Homework assignment for higher education and high school faculty

Here is an exercise I just gave to the mixed higher education/high school teams at the PARCC meeting. Thought it might be fun for everybody:

1. Read the standards, noting domains, clusters that are particularly  high priority for college and career readiness (don’t include individual standards unless you absolutely must).

2. Select the most important domain or cluster at each of the grades 6-8 and themes in high school (or just some of the grades and themes if you don’t have time for all).

3. [Optional] For each one pick one or two practices that are particularly  salient, and explain how it is exemplified.

4. Rule: Give higher priority to things that are harder to fix [if students come to college not having them], not things  that you hate to have to fix but that are easier.

5. Write a one page common agreement on priorities that both higher education and high school (1) accept as important (2) clearly understand.

[Post edited for clarification, 2/19/11]

About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.
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5 Responses to Homework assignment for higher education and high school faculty

  1. I’d love to see this in practice. Was is well received by the teams? How long did it take to go through this process (I suppose I should ask how large the group was first)?

    Kind regards,
    Tracy Watanabe

  2. There were about 25 people in the team. The most striking thing was the agreement about what I like to call the peak domains. Everybody agreed on The Number System in Grade 6, for example. It gave me hope that everybody was looking at the same landscape and seeing (more or less) the same peaks—that we had succeeded in describing a recognizable coherent structure for school mathematics. I like the metaphor of peaks because it confers importance on the valleys and slopes as well. One can name the peak domain in a particular grade without thereby suggesting that the other ones don’t matter.

    • Sara Good says:

      Have you summarized the findings from this homework assignment? In Jason Zimba’s draft of “Examples of Structure in the CCSS for Mathematical Content,” he talks about “capstone standards” or “pinnacles” that are important throughout high school and college and career. I am curious to see how the team’s and others’ findings agree with Jason Zimba’s draft.

  3. Tracy Watanabe says:

    It is a fabulous metaphor, and reassuring as well about the agreement.
    Thank you for taking the time to explain more.

    Respectfully,
    Tracy Watanabe