New math textbooks and resources will be implemented across all grades in 2020-21, the result of this year’s in-depth review of math curriculum by more than 50 teachers, including representation from early childhood through high school, and administrators who participated in the Math Committee.
When researching curriculum resources, the committee split into elementary and junior high subcommittees and used specific parameters to evaluate the various publishers, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kris Raitzer. In addition, members of the committee visited schools where curriculum programs were already implemented. Parent meetings were held at the elementary level before schools were closed due to the pandemic, which provided valuable feedback on the home-school connection aspects of the two finalists, Dr. Raitzer said.
The elementary (K-5) textbook and supporting resources is “Bridges in Mathematics" was adopted for the 2020-21 school year.
This program best meets the focus, coherence, and rigor required by the math standards. The program provides multiple avenues for differentiation within the classroom. It blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration. It has a fully developed and aligned intervention program to complement the core program. We are confident the focus on developing complex mathematical understanding, building flexible and efficient mathematical strategies, and developing students’ problem-solving abilities through discourse will result in students being well prepared for junior high and beyond.
Of 20 area districts, six are using Bridges. The district plans to collaborate with the local schools using this curriculum.
Junior High Textbook Update
The junior high curriculum “Big Ideas: Modeling Real Life,” is updated version for the 2020-21 school year. This is the same publisher used by Districts 27, 30, and 31, though districts vary on which edition they use, Dr. Raitzer said.
The new edition incorporates the best aspects of the previous edition, including a balance of direct instruction and student investigation. The new edition incorporates real-world and relatable scenarios to develop students’ problem-solving skills. Explorations launch each lesson and build student understanding, using more hands-on and visual modeling experiences. Opportunities for students to self-assess are incorporated into each lesson. Additional practice activities provide teachers more options to differentiate classwork and homework. The digital platform and tools have been enhanced, making it easier for teachers and students to navigate. It includes more interactive explorations for students and a more robust assessment system. Teachers can customize home practice. In addition, students can access new tutorial videos and can get support on their homework from a live tutor.”
Currently, the “Big Ideas: Modeling Real Life” edition is available for all of the middle-level math courses (on-grade level, single, and double accelerated). The textbooks for the Algebra 1 and Geometry courses are currently being revised by the publisher and will be available for the 2021-2022 school year.