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New Math Curriculum to Greet SJPSD Students

State mandated program to begin with this school year.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) As students learn their math this fall, two and two will still equal four, but St. Joseph schools are going to be teaching a new way of getting there.

A new state curriculum for math is being put into the schools. Educators say they're ready to go.

"We have been working on this as a district for the past two years in studying the changes, writing the curriculum and developing and finding the resources that match the curriculum," said Shelley Nordquist, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator for the St. Joseph Public School District.

The new curriculum will be less rote and memorization-based and more about problem solving.

"Hopefully we're going to implement it with more real-world problems to get the kids engaged and get them interested. Also using collaborative methods allowing the kids to work together and think together and problem solve," said Angela Dorsey, Secondary Education Math Coordinator for the school district.

Dorsey says the new curriculum will push students to learn more and learn it faster.

"What they may have learned in 7th grade has now been pushed down to 5th or 6th grade," Dorsey said. "It'll help them think like mathematicians, It'll help them begin to look at problems and determine what math they need to use and be able to use it as opposed to just practicing the same problem over and over again."

And while educators hope it will help students learn better, they also think it will be good for teachers.

"I think the teachers are going to develop more professional development about math," Nordquist said. "It's going to help the teachers better understand how students think about mathematics. In that sense, they're going to be able to better work with students and better diagnose where their problems might be and understand the math."

First day of classes in the St. Joseph Public Schools will be August 19.
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