Updated: Aug 1, 2022
MYP mathematics has four objectives and they are directly aligned with the assessment criteria (objectives are addressed, criteria are assessed). This post will look at what the objectives are, what to think about when assigning them to each unit, and five examples of selecting objectives for a unit.
Each objective is made up of several strands, and these strands often progress in complexity from year 1 to year 3 (bold) to year 5 (underlined). They are as follows:
Objective A: Knowing and understanding
select appropriate mathematics when solving problems in both familiar and unfamiliar situations
apply the selected mathematics successfully when solving problems
solve problems correctly in a variety of contexts.
Objective B: Investigating Patterns
Select and apply mathematical problem-solving techniques to recognize patterns/discover complex patterns
describe patterns as relationships or general rules consistent with findings/describe patterns as relationships and/or general rules consistent with findings/ describe patterns as general rules consistent with findings
verify whether the pattern works for other examples/ verify and justify relationships and/or general rules/ prove, or verify and justify, general rules.
Objective C: Communicating
use appropriate mathematical language (notation, symbols and terminology) in both oral and written statements/explanations
use appropriate forms of mathematical representation to present information
move between different forms of mathematical representation
communicate coherent, complete, and concise mathematical lines of reasoning
organize information using a logical structure.
Objective D: Applying mathematics in real-life contexts
identify relevant elements of authentic real-life situations
select appropriate mathematical strategies when solving authentic real-life situations
apply the selected mathematical strategies successfully to reach a solution
explain/justify the degree of accuracy of a solution
describe/explain/justify whether a solution makes sense in the context of the authentic real-life situation
When planning which objective(s) to put with each unit, the things to consider are:
- What is the purpose of the unit?
- Does the content covered lend itself to a particular objective or strand?
- Do the concepts selected lend themselves to a particular objective/strand?
- Every strand, within each objective, needs to be assessed at least twice in the year.
- The objectives selected will inform the learning experiences, the ATLs focused on
and the unit summative(s).
- Units do not need to cover every strand of the objective
- Units may cover strands from multiple objectives
Looking at our work in progress units for MYP1 below, let’s consider which objectives may be reasonable to select, and why.
Unit 1 - flowcharts within the content and representation as a concept lends the unit to objective C: communicating. In addition to this, as it is the first unit of MYP1, and there is a wide range of content, it may be good to assess objective A: knowing and understanding.
Unit 2 - using fractions, decimals and percentages alongside entrepreneurship may have more engagement in an existing business or within the students' own business ideas. This would therefore work well with objective D: applying mathematics in real-life contexts.
Unit 3 - the related concept of generalization could be developed through writing general rules, a factor of objective B: investigating patterns. Students often need to use keywords for equal angles (corresponding, alternate etc) and therefore it may be wise to also work towards the first strand of objective C: communicating. Using these keywords correctly require knowledge of them, and therefore objective A: knowing and understanding might also be focused on.
Unit 4 - Logic as a concept may insinuate understanding the appropriate steps to take, and therefore objective A: knowing and understanding would be a reasonable objective. As this is their initial introduction to algebra, checking understanding is crucial before building on this in future units.
Unit 5 - the global exploration of sustainable design means that students will likely complete practical design tasks related to real products. Therefore, objective D: applying mathematics in real-life contexts would be selected. Ensuring that others can interpret designs may bring a focus on objective C: communicating as well.
These objectives will be referred to in the next post as we look at how they can be assessed using similar criteria.