The SRVUSD works closely with the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative (SVMI). The Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative is a comprehensive effort to improve math instruction and student learning. The Initiative is based on high performance expectations, ongoing professional development, examining student work, and improved math instruction. Our partners at SVMI have developed some graduated math tasks called Problems of the Month (POMs) that our students will be experiencing once per trimester minimum.
Students are given a math task with levels A-E. A level problems are the most accessible and they become more complex and involve higher order thinking and math skills as the students move up the levels. After working independently on the tasks for a while, the teacher asks students at the same level to collaborate and share their thinking. This sharing is key to the process in that our students learn to construct viable arguments and defend their thinking. They also learn to listen to the reasoning of others and evaluate its merit. After this collaboration, the team creates a poster explaining their newly refined thinking and these posters are shared with the rest of the class and sometimes even the rest of the school. Other groups view and examine the various posters with guiding questions in mind. Do I agree with this group's conclusions? Did they tackle the problem in a similar or a different way than we did? How so? Have I learned anything new that would make our poster stronger?
After this walk about and reflection, students return to their poster to revise it to reflect any new learning they discovered in the gallery walk. Then individually, students will reflect on their learning and write about their aha's. This POM process is a wonderful opportunity for students to push their mathematical thinking and reasoning and to practice the 8 Mathematical Practices underlying the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.
At the bottom of this page, see a graphic to further explain this POM process.