Posts Tagged "Bridges in Mathematics"

New Product: The Math Learning Center’s Bridges in Mathematics for Prekindergarten

New Product: The Math Learning Center’s Bridges in Mathematics for Prekindergarten

Is your district looking for a math-focused, developmentally appropriate program? Take a look at Learning List’s review of The Math Learning Center’s Bridges in Mathematics.

The Math Learning Center’s Bridges in Mathematics for Pre-K is play-based and provides a comprehensive mathematics curriculum for prekindergarten students. The material is sequenced according to developmental progressions of mathematics concepts and skills and is organized in nine units.  The program addresses standard areas of math instruction, including numbers, operations, geometry, patterning, measurement, and data analysis. 

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Learning List and EdReports: Differing Reviews of CCSS-Aligned Mathematics Materials

EdReports recently released their reviews of four publishers’ instructional materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics: Math Learning Center’s Bridges in Mathematics (K-5), McGraw Hill’s Everyday Math (K-6), Kendall Hunt’s Math Innovations (6-8), and Origo’s Stepping Stones (K-5). Reviewing the materials for alignment to the instructional shifts of the CCSS, EdReports found only one material, Bridges in Mathematics, to be fully aligned and sufficiently easy to use.

At Learning List, we were surprised by these findings. In contrast to EdReports, we found Bridges in Mathematics, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones to be aligned to 100 percent of the CCSS at each grade level the material addressed.

For each material, we provide three distinct reviews, including: (1) an overview of the material’s key academic attributes and technology requirements; (2) a detailed verification of the material’s alignment to each CCSS; and (3) an in-depth review of the material’s instructional content and design.

For the alignment review, multiple experienced and certified teachers review the citations (i.e., pages, video, lessons) listed in publisher’s correlation to verify that they address the content, context, and cognitive demand of each standard. For CCSS math products, we also review the material’s alignment to each of the eight Mathematical Practice Standards (MPS), the CCSS-identified habits of mind that students should develop as a result of mathematics instruction (e.g., reason quantitatively).

Our reviewers found that Bridges in Mathematics, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones address 100% of the CCSS at each grade level. This does not mean that every citation we reviewed was aligned to the relevant standard; rather, it means that our reviewers found that every standard was fully addressed in at least one location in the text. We also found that the MPS are fully integrated in Bridges in Mathematics and Everyday Math. Origo did not submit an MPS correlation for Learning List to verify.

Beyond alignment, our editorial reviews provide an in-depth analysis of each material’s instructional content and design, including multiple indicators of rigor, focus, coherence and ease of use.  For example, our editorial reviews for each of these three materials found that: distracting or extraneous content is limited, instruction is grade appropriate and the material develops critical or higher order thinking skills. While Bridges for Mathematics and Stepping Stones contain inquiry-based activities; Everyday Math did not.  All three materials provide assessments at appropriate instructional points but contain different types of navigation tools and different instructional resources for teachers and students, as elaborated upon in each review.

Reviewing materials is an inherently subjective analysis. Both EdReports and Learning List provide rigorous reviews of each material for educators to use as a baseline for their internal review and selection process. In contrast to EdReports, we found that Bridges, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones deeply addresses the CCSS.  Our editorial reviews further highlight each material’s attributes of rigor, coherence, focus and ease. Whether each of the materials is rigorous, focused or coherent enough for their students is a decision we leave for schools and districts to make for themselves.

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

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Teachers Credit Positive Classroom Culture to Bridges in Mathematics

 

Bridges in Mathematics, 2nd Ed.

Bridges in Mathematics, 2nd Ed.

The Math Learning Center recently released the second edition of Bridges in Mathematics for grades K-5, and Learning List has just reviewed the new set of products.  Bridges is a comprehensive, inquiry-based program that creates a cooperative community of learners in the elementary mathematics classroom by blending teacher-led instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration of math concepts. The Bridges program includes three key components:

  1. Problems & Investigations prompt students to think independently about a teacher-posed problem and to share and evaluate strategies to reach a solution in whole class and partner discussions.
  2. Work Places are station-based activities that engage students in games and other activities that develop and practice new skills.
  3. Number Corner is a calendar-based skills program of short daily activities (20 minutes) that promote understanding of key concepts and develop computational fluency.

Each component includes engaging, age-appropriate content, resources for intervention and support, as well as enrichment activities. The use of increasingly complex visual models and hands-on instructional tools moves students from the understanding of concrete concepts to more abstract thinking about mathematics. Family resources help parents understand learning goals and engage parents as partners in supporting students’ home learning.

Visual Models

Visual Models

Educators enjoy sharing their experiences working with this program: see video here. At each grade level, Bridges focuses on developing students’ ability to reason mathematically, communicate their reasoning, model with mathematics, and critique the reasoning of others. Educators who provided feedback about Bridges to Learning List said the product helped them create classroom cultures in which students work independently and interact positively when discussing problem-solving strategies with classmates. Educators stressed the importance of using teacher resources and overviews to plan and guide daily instruction. They said that teachers needed to trust Bridges’ sequencing and pacing of instruction, explaining that instruction is mapped to how students learn mathematics and activities build on one another to ensure deep understanding of content.

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The Great Debate: The Role of Technology in Education

Don’t miss the New York Times’ set of debates and discussions, Schools for Tomorrow, about the potential of technology to transform education.  Khan Academy founder, Sal Khan, provides the keynote address, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discusses the role of online learning in public education, including the President’s ConnectED initiative. Panel discussions with education experts and policymakers address the role of technology in leveling the playing field in education, engaging students, and changing what we understand about teaching and learning.

To help educators and parents evaluate the rapidly expanding number of online and print-based educational resources, LearningList.com has just launched with independent reviews and alignment reports of online courses, online instructional resources, and textbooks from a range of providers, including Britannica Digital Learning, Compass Learning, Davis Publications (Discussions4Learning), Edgenuity, Gourmet Learning, Read Naturally Live,  and Rock ‘N Learn. Reviews for ORIGO Stepping Stones, Bridges in Mathematics, and STEMscopes science curriculum are coming soon.  Learning List will continue to release reviews on an ongoing basis.

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