Mathematics is discovering patterns and relations and expressing them symbolically.
The RUSMP Learning Plan provides support in planning instruction that is organized by mathematical concepts. Activities on the Learning Plan are targeted at students rather than the teacher. The completed Learning Plan serves as a blueprint for organizing instruction and can be updated and refined from year to year. Teachers then use the completed Learning Plan to develop a timeline for the classroom activities in a given mathematical concept.
The Learning Plan asks teachers to:
- select an important mathematical concept – e.g., place value, linear functions, patterns, area;
- find activities to introduce the concept in a challenging way that motivates students to explore it further;
- collect activities that actively engage students and provide a variety of experiences to develop students' thinking about the concept;
- use the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) (or other state objectives) to define the required basic skills and algorithms related to the concept, and then find useful text pages or important worksheets;
- suggest student products that address a variety of learning styles: written, verbal, kinesthetic, and visual. These products give students the opportunity to choose a product to demonstrate what they have learned about the concept in a new and personal way – giving students choices and encouraging creativity always increases motivation; and
- identify or design appropriate assessment materials that will provide information about student learning and thinking as well as information upon which to base instructional decisions.