Math in a Cultural Context

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Math in a Cultural Context (MCC) is a long-term set of interrelated sponsored research, funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Education and by support from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Math in a Cultural Context is a rather extraordinary three decades-long collaboration of educators, Yup’ik elders and teachers, mathematicians and math educators, Alaskan school districts, and more recently includes Greenlandic Inuit, Sami, and Pacific Islander partners. We have had the privilege to learn together and understand how the underlying principles that support everyday practical knowledge can inform teaching and learning in a school context. Central to MCC is its long-term collaboration with Yup’ik elders, teachers, and academics that developed into a vibrant learning community. We are deeply inspired by the steadfast support of so many elders who shared their knowledge. Alaskan school districts and teachers opened their classrooms to MCC as we developed, tested, and revised our materials and pedagogical approach.

Material Type: Module

Math: Catching Pacific Lamprey at Willamette Falls

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Lamprey were an important food source for many Native American tribes in Oregon, particularly those in coastal areas and along the Columbia River watershed, and they continue to be an important link to traditional cultural practices. Like salmon, lamprey are anadromous, meaning they are born in fresh water, spend most of their life in the ocean, and return to freshwater to spawn. Sustaining the population of lamprey has always been important to Native people, and one way to do that is by not overharvesting. In previous generations this was not a problem, but hydroelectric dams, pollution, and destruction of habitat have all led to a drastic reduction in the lamprey population over the past century. Today, tribal biologists use both traditional and Western scientific methods—such as fish tagging—to protect and preserve lamprey, salmon, and other aquatic species. Using this real-world context, this lesson engages students in a mathematical process to determine the weights of lamprey using a fraction with each fraction having the same denominator, organizing the lamprey on a number line from lowest to highest weight, and comparing the weights of lamprey in decimal format.

Material Type: Lesson, Lesson Plan

Authors: Renée House, April Campbell

Math: Getting to Know Native Americans in Oregon

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This lesson uses a dataset and simple mathematical operations to teach grade 4 students important facts about Native American people in Oregon. In the process, it begins to correct several common misperceptions and to build students’ awareness of the active role Native Americans play in contemporary Oregon culture. Students will learn about the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon, including tribal membership, tribal lands, and the number of people employed by each tribe. This will give them a basic understanding of the presence of Native people in the state. Students will also be introduced to two key aspects of the complex relationship between Native American tribes and the U.S. government: termination and restoration. While the lesson does not cover these elements in depth, it lays the groundwork for future lessons and further understanding.

Material Type: Lesson, Lesson Plan

Authors: Susan Payne, April Campbell

Math: Philanthropy

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Philanthropy is a core value of Native American tribes in Oregon. Many tribes refer to this as the “spirit of potlatch,” which is a tradition that goes back hundreds and possibly thousands of years. In this spirit, many tribes have created charitable foundations or funds to support causes that benefit the local and surrounding communities. Collectively, tribal foundations are among the largest sources of philanthropy in Oregon.This lesson uses the mathematical practice of fractions to introduce students to Native philanthropy. Students are given a dataset and asked to perform fraction concepts and justify their choices as part of a philanthropic effort. Students will be addressing Critical Areas 1 and 2 while addressing mathematical practices.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Aujalee Moore, April Campbell

Common Core Problem Based Curriculum Maps – emergent math

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The following Problem Based Learning (PrBL) curriculum maps are based on the Math Common Core State Standards and the associated scope and sequences. The problems and tasks have been scoured from thoughtful math bloggers who have advanced math educator practice by posting their materials online.

