You may be wondering, What do the curriculum focal points have to do with the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM)? The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) says that identifying areas of emphasis at each grade level is the next step in implementing those principles and standards. According to NCTM, Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten Through Grade 8: A Quest for Coherence "provides one possible response to the question of how to organize curriculum standards within a coherent, focused curriculum, by showing how to build on important mathematical content and connections identified for each grade level, pre-K–8" (p.12).
The curriculum focal points draw on the content standards described in PSSM, at times clustering several topics in one focal point. Also, the process standards are pivotal to well-grounded instruction, for "it is essential that these focal points be addressed in contexts that promote problem solving, reasoning, communication, making connections, and designing and analyzing representations" Curriculum Focal Points for Grade 7
This Middle School Portal publication offers resources intended to support you in teaching the key mathematical areas identified for grade 7: ratio and proportion, measurement of three-dimensional shapes, operations on integers, and solving linear equations. In particular, we aimed to provide a variety of formats (lesson plans, games, interactive problem solving, hands-on projects) for your use in teaching these critical topics. We hope the resources will engage your seventh graders in moving from concrete situations to more abstract formulas and algebraic modeling as they work through the range of activities.
The full description of the Curriculum Focal Points for Grade 7 is available at http://www.nctm.org/standards/focalpoints.aspx?id=338&ekmensel=c580fa7b_10_52_338_9
Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten Through Grade 8: A Quest for Coherence may be viewed in its entirety at http://www.nctm.org/standards/content.aspx?id=270
Author and Copyright
Terry Herrera taught math several years at middle and high school levels, then earned a Ph.D. in mathematics education. She is a resource specialist for the Middle School Portal 2: Math & Science Pathways project.
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Copyright May 2008 - The Ohio State University. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0424671 and since September 1, 2009 Grant No. 0840824. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.