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The content of the mathematics standards is intended to support the following five process goals for students: becoming mathematical problem solvers, communicating mathematically, reasoning mathematically, making mathematical connections, and using mathematical representations to model and interpret practical situations. Practical situations include real-world problems and problems that model real-world situations.
Mathematical Problem Solving
Students will apply mathematical concepts and skills and the relationships among them to solve problem situations of varying complexities. Students also will recognize and create problems from real-world data and situations within and outside mathematics and then apply appropriate strategies to determine acceptable solutions. To accomplish this goal, students will need to develop a repertoire of skills and strategies for solving a variety of problem types. A major goal of the mathematics program is to help students apply mathematics concepts and skills to become mathematical problem solvers.
Students will communicate thinking and reasoning using the language of mathematics, including specialized vocabulary and symbolic notation, to express mathematical ideas with precision. Representing, discussing, justifying, conjecturing, reading, writing, presenting, and listening to mathematics will help students to clarify their thinking and deepen their understanding of the mathematics being studied. Mathematical communication becomes visible where learning involves participation in mathematical discussions.
Students will recognize reasoning and proof as fundamental aspects of mathematics. Students will learn and apply inductive and deductive reasoning skills to make, test, and evaluate mathematical statements and to justify steps in mathematical procedures. Students will use logical reasoning to analyze an argument and to determine whether conclusions are valid. In addition, students will use number sense to apply proportional and spatial reasoning and to reason from a variety of representations.
Students will build upon prior knowledge to relate concepts and procedures from different topics within mathematics and see mathematics as an integrated field of study. Through the practical application of content and process skills, students will make connections among different areas of mathematics and between mathematics and other disciplines, and to real-world contexts. Science and mathematics teachers and curriculum writers are encouraged to develop mathematics and science curricula that support, apply, and reinforce each other.
Students will represent and describe mathematical ideas, generalizations, and relationships using a variety of methods. Students will understand that representations of mathematical ideas are an essential part of learning, doing, and communicating mathematics. Students should make connections among different representations – physical, visual, symbolic, verbal, and contextual – and recognize that representation is both a process and a product.
Virginia Department of Education
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120