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KPBSD Board of Education approves new math curriculum

Posted: November 13, 2012 - 11:14pm

Students will see changes in their math classes next year as the school district’s newest curriculum goes into effect.

The new, more rigorous, standards will bring the district into alignment with the state’s standards which were adopted in June.

“If you look at the old grade level expectations, kindergarten only need to known one to one correspondence up to 20,” said Doris Cannon, director of curriculum. “The new standards have kindergartners learning one to one correspondence to 100.”

Cannon said the new standards have been approved by the district. Now the curriculum board will come up with ideas for how teachers can instruct with them.

Throughout the end of the school year and into next summer, Cannon said teachers would collaborate by grade level to come up with new instructional methods as well.

“The committee will only put out a cursory kind of ‘here’s an idea, one idea,’ then when we roll this out for implementation, then we’ll get the pileup where all the teachers start putting in their ideas. We call that their toolbox,” Cannon said. “Their toolbox will get bigger.”

Cannon said the changes in math curriculum are also reflective of a push for educators to teach critical thinking to their students instead of rote memorization.

“I can remember sitting there with flash cards continuously. That’s what we did,” Cannon said. “Problem solving was something that ‘well yeah, those are two questions at the end of that worksheet page.’ Now math is all about solving those problems, I mean that’s a lot of discussion. I can remember sitting in school and not having math talk. That’s what they do all the time now.”

Students can now arrive at answers from several different methods.

“Now it’s all about ‘how did you come up with that answer?’ and if their process and thinking is not faulty, then kids are given credit for that,” Cannon said. “So math class is now a lot of talking and problem solving.”

Curriculum overhauls in the district are done on a six-year cycle and Cannon said the curriculum committee would be tackling science and social studies next year.

Steve Atwater, district superintendent, also reported the initial results of the district’s October 20-day certified enrollment account.

He said the district had 17 more students then it had originally projected.

Dave Jones, Assistant Superintendent, said the numbers are still preliminary.

He said the next step was for the state to review the enrollment numbers and determine if any other school district reported having the same students.

“The good news is it appears we will be at or slightly above what we projected,” he said.

Rashah McChesney can be reached at

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justamom 11/14/12 - 09:58 am
Bad idea

I, too, remember sitting in school with flash cards, and memorizing times tables. Then when it came to higher math I knew those things. Kids now are pushed way too fast into algebra and geometry without having a sound basic math foundation. Problem solving comes with maturity and making mistakes, and in higher math when they are ready for it. Make "problem solving a part of class discussion, not in early math. Get those flash cards out and pair kids up to work together!

marbles35 11/14/12 - 10:36 am
Education has gotten so

Education has gotten so complicated.This committee has to review what that committee did, people that aren't 100% qualified are making decisions. I agree-get out the flashcards and teach the basics before you try and teach the problem solving.

alaska 11/14/12 - 11:15 am
I hope they didn't get the

I hope they didn't get the books that the Anchorage District just ditched.

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