What Rigor Means For New Age Mathematics

December 9, 2016

It is no news that most students find mathematics to be more scary than interesting. Learners find themselves lost in a confusing world of numbers, equations, problems and theorems. The result is sleepless nights before exams and a growing dislike for the subject. So don’t you wish your kids or students could embrace the beauty of mathematics in a radically different way? A way that can reinforce their concepts, clear doubts and teach number skills in an engaging manner, and show them how mathematics can be applied in the real world?

The good news is that, the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics has introduced the concept of “rigor” to help students become more successful in schools, colleges and workplaces.

Rigor implies in-depth understanding of mathematical concepts without making the subject more difficult or teaching complicated topics in earlier grades. Here are the three facets of rigor that teachers need to follow to help learners meet mathematical challenges more confidently:

  • Conceptual understanding – Students should be able to access and understand key concepts like ratios or place values. This will make the subject seem friendlier and more practical to them.
  • Fluency and procedural skills – By repeatedly practicing core functions like multiplications, learners will get to boost their speed and accuracy. Supporting materials or classroom teaching must cover the fluency aspect, since different students will need different amounts of practice. Learners also need to know how to break a problem into steps and then solve it. This will help them to face more complicated problems or concepts in future.
  • Application – Students must be taught to employ mathematical knowledge in relevant practical situations. For instance, they can try to calculate heights of trees without climbing up to measure. When students are able to apply mathematical concepts correctly, their understanding and fluency will improve.

Educational materials which involve rigor should:

  • Challenge the students and be rich in quality
  • Have different paths to the same solution
  • Be able to connect different mathematical ideas easily
  • Boost flexible and strategic thinking
  • Encourage students to use their power of reasoning

Rigorous learning calls for the creation of formative lessons and assessments which motivate learners to clearly show their approach towards the problem and if they have the ability to ask clarifying questions.

Companies like Magic Software are especially equipped to help K-12 publishers by creating rigorous educational content in mathematics. They create math content in the form of videos, games, simulations, assessments and tools and widgets to help students warm up to the subject. So now you have every reason to feel positive about your student’s or child’s mathematical progress.