Mathematical Practices

Okay, everybody, check out Mimi’s post from today. It has a links to two documents, just made available: a rubric and a supplement to the rubric about those elusive Standards for Mathematical Practice in the Core Standards.

You have seen the list of habits-of-mind-y phrases:

Mathematical Practices
  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

One could quibble about details, but it’s a darned good list. The standards doc itself describes them for two pages, then goes on to spend its bulk delineating content. The Core peeps clearly thought the practices were important, but there’s not a lot of guidance that would lead to (imagine!) assessments of habits of mind.

And if we care about them, we should assess them. Right?

So a rubric is especially welcome. What’s amazing about it is that it’s not directed at the students’ behaviors, but rather at teachers and the tasks we write. It’s interesting and refreshing, and a really good piece of work. Bravo!

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About Tim Erickson

Math-science ed freelancer and sometime high-school stats teacher
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One Response to Mathematical Practices

  1. Mimi says:

    Oh wow, thanks! I just saw this post. (Slowly catching up with my Google Reader, as you can see.) :) I hope it’s useful to you during the upcoming school year!

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