Thank you for partnering with us in your child’s education. We work diligently to communicate with our families about how state standards impact our classrooms. This year, Math has been a topic of conversation among parents and even in the media. We want to take some time to share information with you about Math in Red Oak ISD.
In 2012, the State Board of Education approved revisions for the mathematics standards to be fully implemented in Kindergarten through Grade 8 in 2014-2015. This means that new Math TEKS, or standards, were implemented for the first time this semester. This prompted new materials, new training for teachers and a big change in what students learn and how their homework looks. Students, teachers and parents alike are adjusting to the state’s new standard for Math in our schools.
Why did the state change Math standards for students?
For the past seven years or so, Texas has lagged behind the nation in SAT and ACT math scores. The new math standards or TEKS are more difficult, and many concepts have been pushed down into lower grade levels. The state’s goal in raising the rigor is to help students be more competitive nationally when applying for colleges and universities.
What are TEKS?
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS, are the state standards for what a child should know and be able to do at their grade level in a particular subject. Public school districts in Texas are legally bound to teach the TEKS which are adopted by the State Board of Education.
Why do problems look so different and more complicated than before?
The new math standards are much more focused on the concepts behind a math problem than how quickly a student can find the answer. In Red Oak ISD, we are focused on helping students become critical thinkers and problem solvers. These new TEKS allow students to find multiple ways to solve a problem, rather than memorizing a formula to solve a problem. This means that a problem that seems quick and simple to parents, could be a multiple step process for students learning the new way. Once the concept is mastered, students can learn the quick ways too.
What resources are available for parents and families at home?
Red Oak ISD has a number of resources for our families to utilize when it comes to Math. Most importantly, we want you to know that we welcome your calls and emails about Math concepts your child is mastering.
The district is promoting a BouncePages app for iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android devices. Designed for grades K-5, BouncePages are a great way for parents/guardians to stay connected with student work in the classroom. This interactive textbook feature allows parents/guardians to assist their children with homework and is available in both English and Spanish.