Math is more than the right answer!
An important message that families and educators need to pass on to the students in their lives is that mathematics is not just about getting answers to questions or problems. A significant curricular competency in our BC K-12 mathematics curriculum is “explain and justify mathematical ideas and decisions” and for many mathematicians, this is the essence of what mathematics is. Explaining and justifying is fundamental to the more complex idea of mathematical argument and proof. A mathematical argument is the debate and discussion of a mathematical problem or task. The involves the explanation and justification of the reasoning, problem-solving process and the solution.
In our Richmond classes, this competency is developed by asking students to justify their solutions by explaining their reasoning or using more than one strategy in a number talk or when solving a mathematical problem. Teachers may also provide students with a statement involving an opinion or thinking and about a mathematical concept and then ask students to agree or disagree and justify their thinking.
For more information about BC’s mathematics curriculum, visit the BC curriculum website at curriculum.gov.bc.ca or talk to your child’s teacher, school administration or contact Janice Novakowski, K-12 District Teacher Consultant for Mathematics & Numeracy at firstname.lastname@example.org