Material Type: Full Course, Syllabus

Authors: Emergent Math, Geoff Krall

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This resource is the grade 3 common math curriculum for the San Francisco Unified School District. In Grade 3, instructional time should focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100; (2) developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1); (3) developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; and (4) describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

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This resource is the grade 4 common math curriculum for the San Francisco Unified School District. In Grade 4, instructional time should focus on three critical areas: (1) developing understanding and fluency with multi-digit multiplication and developing understanding of dividing to find quotients involving multi-digit dividends; (2) developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, addition, and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplication of fractions by whole numbers; (3) understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, such as having parallel sides, perpendicular sides, particular angle measures, and symmetry.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

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This resource is the Grade 5 common math curriculum for the San Francisco Unified School District. In Grade 5, instructional time should focus on three critical areas: (1) developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions); (2) extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system and developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; and (3) developing understanding of volume.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

SFUSD Math Elementary School Closure Lessons

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In preparation for school closures, SFUSD has produced 10 days of activities that teachers can choose to assign to students for them to complete at home. The stand-alone activities are designed for students to do on paper without technology and are available to all under the Creative Commons Attribution License. All Elementary lesson plans and student pages (both English and Spanish versions) are Google Docs located in grade-level Google Drive folders that you can access using the links below. Secondary lessons contain proprietary content that is licensed by SFUSD and therefore can not be shared.

Material Type: Lesson

Fluency Cards

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This resource was created by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Pomegraphit - Activity Builder by Desmos

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In this activity, students sort 10 types of fruit by tastiness and ease of eating in order to learn how those attributes can be represented on a coordinate plane, and to determine which fruit truly is "best."

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: CPM, Desmos, Randall Munroe

Universal Screener for Number Sense: Grade 3

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This series of interview-based screeners contains assessments for fall, winter, and spring, and are designed to serve both as indicators of struggle and measures of growth. All screeners are available in English and Spanish. The purpose for these assessments is to provide a series of interview-based screening assessments to: • help teachers to understand how their students are making sense of mathematics. • measure key number sense skills, concepts, and developmental milestones. • help teachers better understand how to support all students in accessing grade level content and accelerate learning. • inform RtI or MTSS Tiers 1 and 2: identify areas topics for whole class and small group instruction. • help teachers identify individual students who might need additional supports, and direct teachers toward high impact topics for instruction to accelerate learning. • identify students to whom the teacher might want to administer diagnostic assessments. • improve parent communication and collaboration.

Material Type: Assessment

Author: Forefront Education

Representing Half of a Circle

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This task presents students with some creative geometric ways to represent the fraction one half. The goal is both to appeal to students' visual intuition while also providing a hands on activity to decide whether or not two areas are equal.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Illustrative Mathematics

Geometric Pictures of One Half

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This task presents students with some creative geometric ways to represent the fraction one half. The goal is both to appeal to students' visual intuition while also providing a hands on activity to decide whether or not two areas are equal.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Illustrative Mathematics

3.MD Finding the Area of Polygons

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This is a task from the Illustrative Mathematics website that is one part of a complete illustration of the standard to which it is aligned. Each task has at least one solution and some commentary that addresses important asects of the task and its potential use. Here are the first few lines of the commentary for this task: Find the area of each colored figure. Each grid square is 1 inch long....

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Illustrative Mathematics

3.NBT, 4.NBT Rounding to the Nearest 100 and 1000

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This is a task from the Illustrative Mathematics website that is one part of a complete illustration of the standard to which it is aligned. Each task has at least one solution and some commentary that addresses important asects of the task and its potential use. Here are the first few lines of the commentary for this task: Plot the following numbers on the number line: 80 328 791 1. Round each number to the nearest 100. How can you see this on the number line? 2. Round ea...

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Illustrative Mathematics

3.NBT How Many Colored Pencils?

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This is a task from the Illustrative Mathematics website that is one part of a complete illustration of the standard to which it is aligned. Each task has at least one solution and some commentary that addresses important asects of the task and its potential use. Here are the first few lines of the commentary for this task: There are 6 tables in Mrs. Potter's art classroom. There are 4 students sitting at each table. Each student has a box of 10 colored pencils. (A) How ma...

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Illustrative Mathematics

3.NBT Rounding to the Nearest Ten and Hundred

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This is a task from the Illustrative Mathematics website that is one part of a complete illustration of the standard to which it is aligned. Each task has at least one solution and some commentary that addresses important asects of the task and its potential use. Here are the first few lines of the commentary for this task: Plot 8, 32, and 79 on the number line. 1. Round each number to the nearest 10. How can you see this on the number line? 2. Round each number to the nea...

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Illustrative Mathematics