September thinking together: mathematics curricular content

Posted on: September 30th, 2019 by jnovakowski No Comments

For the 2019-20 school year, the “thinking together” series of blog posts will focus on the  curricular content in the mathematics curriculum.  The “thinking together” series is meant to support professional learning and provoke discussion and thinking. This month will provide an overview of the curricular curricular content and then each month we will zoom in and focus on one curricular content area with examples from K-12 classrooms in Richmond.


The curricular content is the “know” part of the know-do-understand (KDU) model of learning from BC’s redesigned curriculum.

The curricular content develops and builds over time. Each grade level has core curricular content knowledge and these are reflected in the big ideas for each grade level. There are five big ideas that reflect five strands of curricular content – number and number operations, computational fluency, geometry and measurement, patterning and algebraic relationships and data analysis and probability. A sixth content area in mathematics, financial literacy,  is new this curriculum.

Many areas of curricular content in mathematics are applied in other disciplines such as science, physical education and ADST.

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The curricular content, along with the curricular competencies, comprise the legally mandated part of the curriculum, now called learning standards. This means that both curricular content and curricular competencies are required to be taught, assessed and proficiency/learning achievement is communicated to students and parents/guardians.

As we begin a new school year and are thinking about year plans and overviews we might consider the following questions:

  • What opportunities do students have to learn about what math is? How can we expand students’ thinking about all the areas of mathematics reflected in our curriculum? What do you think your students would say if you asked them: What is math?
  • What would you identify as core or foundational concepts or mathematical ideas at the grade level/s you tech?
  • How can we make the connections between curricular content and curricular competencies in mathematics visible in our classrooms and schools?
  • As we are planning for instruction and assessment, how are we being intentional about weaving together both curricular content and competencies What curricular content areas complement and are linked to specific curricular competencies?
  • How do you plan for opportunities for students to make math-to-math connections over the school year? For example, what connections are there between number and geometry or patterning and data analysis?


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