Mathematics Curriculum Portfolio Home Page

Basic Mathematical Skills

This section is included because it shows the important steps that hearing children go through in mathematics and the steps that the deaf children are trying to accomplish. Every curriculum includes these steps in some form. The objective is to get the student to master these skills throughout their high school career.

The Akron Public Schools endorses the ten basic skill areas identified by the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. The ten skill areas are:

1. Problem Solving Skills, Strategies and Techniques

Learning to solve problems is the principal reason for studying mathematics. Problem solving is the process of applying previously acquired knowledge to new and unfamiliar situations. Solving word problems in texts is one form of problem solving, but students also should be faced with nontextbook problems. Problem-solving strategies involve posing questions, analyzing situations, translating results, illustrating results, drawing diagrams, and using trial and error. In solving problems, students need to be able to apply the rules of logic necessary to arrive at valid conclusions. They must be able to determine which facts are relevant. They should be unfearful of arriving at tentative conclusions and they must be willing to subject these conclusions to scrutiny.

2. Applying Mathematics to Everyday Situations

The use of mathematics is interrelated with all computation activities. Students should be encouraged to take everyday situations, translate them into mathematical expressions, solve the mathematics, and interpret the results in light of the initial situation.

3. Alertness to the Reasonableness of Results

Due to arithmetic errors or other mistakes, results of mathematical work are sometimes wrong. Students should learn to inspect all results and to check for reasonableness in terms of the original problem. With the increase in the use of calculation devices in society, this skill is essential.

4. Estimation and Approximation

Students should be able to carry out rapid approximate calculations by first rounding off numbers. They should acquire some simple techniques for estimating quantity, length, distance, weight, etc. It is also necessary to decide when a particular result is precise enough for the purpose at hand.

5. Appropriate Computational Skills

Students should gain facility with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with whole numbers and decimals. Today it must be recognized that long, complicated computations will usually be done with a calculator. Knowledge of single-digit number facts is essential and mental arithmetic is a valuable skill. Moreover, there are everyday situations which demand recognition of, and simple computation with, common fractions. Because consumers continually deal with many situations that involve percentage, the ability to recognize and use percents should be developed and maintained.

6. Geometry

Students should learn the geometric concepts they will need to function effectively in the 3-dimensional world. They should have knowledge of concepts such as point, line, plane, parallel, and perpendicular. They should know basic properties of simple geometric figures, particularly those properties which relate to measurement and problem-solving skills. They also must be able to recognize similarities and differences among objects.

7. Measurement

As a minimum skill, students should be able to measure distance, weight, time, capacity, and temperature. Measurement of angles and calculations of simple areas and volumes are also essential. Students should be able to perform measurement in both metric and customary systems using appropriate tools.

8. Reading, Interpreting and Constructing Tables, Charts and Graphs

Students should know how to read and draw conclusions from simple tables, maps, charts and graphs. They should be able to condense numerical information into more manageable or meaningful terms by setting up simple tables, charts and graphs.

9. Using Mathematics to Predict

Students should learn how elementary notions of probability are used to determine the likelihood of future events. They should become familiar with how mathematics is used to help make predictions such as election forecasts.

10. Computer Literacy

It is important for all citizens to understand what computers can and cannot do. Students should be aware of the many uses of computers in society, such as their use in teaching/learning, financial transactions, and information storage and retrieval. The "mystique" surrounding computers is disturbing and can put persons with no understanding of computers at a disadvantage. The increasing use of computers by government, industry, and business demands an awareness of computer uses and limitations.

Uploaded by: Jessica Soltesz/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major