Posts Tagged "mathematics"

New Product Review: AnsMar Publishing’s Excel Math (Texas Version)

AnsMar Publishing’s Excel Math (Texas Version) is a supplemental mathematics product for students in grades K-6. Content is available in print format and includes some digital teaching resources on DVD. Instruction focuses on developing mathematical thinking skills, improving proficiency, and building students’ confidence in solving problems. Learning List recently reviewed resources for grades K-5. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Reasoning Mind Blueprint

Reasoning Mind's BlueprintLearning List has reviewed Reasoning Mind’s Blueprint. This supplemental product supports mathematics instruction in Pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade. Content is web-based—software installations and/or app downloads are not required. Instruction focuses on building foundational skills and understanding basic concepts in mathematics. Adaptive content provides individualized intervention and remediation for students who struggle with concepts. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Forde-Ferrier Ultimate STAAR Math Workbooks

Forde-Ferrier Ultimate STAAR Math WorkbooksForde-Ferrier’s Ultimate STAAR Math Workbooks are supplemental products that supports students in grades 1-8 in preparing for the STAAR mathematics exams. Content is available in print format—consumable student workbooks. Instruction addresses the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Readiness and Supporting Standards at each grade level. Learning List has reviewed resources for grades 3-5. [Read more…]

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New Review: CPM Educational Program’s Core Connections MS and Integrated I-III

CPM photo

[Source: CPM]

CPM Educational Program’s Core Connections Courses 1-3 are a series of comprehensive resources that support mathematics instruction in grades 6-8 and Core Connections Integrated I-III is a set of comprehensive materials that support instruction for each of the Integrated Pathways high school courses identified in Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Learning List recently reviewed resources for each set of courses.

Core Connections Courses 1-3 provide a three-year sequence of math instruction to prepare middle school students for college-preparatory algebra courses. Core Connections Integrated I-III provide a rigorous three-year sequence of math instruction to prepare high school students for advanced college-preparatory mathematics courses (e.g., calculus). Instruction in both sets of courses focuses on developing students’ understanding of mathematical concepts through problem-based learning activities. Students work collaboratively to identify solutions strategies, the connections between concepts, and to develop critical thinking skills.

Core Connections courses emphasize the use of “Study Teams that work together to answer questions, justify reasoning, and identify multiple solution strategies. Through ongoing discussion, teams support one another and ensure all members understand problems and solutions. Teachers encourage students’ teamwork, facilitate discussions, and provide support when teams encounter questions they are unable to answer.

Core Connections courses address the CCSS and are available in print and eBook formats.

About CPM*

cpm logo

[Source: CPM]

CPM began as a grant-funded mathematics project in 1989 to write textbooks to help students understand mathematics and support teachers who use these materials. CPM Educational Program is now a nonprofit educational consortium of middle and high school teachers and university professors that offers a complete mathematics program for grades 6 through 12 (Calculus) designed to engage all students in learning mathematics through problem solving, reasoning, and communication.

CPM’s Mission:

CPM’s mission is to empower mathematics students and teachers through exemplary curriculum, professional development, and leadership. We recognize and foster teacher expertise and leadership in mathematics education. We engage all students in learning mathematics through problem solving, reasoning, and communication.

CPM’s Vision:

CPM envisions a world where mathematics is viewed as intriguing and useful, and is appreciated by all; where powerful mathematical thinking is an essential, universal, and desirable trait; and where people are empowered by mathematical problem-solving and reasoning to solve the world’s problems.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from CPM.

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Trends in Mathematics Materials

Learning List has reviewed over 1500 of the most widely used instructional materials, including hundreds of mathematics materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Over the last few years, we have observed general and grade-span specific trends that may be of interest to mathematics teachers.  This blog post addresses the attributes that apply to mathematics materials across grade levels.

Most materials, particularly at the elementary level, present highly visual content sequenced to support the progression in learning from concrete to pictorial to an abstract understanding of math concepts. Materials today address fewer math topics in greater depth to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Rather than teaching algorithms and rote memorization, the materials help build students’ conceptual understanding and proficiency in solving math problems. Manipulatives and models help students visualize complex problems and develop solution strategies.  Often frustrating to parents, materials teach multiple approaches with multiple entry points to solve problems.

With the goal of creating mathematical thinkers, materials focus more heavily on teaching mathematical practices and process skills than in the past. Practices and process skills are embedded throughout instruction with varying degrees of success.  Some materials still isolate them in a particular section of the material; others integrate the teaching and use of practices and skills throughout the teaching of content standards.

Materials use real-world problems and connections to careers that use mathematics (i.e., fashion designers, fireworks engineers) to connect to students’ interests and lives and engage them in learning.  Moreover, current materials tend to provide more instructional resources for teachers. They often provide background in the concepts and pedagogy critical to successful teaching and learning. They identify the misconceptions that students most commonly have and provide teaching strategies to address misunderstandings. The materials also support differentiated instruction by providing adaptions (e.g., interactive tutorials, video demonstrations) that help students with differing abilities and levels of understanding engage with the material and learn the mathematical concepts presented.

Selecting materials is an increasingly complex task. During her presentation at the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics conference in Oakland, California, this week, Learning List’s president,  Jackie Lain, will address some of the critical attributes to consider as well as some of the grade span-specific trends to be aware of when purchasing new mathematics materials.

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