The "interactive" aspect of our mathematics classes, in part, reflects the program's emphasis on students working with each other in collaborative groups. Students discuss problems, use writing to clarify, and express complex mathematical ides and present findings to the rest of the class. Students share many different and valid approaches, expanding everyone's thinking. Together, they tackle problems that are usually too complex to be solved by any one individual.
The curriculum design offers complex problems that can be explored at many levels of sophistication. A typical first year math class includes accelerated students who have taken algebra in the 8th grade, those who would begin a college preparatory sequence in the 9th grade, and students who might have otherwise been excluded from challenging mathematics classes. A varied collection of supplemental problems gives teachers the flexibility to meet individual student needs. Special features include extensions (for students who want to pursue a specific topic in greater depth) and reinforcement experiences (for student who need to reflect on and synthesize what they have already learned).
Students complete daily homework assignments that focus on challenging their ability to think mathematically rather than drilling them on the computation skills. They also work on open-ended investigations in which they must write and illustrate their strategies and solutions to complex problems, and deliver oral presentations to the class.
CSArts-SGV teachers use a variety of assessments to evaluate students mathematical abilities. Some of these include class
participation, multi-layered problems, individual tests, group tests, portfolios, projects quizzes, semester exams, and homework assignments. Moreover, our math teachers understand that students can uniquely augment their learning when actively involved in self-assessment and peer-assessment, so those practices are carefully included in appropriate assessments.