down to three "Focal Areas" for every grade level and then there are 10 - 15 "Supporting Topics for the Focal Areas."  I like helps you see that it isn't really 100 different things that you have to teach, just 100 different things you have to remember when you're teaching those 3 Focal Areas and 10 (or so) Supporting Topics.

But enough about what I think...what YOU think is important, too!  And while I'd love to hear your opinions...the most important thing for you to do is let the state of Texas know your opinions.  The window for submitting comments & suggestions is now through September 30th.

You can find the proposed TEKS revisions as well as information about how to submit your ideas HERE. I'm about to start my list now!!



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