New Review: Illustrative Mathematics

[Source: Illustrative Mathematics]

[Source: Illustrative Mathematics]

Illustrative Mathematics (IM) is a supplemental, open educational resource (OER) that supports the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) in grades K-12. The program is available online and includes sample problems, curriculum modules, and professional development resources. Materials are available at no cost at Learning List recently reviewed IM content for middle school (i.e., grades 6-8).

IM content is organized by CCSSM domain (e.g., Geometry), cluster (e.g., “Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.”), and standard (e.g., “Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by…”). For each standard, the program provides a set of printable “learning tasks,” or multi-step problems. Each learning task is accompanied by a “Commentary,” a detailed narrative description of the solution, and a comments section. The Commentary explains the problem, its purpose, and different strategies students may use to solve it.  The solutions narrative provides step-by-step guidance in reaching the problem’s solution. The comments section allows users to add their feedback and suggestions.

“Course Blueprints” for grades 6-8 were “Under construction!” at the time of our review (July 2016); Course Blueprints available at the high school level are curriculum modules organized in units with diagnostic pre-tests and summative assessments. Additional instructional materials and professional development modules are available for purchase on the IM website.

About Illustrative Mathematics*

IM is a discerning community of educators dedicated to the coherent learning of mathematics. Founded in 2011 at the University of Arizona, IM has operated since 2013 as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. IM shares carefully vetted resources for teachers and teacher leaders to give our children an understanding of mathematics and skill in using it. IM provides expert guidance to states, districts, curriculum writers, and assessment writers working to improve mathematics education.

* The content in this section is provided by or adapted from Illustrative Mathematics

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for this material.

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Advanced Placement Fun Facts

Did you know…

  • 13 states + Washington DC supplement federal aid to cover the cost of AP exams for economically disadvantaged students
  • AP participation rates have grown dramatically over the last decade:
    • Class of 2015: 37.3% of students took > 1 AP test
    • Class of 2005: 21.2% of students took > 1 AP test
  • Students scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam increased, too:
    • Class of 2015: 22.4% of students scored > 3 on at least 1 AP exam
    • Class of 2005: 13% of students scored > 3 on at least 1 AP exam

The College Board is engaged in several related initiatives to help AP teachers prepare a larger and more diverse student population to achieve success in AP courses.  First, AP course frameworks in several disciplines have been redesigned to focus on striking a balance between depth of understanding and breadth of content coverage.  A subsequent blog post will elaborate on the methodology and principles underlying the redesign process.

A critical next step in supporting AP teachers is ensuring that the instructional materials for AP courses address the knowledge and skills articulated in the new course frameworks. To that end, the College Board has partnered with Learning List to ensure that the materials included on the College Board’s Example Textbook Lists for the redesigned courses are well aligned to the new course frameworks and to provide teachers with ongoing support in using those materials effectively. As explained in this press release, the new partnership was announced today during the annual APAC conference in Anaheim California.  As a result of the partnership:

  • The College Board is requiring publishers of AP materials for revised courses to submit their materials to Learning List for review in order to be eligible for inclusion on the College Board’s Example Textbook Lists for those courses;
  • For each AP instructional material, Learning List provides three professional reviews:
  • Spec Sheet: two-page overview of product’s key academic attributes and technology requirements
  • Alignment Reports: detailed verification of the material’s alignment to the content standards and to the skills/practices contained in the relevant AP course framework; and
  • Editorial Review: a deep dive into the product’s instructional content and design to help teachers identify which products contain the supports they and their students need.
  • The College Board uses Learning List’s reviews to determine which materials to include on the Example Textbook List for each revised course.
  • Learning List’s in-depth alignment reports serve as an instructional road map (or GPS) through each AP instructional material.  The alignment reports:
    • Help teachers see and understand the inter-relationships of the key components of the revised course frameworks; and
    • Identify the specific citations (i.e., page numbers, lessons, videos, etc.) in each material that are aligned to each Learning Objective, Essential Knowledge Statement and Skill/Practice for the course so that teachers know exactly which parts of the materials to assign to ensure that students learn all the knowledge and skills the course framework requires.

Furthermore, tools on help teachers identify additional resources if their primary materials are not aligned to 100% of EKs, LOs and Skills/Practices or if students need additional practice.

As explained by John Williamson, College Board’s vice president of Advanced Placement instruction, “The independent reviews authored by experienced AP teachers provide the information AP teachers need [not only] to select materials but also use those materials most effectively in making sure their students are exposed to all of the knowledge and skills articulated in the frameworks.”

Educators may access Learning List’s reviews of AP materials and comparison tools through an annual district-wide, campus-wide or campus AP-only subscription. Contact to schedule a brief webinar to see the reviews of AP materials and tools that help you choose and use AP materials most effectively.

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New Review: Math Teachers Press’s Moving with Math: Connections

Moving with Math

[Source: Math Teachers Press]

Math Teachers Press’s Moving with Math: Connections is a comprehensive resource to support mathematics instruction for students in grades PK-2. Resources are available in print with additional manipulative components. Instruction is manipulative-based and ensures students are able to understand and apply fundamental math concepts. Learning List recently reviewed materials for grades PK and K.

Based on the work of Jean Piaget, Moving with Math organizes instruction in three progressive stages: Concrete, Pictorial, and Abstract/Symbolic. In the Concrete stage, students work with manipulatives (e.g., base ten blocks) and other objects to model concepts (e.g., three blocks). In the Pictorial stage, students draw representational pictures (e.g., three circles), which creates a foundation for the transition to the Abstract, or Symbolic, stage where they learn to associate concepts with symbolic, or algebraic, representations (e.g., 3).

Instruction addresses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles and emphasizes in the precise use of mathematics vocabulary. Students discover new concepts through hands-on activities that incorporate manipulatives (e.g., base ten blocks), models, and role play. Each lesson includes “Story Time,” a list of recommended children’s literature that supports the concepts taught (e.g., “The Three Little Pigs”). “Skill Builder” activities extend learning and may be used to support instruction at home.

About Math Teachers Press*

Since 1980, Math Teachers Press has continually refined its learning objectives to address the instructional needs of school districts nationwide. Moving to the Common Core State Standards and CCSS-aligned assessment represented a continuation of this process of refinement. Despite all of the changes across the landscape of math education, the mission of Math Teachers Press has remained unchanged: to help all students succeed in math––especially those who struggle most––while making the job of the teacher easier with handy organizational tools, user-friendly lesson plans, and web-based assessment and reporting to monitor student progress and provide accountability.

* The content in this section is provided by or adapted from Math Teachers Press.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for this material.

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