People ask me all the time what math “program” would be the best for a district to adopt.This is very difficult to answer because there isn’t one purchasable “program” that I feel has every aspect of a QUALITY instructional program. Although there are some programs that are more aligned than others, often times many of them lack true alignment of implementing the 8 Mathematical Practices within engaging application games, performance tasks, and math discourse.
Any teacher can pick up a “purchased” math book, however, I feel it is the teachers’ pedagogical knowledge and the way that they integrate the program through best practice that makes the most difference in student achievement. Take a look at the list of programs in the chart below and recognize that truly anyone can pick these up and “teach it” page-by- page, as indicated in the manual. However is this what makes up the “best, most aligned program”? I would have to say based on the professional development I have done across this nation that there is more to it!
Teachers today are a product of memorizing procedures with concepts that were not deeply understood, as are many of our students before this shift in mathematical instruction. We have to start to build the foundational understanding of the concepts and application of teaching through the 8 mathematical practices. That foundation starts with quality professional development and job-embedded coaching with teachers in order to make this crucial shift in 21st-century mathematical thinking!
EdReports.org selected 20 math instructional series to review for common-core alignment. Small teams of educators scored the digital and print texts on focus, coherence, rigor, and usability. In addition to individual grade-level ratings, EdReports.org gave summative ratings for each grade band (K-2, 3-5, and 6-8). Eureka Math was the only program that met the expectations for alignment to the Common Core State Standards at every grade level reviewed.
So before you go out and purchase the next “best thing” that claims to be aligned, make sure that you have a professional development plan in place to provide the systemic support necessary for success!
Contact us to help get your professional development plan in place! It’s never to late to make change!