Investigations Math Program

About Investigations:
Investigations was developed at TERC, a leading, national nonprofit research and development organization whose mission is to improve mathematics, science, and technology teaching and learning.  

Six major goals guided the development of Investigations. The curriculum is designed to:

  • 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 mathematics content and pedagogy to teachers
  • Engage the range of learners in understanding mathematics.

What to Expect with Investigations

Investigations represents a shift in the structure of every math classroom that will be immediately evident to students and parents alike. For example, students will find themselves working in a variety of group settings including: individually, in pairs or small groups, and as whole class. Depending on the grade level, students will use games, classroom discussions, and Math Workshops to dig deeper into the mathematics while making connections across concepts and grade levels.  

Parents will almost immediately recognize a change in their children's’ homework.  Instead of “doing lots of math problems” students will be required to explain their thinking to fewer problems, find different ways of solving the same problem, and play games to reinforce important concepts being taught in the classroom. Parents will also notice that children are more excited about math and will become more confident about their own mathematical understandings.

Investigations will probably be new for most adults who probably learned math by memorizing a series of facts and procedures.  Investigations focuses on the basics and also asks that children develop deep understanding, flexibility, and the ability to reason mathematically - skills that are in highly valued in our high-tech and ever-changing world.