• Patterns are important in Aboriginal technology, architecture, and artwork.

  • Aboriginal peoples used specific estimating and measuring techniques in daily life.

  • Specific exchange items in traditional Aboriginal cultures had specific values. 

  • What strategy would make this(a given situation) as easy as possible?

  • What else could I try?

  • How are cycles mathematical?

  • Who funded this study? (What are their ulterior motives?)

  • What are my beliefs about my ability as a math student?

  • What makes someone a good group member or a bad group member?

  • What can we do to make the group run more smoothly?

  • How is this similar to other things I know?

  • What kind of function could model a given pattern?

  • How can I write math so anyone, anywhere in the world, can understand what I mean?

  • How do you weigh evidence to determine the validity of someone else’s argument?

  • What are the requirements needed to prove something to be true?

  • How are shapes and geometric patterns used in human culture to represent ideas?

  • How do we use math to model real life situations?

  • In what ways is stick-to-it-ness (perseverance) more important than “book-smarts”?

  • What strategy will work best for you to solve the problem?

  • When faced with an algebraic equation you don’t recognize, where do you start?

  • Where did you use math in your life today?

  • How can we solve problems by looking at patterns / relationships with graphs,tables and equations?

Stephanie Hinson and Paula Maxmin share about the importance of math in increasing opportunities, and innovative approaches to engaging students.

Essential Questions & Enduring Understandings

*These resources are primarily for Grades 6-12. If you are looking for Elementary resources, they are on the Elementary page. 

Example School UbDs
Yearlong, Unit, and Lesson Plans
  • How can I persevere in solving problems when I want to give up or feel like I’m not good at math?

  • How can I demonstrate my learning and justify my position using mathematical language, diagrams and equations?

  • How can I use what I have learned to make sense of a problem and persevere in solving that problem?

  • Am I aware at all times of my glows(strengths) and grows(areas of focus)?

  • How can I persevere in mathematics and beyond?

  • How can I find real solutions to real everyday problems?

  • How can I collect data to understand a specific situation.

  • How can I write expressions and equations to correspond to a given situation?

  • How can I use these operations to solve problems?

  • Incorportate everyday experiences of students: shopping, employment, and discuss different and similarities of ethnic groups. 

  • Ask students to collect stories or data about themselves or their communities--use that data in word problems, graphs, etc. 

  • Math is a gatekeeper for many students when it comes to practical college and career opportunities; a large percentage of college students require remedial math courses—which are both time-consuming and expensive—and vocational fields are increasingly requiring mathematics entry exams as well. 

  • Math can be a psychological or emotional gatekeeper as well; students who have a strong self-concept in math are much more likely to be successful in math, but many students have internalized deep anxiety or fear when it comes to math, due to either or both societal messages and their prior experiences. 

  • Math has traditionally been seen as the domain of old, White men, and when students cannot identify with mathematics—with role models who have been successful in math or with reasons that math matters to them and their lives—it becomes harder to stay motivated, particularly in secondary mathematics when the content leaves the easy applicability of grocery stores and bank accounts and becomes significantly more abstract. (

  • Using Native American Legends to Teach Math, 1999

Other Ideas & Resources

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Questions, Comments, or Ideas?​

Contact Valerie Siow