Investigations and the Math Practices
The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics include eight Standards for Mathematical Practice that “describe ways in which developing student practitioners of the discipline of mathematics increasingly ought to engage with the subject matter as they grow in mathematical maturity and expertise.” (CCSSM, p. 8.) These standards state that “mathematically proficient students” should:
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- Model with mathematics.
- Use appropriate tools strategically.
- Attend to precision.
- Look for and make use of structure.
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
It’s important to note that, while the Practices describe student behaviors, the CCSS also acknowledges the role of teachers (p. 5) and stresses “the need to connect the mathematical practices to mathematical content in mathematics instruction.” (CCSSM, p. 8.) The goals and principles that guided the development of Investigations closely match these standards, and also acknowledge the importance of the teacher and the math content. Such Practices are deeply embedded in the fabric of the curriculum, and facilitate the teaching and learning of mathematics.