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Transferring Mathematical Understanding to A True Application

You’re invited!  Join Connie Rivera and Amy Vickers in the Transferring Mathematical Understanding to A True Application webinar on August 21st at 4 – 5:30pm Eastern.

During the webinar, we will explore the meaning of true application activities and their value to adult learners.  What is true application?  Application is a key component of the mathematical instructional shifts of the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS).  Solving the word problems at the bottom of a math workbook page is not true application because students can (quite logically) find a way to repeat the procedure that they have been practicing on the page using numbers that they extract from the word problem.  This process, however, does not connect to problem-solving outside the math classroom or provide an opportunity for true application.

True application activities start with questions raised by students, are guided by teachers’ knowledge of standards and progressions, and may have more than one solution.  A true application activity:

  • Requires students to transfer their knowledge and skills to answer a question
  • Has multiple entry points so that students at different levels will be challenged, yet have the possibility of success
  • Incorporates student research and reasoning
  • Often asks students to make a decision
  • Includes communicating an answer to someone who cares about the outcome

Interested?  Register here.

Here are some suggested readings to give you some background behind the Transferring Mathematical Understanding to a True Application webinar.



Connie Rivera's picture

(Examples:  child care, transportation, jobs, health care, tattoos)  Please post your unpolished ideas to this shared Doc to help us prepare the upcoming webinar.

Connie Rivera's picture

Thank you for your responses so far!  Amy and I have one more question we need your help brainstorming.  “As math practitioners, what is important for our students?”  (Examples:  core concepts of mathematics like place value, properties of operations, proportional reasoning, or algebraic thinking.)  Post your unpolished ideas to this shared Doc.  Please contribute to both of these lists even if you are not able to attend the live webinar.

Connie Rivera's picture

On "What is important FOR our students?", someone asked "Do understandings about math learnings belong here?"  I hope this answers what you are trying to ask. 

Math understandings are smaller pieces of a Big Idea.  For example, a Big Idea such as "Data Representation:  Data can be represented visually using tables, charts, and graphs.  They type of data determines the best choice of visual representation." can be made of of several understandings, 'scale influences the patterns that can be observed in data' or 'each type of graph is most appropriate for certain types of data'.  So, I'm thinking of understandings as smaller and Big Ideas as clusters of understandings.  All of these are about the math content rather than the Math Practices.

Feel free to brainstorm either!  It's in a Doc on purpose so everyone can feel comfortable to share unpolished ideas.

Amy Vickers's picture

Thanks to everyone who has added to the brainstorming so far!  If you are wondering where this is all going, please join our webinar on Monday!  See original post for details.

S Jones's picture

I've gotten Outlook to make this an "event"  on my calendar ... but the link to "register" takes me right to the "room," and nobody's there right now...  I had not seen "Part 2" -- I am always referring to Part 1 of the Developmental Math study.   

... Our students come back MOnday so I might be a distracted participant but I plan to be there.   Problems that try to get students to use "higher level thinking" are *so often* exercises in  memorization of what looks like application (in large part because by now, they think that's what math is).   In my experience, the "different entry level" i and the guidance towards understanding (instead of memorizing) are critical... 

Amy Vickers's picture

Yes, sorry about that.  The link in the original post is to attend the webinar; no pre-registration is needed.  Sounds busy, but I hope you can make it!  Looking forward to reading your participation in the chat.  It sounds like you have already been thinking about this quite a bit.

Amy Vickers's picture

If you attended the True Application webinar today, you are now more familiar with true application activities, their value, and some considerations in developing true application activities.  Now use the Planning a True Application sheet that you can find in the Documents tab of the Math and Numeracy group to plan your true assessment activities.  Then please share your activities and assessments in this shared Doc.

Here are the goal statements that emerged from the brainstorming of this discussion thread:

  1. Comparing Colleges:  Students will learn to make sense of data and statistics by identifying, collecting and analyzing relevant data from two colleges.

  2.     Health Care
    • Students will demonstrate understanding of ratio and bar graphs by determining which of two health care plans is the best option.

    • Students will demonstrate understanding of percent, proportion and circle graphs by determining which of two to three health care plans is the best option.

    • Students will demonstrate understanding of linear functions and line graphs by determining which health care plan is the best option.

  3. Transportation Options:  Students will be able to use estimation, relational thinking and properties of operations in order to make decisions about their transportation for the upcoming semester.

S Jones's picture

  ... power surge shutdowns  and several math students getting help meant suddenly it was 4:00 Central... and y'all were done... sorry I missed it! 

Mary Diebel's picture

I missed it.  Is there a way for me to view it even though it is over?


Connie Rivera's picture

Hi Mary!  We will be posting the slides to the documents tab in the Math and Numeracy group, but the recording with audio will be much further behind.  Watch this thread for an announcement about that in a month or more.  In the meantime, you can catch up by following this thread and the links to the Docs.  We're not done yet!  We'd love to hear activity ideas that go along with the goals we wrote from everyone's brainstorming.  :-)