The single greatest influence on the quality of the education that a student receives is the decisions that the teacher makes on a daily basis!
Since the teacher is the key to the quality of the education that a student receives, we math teachers at GOHS are committed to continually improving our instruction. Central to that commitment is our spirit and practice of collaboration. The Mathpack at GOHS meets weekly to share and create more effective ways to teach mathematics. We do this by setting goals, giving common assessments, and designing lessons.
While we are a very collaborative bunch, our intent is not to be instructional robots. While we have agreed upon some common standards and practices, the Mathpack offers a wide variety of teaching styles and embraces our instructional diversity. We believe that our diversity and the fact that we agree to disagree make for a powerful and effective collaborative process.
Rather than sharing the same style, we choose to share the same instructional philosophy described below.
Think and Communicate
The 21st Century Skills are Thinking & Communicating brought on by the advancement of technology. Back in the day when we adults were in school, the 20th Century Skills were Obtain & Retain. We had to work hard to find information and hold onto it for future use. Today, with all of the information known to mankind at anyone's finger tips, the important skills are to use that information... how to THINK about it and COMMUNICATE those thoughts.
Therefore, Great Oak students are taught to understand what they are doing, not just mimic what their teacher is doing. They will be able to apply knowledge, not just regurgitate it. They will be able to solve problems creatively in collaboration, not just take notes and memorize in isolation. Our math students will think deeply about mathematics and articulate their thoughts intelligently. This is the mark of true 21st Century education.
8 Mathematical Practices
The following list known as the 8 Standards of Mathematical Practice are the "habits of mind" that graduates of Great Oak will possess. While much of the higher level math skills learned may or may not be retained and used by our students when they become adults, these cognitive qualities will serve them for a lifetime.