Mathematical Reasoning with Connections (MRWC)

pen and calculator on graphing paper

 

MRWC is a new fourth year high school mathematics course designed to prepare students for the expectations and rigor of college mathematics courses.  It reinforces and builds on mathematical topics and skills developed in Integrated 1-3 (or Algebra 1-2 and Geometry) and is designed as a bridge to college mathematics courses required in either STEM and non-STEM majors.

MRWC Target Student Population

MRWC is intended as a 4th year option for any student who has successfully completed Integrated 1-3 (or Algebra 1-2 and Geometry) and is planning to enter a college or university.

  • Prerequisites for MRWC
    • C or better in Integrated 1-3 (or Algebra 1-2 and Geometry)
  • Recommended for MRWC
    • SBAC = 2 or EAP Not Yet Ready
    • SBAC = 3 or EAP Conditional Ready
    • SBAC = 4 or EAP Ready
  • Not Recommended for MRWC
    • D or lower in Integrated 1-3 (or Algebra 1-2 and Geometry) 
    • SBAC = 1

Features of the MRWC Curriculum Design

MRWC is designed around the recommendations for student performance as described in the Mathematical Practices and the ICAS Statement on Competencies in Mathematics Expected of Entering College Students authored jointly by the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California.

The MRWC Curriculum

  • Reorganizes the traditional pathway of topics to emphasize the connections between algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, etc
  • Focuses on deep conceptual understanding by making connections between multiple representations.
  • Embeds the Mathematical Practices as an integral part of the curriculum.
  • Uses mathematical puzzle activities as an educational discovery and engagement strategy.
  • Focuses on understanding and making sense of mathematics through group discussion. 
  • Emphasizes procedural, symbolic, and numerical fluency.
  • Promotes flexible and strategic thinking and critique of reasoning of self and others.

Features of MRWC Implementation

MRWC Team Approach

  • 2 Teachers
  • 1 Coach
  • 1 Counselor
  • 1 Site Administrator and/or District Administrator

20 Days of Professional Learning

  • 4-5 Days in Winter/Spring (Pre-Implementation)
  • 10 Days in Summer (Pre-Implementation)
  • 5-6 Days in Fall/Winter (During Implementation)
  • Teachers and coaches attend all 20 days, administrator and counselor attend 2 half-days.

 

Key Principles

The Mathematical Reasoning with Connections (MRWC) Curriculum Development Committee believes that any attempt to improve the college and career readiness of high school graduates must address three critical and synergistic elements that influence the extent and nature of mathematics learning in K-12 classrooms.  These elements are (i) the curriculum, (ii) the teachers, and (iii) the students.

The following key principles have served as guidelines for the committee's work in developing the MRWC curriculum:

  1. Mathematics consists of many strands - arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, data analysis - and the power of mathematics lies in the interconnected fusing of those strands into a cohesive body of knowledge.
  2. The Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice should be an integral part of every lesson and should be seamlessly woven into the curriculum.
  3. Mathematics learning involves productive struggle to develop conceptual understandings that when coupled with procedural fluency leads to robust knowledge.
  4. Mathematics is far more than executing procedures that yield correct answers. It is a way of organizing information so as to extract and convey meaning. The expectation for mathematics should always be that it makes sense.
  5. Fluency in the language of mathematics is an important component of discovering, exploring, and communicating mathematical knowledge. 
  6. Since acquiring mathematical knowledge is a social endeavor, classroom activities must include collaborative discussions and explorations that encourage individual and communal meaning and sense making.
  7. The curriculum should highlight the beauty inherent in mathematics. This beauty is found intrinsically in the consistency, logic, and completeness of mathematics, and extrinsically in mathematics' ability to provide explanations for the complexity and orderliness of the world we live in.
  8. The curriculum should provide opportunities for teachers to explore new mathematical connection so as to grow both mathematically and pedagogically.
  9. All students can learn and enjoy mathematics provided it is taught in a meaningful way that logically and purposefully builds on previously acquired mathematical knowledge. 
  10. All high school students should be provided with a strong foundational knowledge of high school mathematics that serve as a springboard to a broad range of college and career options in a modern technological society. 

 

For additional information contact, Lilian Metlitzky.