Elementary Mathematics Curriculum
The Washington County Public Schools mathematics framework incorporates the seven standards for math which are identified by the state of Maryland in the Voluntary State Curriculum (VSC). Number sense is fundamental to all mathematical learning, and teachers begin to build number sense concepts in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Number sense is built upon and reinforced in all grades. Teaching number sense provides many opportunities for students to recognize relationships between numbers, identify questions, and learn about operations. Conceptual understanding is built through concrete experience in which children use manipulatives. Students must first develop a concrete understanding of number by building, exploring, and making discoveries.
Emphasis on computational fluency is also an essential component of math instruction. Computational fluency is defined as having and using efficient and accurate methods for computing. Students should be able to perform computations in different ways, including mental calculations, estimation, and paper-and-pencil calculations using mathematically-sound algorithms. All students should use calculators at appropriate times (after they have developed their concrete understanding and are learning to use the algorithms). Computational fluency develops in tandem with understanding at all grade levels.
The VSC revisits the seven state standards repeatedly, building upon them until the students have mastered the content.
Standard 1.0 Knowledge of Algebra, Patterns, and Functions
• Understand patterns, relations, and functions.
• Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols.
• Use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships.
• Analyze change in various contexts.
Standard 2.0 Knowledge of Geometry
• Analyze characteristics and properties of two and three-dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships.
• Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems.
• Apply transformations and use symmetry to analyze mathematical situations.
• Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.
Standard 3.0 Knowledge of Measurement
• Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
• Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
Standard 4.0 Knowledge of Statistics
• Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.
• Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data.
Standard 5.0 Knowledge of Probability
• Understand and apply basic concepts of probability.
Standard 6.0 Knowledge of Number Relationships and Computation/Arithmetic
• Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.
• Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another.
• Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.
Standard 7.0 Processes of Mathematics
• Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving.
• Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts.