Mathematics Department

"It is clear that the chief end of mathematical study must be to make the students think."
~John Wesley Young

GPS Mathematics Program Description

Math curriculum is designed so that all students learn that math makes sense.  By providing students the content, knowledge, skills, literacies, instructional methods, assessments and conditions to discover the big ideas and understandings of concepts through rigorous problems and investigations, students become mathematicians who can:

  • Explain and apply mathematical concepts and interpret and carry out mathematical procedures with precision and fluency,
  • Solve a range of complex well-posed problems in pure and applied mathematics,
  • Clearly and precisely construct viable arguments to support their own reasoning and to critiques the reasoning of others, and
  • Analyze complex, real-world scenarios and can construct and use mathematical models to interpret and solve problems.

                                    ~ From the Common Core State Standard Mathematical Practice Standards

The structure of the GPS Math Curriculum is based upon research regarding learning.  The big ideas of each course are developed through inquiry based learning activities.  Conceptual understanding is mastered and then used to develop skill proficiency.  The progressions of skills, knowledge, and understanding are clearly articulated in the curriculum documents and shared with students as appropriate.  Students move through concrete, representational, and abstract understandings of skills and concepts based upon individual learning needs as well as developmentally appropriate expectations. 

Through the Development of Enduring Understanding of Mathematics, 
students learn that math makes sense.

Number:  What is a number and why do people need numbers? 

Flexibility with Numbers - Equality:  What is equality? 

Place Value:  How does understanding place value help a mathematician solve problems with numbers? 

Decomposition:  How do breaking numbers and whole units into parts help build number sense and fluency? 

Structure:  How are the four arithmetic operations related to each other? 

Part/whole:  Why are there multiple ways to represent parts of a whole? 

Unknowns:  How can symbolic representation of an unknown in a problem help us to solve problems? 

Proportional Relationships:  What is a proportional relationship and how can proportional relationships help us to solve problems? 

Algebra:  What is algebra? 

Functions:  What is a function and how can understanding function families help us to solve problems? 

Reasoning:  How do mathematicians learn and justify their discoveries? 

Features of Functions:  How do function families behave and how can understanding the behaviors help us to make predictions and solve problems?

Motion:  How do functions and equations model motion?