APS Office of Mathematics
The mission of the Office of Mathematics in Atlanta Public Schools is to support the development of all students as problem solvers through effective, consistent and impactful implementation of the letter and spirit of the Georgia Standards of Excellence for Mathematics, and to attain significantly higher levels of student achievement in mathematics as measured by state and/or national assessments and common district performance tasks (NCSM, 2013).
The vision of Mathematics in Atlanta Public Schools is to ensure that effective mathematics classrooms exist where –
All students are:
- Meaningfully engaged with both the content and practice standards of the Georgia Standards of Excellence for Mathematics
- Taking part in solving rigorous problems in real life contexts
- Actively participating in academic conversations using the language of the standards
- Contributing to knowledge within a learning community that values their voice and ideas
- Formulating mathematical claims that both support and challenge the thinking of their peers
All teachers are:
- Using questioning techniques that facilitate student learning and support students’ use of the mathematical practices
- Scaffolding rigor as they move students to deeper levels of cognitive demand
- Emphasizing process and sense making over answer-getting
- Providing ample wait time
- Requiring 100% participation (Thompson, 2012)
- Continually looking for evidence of the level of students’ understanding and providing frequent and specific feedback based upon that evidence
All learning environments are (NCSM, 2013):
- Safe and supportive such that
- a) all ideas and methods are valued
- b) students choose and share their methods
- c) mistakes are learning opportunities for everyone
- d) correctness resides in mathematical argument
- Structured and organized to maximize time on task
- Language rich
TARGETING COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS!Equity and Access – As one of the guiding principles put forward by the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) equity and access make clear that differences in achievement are functions of opportunity. Therefore ALL students should be provided opportunities to engage in powerful mathematical ideas.
Conceptual Understanding/Application – The development of sound conceptual understanding ensures that students not only succeed in understanding rigorous problems today, but that they are equipped with the tools to grapple with the challenging problems of an ever changing tomorrow.
Mathematically Literate – Mathematical Literacy is the operationalizing of mathematical concepts and skills in a cross-curricular way that pervades the educational environment and enriches students understanding of all subjects and everyday life. Functionally numerate students have the quantitative knowledge to apply mathematics against their daily background.
College, Career, and Citizenship Ready – To address the needs of our university stakeholders, the workforce, and our global community we must assist students in not only building awareness of college and career choices but also in preparation for success in those selected fields. Mathematics as gatekeeper (Stinson, 2004) is a powerful tool in providing access to unlimited choices beyond secondary education.