In order to prepare students for college and career opportunities, math teachers incorporate various problem-solving tasks.  No longer is math just a series of formulas to be memorized.  It is an engaging process that encourages students to make sense of the math they’re learning.  

Some strategies teachers at Southeast Polk employ include using the Concrete-Representational-Abstract model of teaching mathematics, this includes; Hands-On Equations, Algebra tiles, Integer Chips, and Graphing Calculators to name a few. Students manipulate the learning tools, concretely or through digital media, to make sense of the problems at hand. When students understand why math makes sense, it increases their ability to retrieve the information needed to solve complex problems.

Kim McCoy-Parker’s 5th grade class at Four Mile uses two-sided chips to demonstrate ⅘ of a number.

Spring Creek Math students work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box. This month’s theme is Interpreting Data.


Greg Kapusinski, Southeast Polk High School Statistics teacher, encourages students to use technology in his math classroom. “Using graphing calculators allows students to perform simulations to explore sampling distributions and how to predict measures of center and spread in real-world situations.”