Everyone Is A Math Person

We believe that everyone is a math person. We believe all our students have the right, and ability, to develop as inquisitive, confident, adaptable, and proficient mathematicians.

We know that our students come to us with a wealth of mathematical knowledge. We have seen that not holding these beliefs about children, and not having high expectations of our students has resulted in children of color continually not even being exposed to their relevant grade level Math standards. We have seen the implications of simplifying math to rote memorization, and are committed to create equitable math classrooms that promote both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency.

We believe that establishing positive Math class norms allows students to be comfortable in doing mathematics and sharing their ideas with others, engage in productive struggle, and most importantly - to see themselves as mathematicians.

We Commit To

  • Task-based approach: A task-based approach (instead of direct instruction) allows teachers to get a better understanding of what students already know, allows students to approach problems from where they are (low floor and high ceiling), and allows for the teacher to facilitate their learning strategically.

    • Using a high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum ensures that our students are being exposed to their grade-level content

  • Language-rich classrooms: Math is more than just numbers – in order to develop mathematicians we know that students need to discuss ideas and application with peers. Language-rich math classrooms encourage students to construct their own mathematical understanding. Discourse serves as a scaffold for students as they develop mathematical language and make meaning, which is particularly important for English Language Learners.

  • Productive struggle: Consistently provides students with opportunities and supports to engage in productive struggle as they grapple with mathematical ideas and relationships.

  • Unfinished instruction: Instruction is grounded within the context of grade-level content. Teachers use multiple sources of data to assess student understanding. If prerequisite skills and understandings need to be taught, it is done “just in time” and integrated strategically into the new content that will follow.

  • Mathematical Competence: Math builds the following intertwined strands of mathematical competence in every student: Adaptive Reasoning, Strategic Competence, Conceptual Understanding, Productive Disposition, and Procedural Fluency, as taken from the National Research Council.

In 2020/21 Nystrom adopted Illustrative Mathematics, a high quality, standards-aligned curriculum.