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Five Major Content Strands in Mathematics

Number Sense, Properties and Operations items focus on the understanding of numbers (whole numbers, fractions, decimals, integers) and their application in real life situations, as well as on computation estimates. Emphasis is placed on understanding numerical relationships as expressed in ratios, proportions and percents and on students' abilities in estimation, mental computations and generalization of numerical patterns.

Measurement items focus on the ability of students to describe real world objects using numbers. Students are asked to identify attributes, select appropriate units and apply measures to communicate ideas so that they are understandable to others. Students may be required to read instruments with emphasis on precision and accuracy using metric and customary units. Items also include estimates, measurements, and applications of measurements of length, time, money, temperature, mass/weight, area, perimeter, distance, rates, volume, capacity and angles.

Geometry items focus on geometric relationships and skills that are important in school, as well as in the real world. Important concepts include projection, transformation, congruence, similarity, coordinate geometry, spatial relations and trigonometric ratios. Students need to be able to model and visualize geometric figures in one, two and three dimensions, as well as communicate geometric ideas.

Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability items focus on the importance of data analysis and the representation of data across all disciplines, and they reflect the prevalence of these activities in our society. Knowledge of probability, sampling and statistics, and the ability to make inferences from tables and graphs are necessary in today's world.

Algebra and Functions items emphasize a conceptual understanding of algebra as a means of representing situations that involve variable qualities with expressions, equations, inequalities, patterns and systems of equations or inequalities. Some emphasize algebraic processing as a problem-solving tool. Functions are viewed not only in terms of algebraic formulas, but also in terms of verbal descriptions, tables of values and graphs.