- El Monte Union High School District
El Monte Union High School Launches Project-Based Math Course
Mathematical Reasoning with Connections students present an example of their collaborative work effort to solve various math problems, during the El Monte Union High School District Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 20.
Arroyo High School’s new math class – Mathematical Reasoning with Connections (MRWC) – provides students with a challenging, project-based and group-based approach to mathematics, all of which was presented to the Board of Trustees during an Oct. 20 meeting.
During the presentation, Arroyo High’s Math Department Chair and instructor Patricia Espinosa, along with her students, shared the benefits of MRWC, a course designed for senior students – serving as a bridge to college mathematics. Students who complete the course will be able to discover patterns in various kinds of problems, interpret and explain information, construct logical arguments, learn from mistakes and determine the right tools to solve a problem.
“This class has helped me think outside the box mathematically as it doesn’t prioritize a calculator or formulas like traditional math would,” MRWC student Vanessa Varela said. “It has really pushed me to think of alternative strategies to find answers and with all of the collaboration I’ve been able to see different points of view in math from my peers.”
The concept for MRWC was developed by a number of math professors at California State Universities, including CSU Long Beach, CSU San Bernardino, San Jose State University and Cal Poly Pomona. The program’s accomplishments in meeting educational expectations and the deepening of mathematical concepts encouraged Espinosa to share her students’ successes with the Board.
“I have found that the students in my class are not giving up,” Espinosa said. “Even when the math is challenging, they’re pushing forward to get the solution. From the first day of class, I’ve worked on creating an environment where students are not afraid to take a risk and where they feel safe to give an answer.”
Arroyo High School plans to incorporate elements and activities of MRWC into additional math courses within the campus, in hopes of fostering an intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm within students.
“This new math course exhibits critical thinking and creativity, which differs from the traditional way of thinking that there can only be one answer,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “I want to congratulate Ms. Espinosa on all of her hard work, making math easier for our students to understand and I look forward to witnessing many more successes within the MRWC class.”
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