Big Ideas in Math

Posted on October 30, 2011. Filed under: Assessment, Common Core, Elementary math, Guided math | Tags: , , , , |


It is really important that teachers understand the Big ideas and Enduring Understandings in mathematics.  We need to teach from a framework of the Big Ideas and Enduring Understandings.  NCTM  stated that:

Teachers need to understand the big ideas of mathematics and be able to represent mathematics as a coherent and connected enterprise. (NCTM, 2000, p. 17)

I travel around the country and I see people just teaching from lesson to lesson.  We have got to stop doing that.  Math comes out as this disconnected set of happenings, that usually makes no real sense in the big picture.  It’s just another time we set aside in the school day.

In general, we as teaching force, (and I mean everyone involved, teachers, administrators, math coaches, support personnel, consultants and teaching assistants too)  need to learn about, discuss, understand and be able to articulate what the BIG IDEAS and ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS in math are so that we can make sense of the math we are teaching and plan accordingly.  We need to plan with them in mind, teach with them in mind and assess with them in mind.  What a difference a BIG IDEA can make!

Randall Charles wrote a landmark article on the BIG IDEAS in math in 2005.  It is a must read. SEE IT HERE.  I highly recommend that schools do grade level planning for math with the BIG IDEAS as a frame.

Let me know what you think!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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2 Responses to “Big Ideas in Math”

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Dr. Nicki – I love your way of thinking and it’s about time. I have been through math curriculum revisions and rewrites over the last many years and love teaching math as and inquiry based experience. Lately, I find myself following the mandatory “book” and have lost all my wonderful hands on lessons in order to move through this years pacing guide. I so want to teach the guided math method and I’m going to purchase your book. Now, how to do it all “the right way” and the administrative way?


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