How to Implement
the New Math Standards, Part II
Arlyne LeSchack
The
three components  conceptual understanding, procedural fluency
and problem solving  that I wrote about in the last article
are not independent. Each of them is necessary for a student
to become mathematically proficient. The components are related,
they must be taught together and they should be part of every
mathematics lesson. 

The New York
State Mathematics Standards state that students will:
 understand
concepts and become proficient in mathematical skills
 communicate
and reason mathematically
 become problem
solvers using appropriate tools and strategies
Meeting these
standards will happen through the integrated study of number sense
and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement and statistics and
probability. Mathematics needs to be viewed as a body of knowledge,
not as a set of individual components. The New York State assessments,
as required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal legislation,
will provide data measuring student progress towards mathematical
proficiency. These state assessments will measure conceptual understanding,
procedural fluency and problem solving.
The three components
are represented in process strands and content strands:
The Process Strands are:
 Problem Solving
 Reasoning
and Proof
 Communication
 Connections
 Representations
These show that
students are acquiring and using content knowledge. These process
strands help us to see mathematics as a discipline rather than a
set of isolated skills, they giving meaning to mathematics. Students
engagement in the content of mathematics is accomplished through
these process strands. An example of a lesson that emphasized the
process strands would be students reading a table and creating their
own graph. Students will gain a better knowledge of mathematics
and be able to retain their mathematical knowledge longer as they
use it to solve problems, reason mathematically, prove mathematical
relationships, make mathematical connections and model and represent
mathematical ideas in a variety of ways.
The Content Strands are:
 Number Sense
and Operations
 Algebra
 Geometry
 Measurement
 Statistics
and Probability
This the content
that students should learn. The mathematics curriculum taught in
each school and each classroom should include this content. It should
be taught in an integrated fashion so that students see how various
disciplines are related within mathematics and to the real world.
Examples of lessons that emphasize the content strand would be skip
counting, computation, alegebra equations, measuring with a ruler
etc. Further, the instruction should engage students in construction
of this knowledge and integrate conceptual understanding and problem
solving as well.
In Part III I will discuss the Performance Indicators. In the meantime
if you have any questions about implementing the new mathematics
standards, please contact me at aleschack@aol.com.
