What are the Michigan Focal Points

[If you are not familiar with the NCTM Focal Points, please go to www.nctm.org/focalpoints.]

According the NCTM, a focal point is a significant mathematical concepts and/or skills that should be the focus of instruction at its specified grade level. They state that "Organizing a curriculum around these described focal points, with a clear emphasis on the ...Process Standards-communication, reasoning, representation, connections, and, particularly, problem solving-can provide students with a connected, coherent, ever expanding body of mathematical knowledge and ways of thinking".

What we are attempting to do is to look at our GLCE at each grade level through the lens of a NCTM Focal Point. By doing this we hope to elevate our understanding of what good mathematics instruction looks like so that students learn that mathematics is beautiful and useful.

Sometimes we have changed the grade level of the Focal Point or tweaked the wording, but for the most part we have tried to adhere to the original wording as much as possible. In a couple of grades we have to actually write our own focal point, but still keeping to the idea that a focal point represents a mathematical concept or skill.