The Fort Dodge Community Schools have adopted a new elementary math curriculum for the 2013-14 school year. The “Expressions” program is a standards-based math curriculum that was selected by a group of educators from our district after piloting it during the previous school year. The new program has been implemented district-wide by all of the elementary school centers this year.
This new curriculum allows students to learn various ways to solve a particular mathematical problem. Some of these ways are far different than what many parents learned when they were in school. It is a conceptual model which allows the kids to figure out what way to solve the problem that makes the most sense to them, individually. It is expected that students are allowed to explain their answers, as teachers act as facilitators to their problem solving, a critical skill for each child to develop.
It is hoped that as students learn some of these new methods of mathematics at the lower grades (K / Gr.1), that their new approach to math will become second nature to them as they enter the intermediate grades (Gr. 3 / 4). Like anything, change is difficult, however, our goal is to see better math understanding for students, which should lead to better standardized test scores.