General Overview

Mathematics Vision for Stamford Public Schools

All SPS students will participate in a rigorous, standards-based mathematics program and will be prepared for college-level mathematics coursework and competition in the global workforce.

Guiding Principles

  • Higher-level mathematics for everyone
  • Learning mathematics by doing mathematics
  • Student-centered teaching and learning
  • Systematic, on-going job-embedded learning opportunities for teachers
  • High Quality Mathematics Learning and Instruction

Teachers will:

  • Project a belief that all students can successfully achieve in mathematics
  • Acknowledge divergent ideas of and multiple perspectives by students
  • Shift from a traditional approach to mathematics to a more student-centered approach
  • Receive ongoing, embedded content and instructional professional development
  • Identify and emphasize interdisciplinary connections
  • Provide assessment of and assessment for student learning
  • Infuse instructional technology to enhance instruction and learning

Students will:

  • Learn by doing through the use of manipulatives, interactive technology or other mathematics tools in the classroom
  • Work both individually and collaboratively with a partner or in a group
  • Be engaged in and actively do mathematics
  • Maintain mathematics journals 
  • Be independent learners and thinkers
  • Use technology for learning

Traditional vs. Student-Centered Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

Traditional Math Instruction

Student-Centered Math Instruction

Students work individually

Students work in pairs and groups as well as individually

Students discuss only the answer to the problem

Students discuss mathematical ideas and processes to understand the “how” and “why” of mathematics

Students are shown one way to solve a problem (the algorithm)

Students use a variety of materials to develop their own mathematical understanding

Math problems and examples do not always relate to the real world or to the way students think about mathematics

There is a focus on making sense of the math and how it applies to real world situations

Procedural knowledge is emphasized

There is a balance between procedural and conceptual knowledge

Teacher leads, directs, or dictates

Teacher facilitates and guides

Some students are “good” at math and others just are not

All students are capable of succeeding in mathematics