I’m having a really interesting conversation with Anna and Dylan about whether we should be trying to help students understand the Standards for Mathematical Practice. (It’s on twitter here.)
My position is a work in progress, but I’m trying to stake out a position that favors teaching kids about math, but doesn’t seek to connect these to the Standards for Mathematical Practice. I’ve been yapping on about how I think the concepts (not just the language) of these SMPs depend on k-12 math knowledge.
It occurs to me that it would be helpful for me to make a quick list of things that I think are attainable (and important) to teach students about math. I’m making this list so that each of my practices are related to the SMPs, but I want to be clear: this is not a kidified version of the SMPs. I don’t know if that’s possible. Instead, this is a kiddified list of things k-12 kids should know about the nature of mathematical work.
Big Math Idea 1: People often make important contributions, even when they fail to solve a problem.
Big Math Idea 6: A lot of math involves coming up with a definition or name for something that’s hard to describe.
Big Math Idea 7: Despite what people think, math actually involves a lot of creativity.
Big Math Idea 8: There’s an important sense in which math is the study of patterns.