At the Delran Intermediate School, the primary basis for all math instruction is the Investigations™ program. The program was developed as a spiral curriculum, meaning that as students progress through the curriculum concepts are systematically revisited. This ensures that students have mastered all concepts needed to be successful with the advanced levels of mathematics.
The Investigations™ curriculum is developed from the belief that all students have mathematical ideas. The curriculum is designed to support all students in developing and expanding those ideas. The curriculum allows teachers to deliver mathematics instruction in a way that accommodates the needs of their particular students.
Each curriculum unit focuses on an area of content, in depth, providing 2 to 5 1⁄2 weeks for students to develop and practice ideas across a variety of activities and contexts that build on each other. The units also address the learning needs of students in a wide range of classrooms and communities. The investigations are carefully designed to invite all students into mathematics—girls and boys; members of diverse cultural, ethnic, and language groups; and students with a wide variety of strengths, needs, and interests.
Six major goals of the Investigations™ curriculum:
- Support students to make sense of mathematics and learn that they can be mathematical thinkers.
- Focus on computational fluency with whole numbers as a major goal of the elementary grades.
- Provide substantive work in important areas of mathematics—rational numbers, geometry, measurement, data, and early algebra—and connections among them.
- Emphasize reasoning about mathematical ideas.
- Communicate mathematic content and pedagogy to teachers.
- Engage the range of learners in understanding mathematics.