California State University, Sacramento

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Quantitative Reasoning With Advanced Math Topics

Preface

Quantitative Reasoning with Advanced Mathematical Topics (QRAT) was developed to better prepare college and career-bound high school seniors with the 21st Century skills necessary to meet the mathematical thinking and problem-solving expectations of higher education courses and workplace requirements. Through a collective impact model, Region 3 approaches student learning through intersegmental partnership agreements that include Sacramento State University, the local community colleges, county offices of education, and feeder high school districts. The success of the ESM stems from the fact that it is not only a living curriculum and pedagogy that is designed to meet the immediate needs of high school seniors, but it also embodies the structural flexibility to be informed by the vibrant intersegmental professional learning communities. Essentially, the partnership structure affords each educational segment the opportunity to collaboratively define the challenges around preparation in mathematics while providing the foundation to forge better-aligned instructional practices across schools, colleges, and universities for the success of our students.

Course Purpose and Goals

This course is designed to strengthen students’ mathematical foundation and prepare students to be college and career ready. The goal of the course is to deepen the conceptual understandings of mathematical theory, skills, and strategies. The course is designed to incorporate National Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice and is aligned with specific high school content standards listed in the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCCSS-M). Utilizing real-world applications, this course serves both college and career-bound high school seniors.

The purpose of this course is to fulfill the need to provide more math options for high school seniors to take a mathematics course that better prepares them for the transition into college-level work or workplace expectations. The target student cohort is seniors who are interested in a major that heavily depends on science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) and other math-intensive fields. This course is designed to better prepare students for the rigorous mathematics requirements in those fields. It is also intended for high school seniors who have completed Algebra II or Integrated Math III and who have met the CAASPP/EAP standards but do not wish to take a precalculus or calculus course in high school.

The development of this course was predicated on the idea that students who had previously considered themselves as unsuccessful in mathematics could learn and thrive in an environment which fosters engagement and conceptual learning. With a focus on depth, not breadth, students would master mathematical content and be able to transfer their skills to college and to career pathways. Lessons and tasks provide students with opportunities to solve challenging problems in which they gather, analyze, and evaluate information, work effectively in groups to make decisions using critical reasoning skills, as well as opportunities to communicate concisely through written and oral language. Throughout the course, students increase their perseverance to make sense of and to solve real-world and theoretical mathematical problems, develop a greater perspective of underlying structures of mathematics and how they connect mathematical topics. Students gain an appreciation of mathematics and its applications and develop a growth mindset towards mathematics that enables the student to continue to persevere through problem-solving in the quantitative reasoning nature of college-level courses.

QRAT Pre-requisites

A passing grade in Integrated Math III or Intermediate Algebra II

QRAT Target Population

Intended for high school seniors who place into:

  • Level 3 "Standard Met" on SBAC/CAASP
  • Level 2 "Standard Nearly Met" on SBAC/CAASP
    • Students who placed into Level 2 "Standard Nearly Met" may participate in the course with a counselor/math teacher recommendation)

Students who typically enroll in this course:

  • Are not ready to take an AP level math/QR course
  • May have originally been placed into pre-Calculus
  • Could move beyond a "just-go-by" status from IM III or Intermediate Algebra II and improve their preparation to succeed in college-level mathematics
  • Would prefer to take a course that looks and feels different and gives them credit, rather than retaking a course for no additional credit
  • May not have planned to take a senior year math course.

Course Outline / Sequence of Learning

Major Student Outcomes

  • Develop a growth mindset towards mathematics that enables the student to
    continue to persevere through problem-solving in higher-level math courses.
  • Become better problem solvers.
  • Build critical thinking skills.
  • Increase their perseverance to make sense of and to solve real-world and
    mathematical problems.
  • Deepen their understanding of underlying structures of mathematics.
  • Gain appreciation of mathematics and its applications.
  • Improve their ability to communicate their mathematical thinking.
  • Develop their ability to work effectively as a member of a team.