Math Committee presents overview of new math curriculum for grades 6-12

Last year, the district introduced the new Math Counts curriculum for grades K-5.  This is a much more hands-on approach to math, and the response this year has been tremendous, with math achievement rising significantly.

As we work to meet the upcoming math curriculum changes required by the state in 2014, the next step is to revise curriculum for grades 6-12.  A committee consisting of administrators and teachers evaluated different options and chose to continue with the same company that provides Math Counts.  This is an Integrated approach to math, which is used internationally, versus the more traditional approach.  Instead of using the standard Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II progression, the Integrated approach spirals the curriculum through courses named Math I, Math II and Math III.

This approach has many benefits, in addition to being compliant with state requirements.  It allows for differentiation for ALL students within an individual classroom, helping teachers move each student along at his or her own pace.  It is a digital format, which will allow us to update through the life of the adoption (6-7 years) yet achieve a significant ($200k+) cost savings versus traditional textbooks.  The digital format allows for individualized homework that provides immediate feedback and support to the student, and gives the teacher a real-time view of where students are struggling.  The three paths also allow students at the upper end to move more quickly, reaching Calculus BC (the second year of college-level calculus) by their senior year.

While this may seem like a huge change, especially to junior high parents who are seeing the biggest change, the curriculum format and delivery should ensure all students are receiving the support they need to move at the level that is right for them.  And as our younger students progress into the new system, they will find the challenge and support will be on par with what they have been experiencing with Math Counts at the elementary level.

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