Meaningful Math® was based upon work supported by the California Postsecondary Commission, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and rely on the proven NSF-developmental process as well as contemporary research on how students learn. A salient feature of NSF-funded curricula at every level is their emphasis on the sense-making activity of mathematics that requires reasoning and justification as part and parcel of understanding.
The Meaningful Math curriculum is problem-solving and problem-based. The units are each organized around a central problem or theme that focuses on several major mathematical ideas. The mathematical concepts that students learn in each unit grow out of what is needed to solve those problems. Motivated by this central, organizing focus, students solve a variety of smaller problems, both routine and non-routine, that develop the underlying skills and concepts needed to solve the central problem in that unit. The real-life situations capture students’ interest and make mathematics relevant and compelling. Problem-based learning also helps students develop the ability to transfer their learning and reasoning skills to new problems.
In the Meaningful Math, students are active learners. They experiment, investigate, ask questions, make and test conjectures, reflect on their work, and then communicate their ideas and conclusions both orally and in writing. During some of this time, students work with each other in collaborative groups. They share many different and valid approaches, expanding everyone’s thinking as together they tackle problems that may be too complex to be solved by any one individual. The programs prepare students for the challenges of business and industry by developing problem-solving and communication skills as well as an in-depth, conceptual understanding of mathematics.
Technology Enhanced Learning
Kit components are identified, designed, and packaged to meet the needs specific to activities and investigations in the Meaningful Math, making it as simple as possible for you to have all the resources you need at your fingertips. The curricula also incorporate graphing calculators as an integral part of the development of mathematical ideas. The calculators enable students to see mathematics and problem solving in a different way and allow them to focus on ideas. They can do experiments trying hundreds of examples, formulate conjectures and test them quickly, create simulations and graphics, and develop mathematical models. Students also use construction or geometry software, such as The Geometer’s Sketchpad®.
It’s About Time® is committed to providing comprehensive, ongoing professional-development support services for districts or schools implementing the Meaningful Math. Our highly experienced implementation specialists will lead workshops to get you started with teaching Meaningful Math, follow up sessions that provide additional content and pedagogical support, as well as online and onsite mentoring.