“The aim of Saskatchewan’s K-12 mathematics program is to help students develop the understandings and abilities necessary to be confident and competent in thinking and working mathematically in their daily activities and ongoing learnings and work experiences. The mathematics program is intended to stimulate the spirit of inquiry within the context of mathematical thinking and reasoning.” (Ministry of Education, 2009)1
There are commonalities amongst all mathematics curricula in Saskatchewan. These important components drive high quality instruction across grade levels, communities of learners, and classrooms in our province.
Outcomes and Indicators
Outcomes and indicators frame and verify the understandings and skills for specific grade levels or courses. Teachers often go to the outcomes first. These are not addressed specifically in this resource. Rather, teachers are encouraged to review the front matter of all curricula which are summarized in this section. It should be noted that “indicators” offer examples of demonstrating understanding in a particular outcome. It is not necessary that all indicators are demonstrated for a student to meet the outcome.
Broad Areas of Learning
“K-12 mathematics contributes to the Goals of Education through helping students achieve knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to these Broad Areas of learning.”(Ministry of Education, 2009)2
- Developing Lifelong Learners
We want students who are engaged in constructing and applying mathematical knowledge naturally building a positive disposition towards learning. Students should be developing an understanding of mathematics that will support their learning of new mathematical concepts and applications that they may encounter within both career and personal interest choices.
- Developing a Sense of Self and Community
We want students to collaborate with each other and interact with the mathematical content in order to learn mathematics with deep understanding. Students who are involved in a supportive mathematics learning environment that is rich in dialogue are exposed to a wide variety of perspectives and strategies from which to construct a personalized deep understanding of the mathematical content.
- Developing Engaged Citizens
We want students to become better informed and have a greater respect for and understanding of differing opinions and possible options.
Cross-curricular competencies are four interrelated areas containing understandings, values, skills, and processes which are considered important for learning in all areas of study. The four cross-curricular competencies include:
- Developing Thinking
It is important students are engaged in the personal construction and understanding of mathematical knowledge. This occurs in the classroom through student engagement in inquiry and problem solving when students are challenged to think critically and creatively while experiencing mathematics in a variety of contexts.
- Developing Identity and Interdependence
A mathematics classroom needs to be a place where ideas, strategies, and abilities of individual students are valued. Doing so supports the development of self confidence, self-worth and mathematical confidence.
- Developing Literacies
Students should be engaged in developing their understandings of the language of mathematics and their ability to use mathematics as a language and representation system. It is important students make sense of mathematics, communicate one’s own understandings in a variety of forms (concrete, representational, abstract), and develop strategies to explore how and what others know about mathematics.
- Developing Social Responsibility
Students need the opportunity and experience to share and consider ideas, and resolve conflicts between themselves and others. The learning environment should be co-constructed by the teacher and students to support respectful, independent and interdependent behaviours. Every student should feel empowered to help others in developing their understanding, while finding respectful ways to seek help from others.
Goals of K-12 Mathematics
The four goals for K-12 mathematics are broad statements that identify the characteristics of thinking and working mathematically. Regardless of grade level, students’ learning should be building towards their attainment of these goals.
Apply mathematical reasoning processes, skills, and strategies to new situations and problems.
Understanding of the meaning of, relationships between, properties of, roles of, and representations of numbers and apply this understanding to new situations and problems.
Understanding of 2-D shapes and 3-D objects, and the relationship between geometrical shapes and objects and numbers, and apply this understanding to new situations and problems.
Mathematics as a Human Endeavour
Understanding of mathematics as a way of knowing the word that all humans are capable of with respect to their personal experiences and needs.
The Saskatchewan Mathematics curricula acknowledge that “… mathematics is not a-cultural. As a result, teachers then realize that the traditional ways of teaching the mathematics are also culturally-biased.” (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2009)3
The curriculum offers some indicators specific to Indigenous content. If we are truly committed to ensuring that Indigenous Ways of Knowing are incorporated into our practice, then the best advice the curriculum offers is to use “ the expertise of elders and the local environment as educational resources.” (Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2009)
1Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2009c, https://www.edonline.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/xid-181799_1.p.6
2Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, 2009c, https://www.edonline.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/xid-181799_1.p.3
3Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. (2009). Saskatchewan Curriculum | Mathematics 9. Retrieved 6 July 2020, from https://www.edonline.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/xid-181799_1.