What is this "New Math"?
Students using Investigations in Number, Data, and Space are expected to learn arithmetic, basic facts and much more. The focus of instruction is on mathematical thinking and reasoning. Investigations is a complete mathematics program for grades K-5. Students using the complete Investigations curriculum develop an understanding of:
- data analysis and probability
- patterns and the math of change, which provide foundations for algebra
Investigations is based on research about what we now know about how children learn mathematics and is carefully designed to invite all students into mathematics. Children use prior knowledge to make sense of and develop an understanding of fundamental mathematical ideas. According to Kilpatrick and Swafford,
"Understanding refers to a student's grasp of fundamental mathematical ideas. Students with understanding know more than isolated facts and procedures. They know why a mathematical idea is important and the contexts in which it is useful. Furthermore, they are aware of many connections between mathematical ideas. In fact, the degree of students' understanding is related to the richness and extent of the connections they have made." Helping Children Learn Mathematics (2002, p. 10)
As a natural part of their everyday mathematics work, Investigations students:
- explore problems in depth.
- find more than one way of solving many of the problems they encounter.
- reason mathematically and develop problem-solving strategies.
- explain and examine their mathematical thinking and reasoning.
- represent their thinking using models, diagrams, and graphs.
- make connections between mathematical ideas.
- prove their ideas to others.
- develop fluency - efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility - with mathematics.
- develop proficiency with arithmetic.
- choose from a variety of tools and appropriate technology,
- work in a variety of groupings - whole class, individually, in pairs, and in small groups.