New curriculum makes math interactive
Last year, the district piloted two new middle school math curricula, hoping to zero in on one that would bring the district more in line with state teaching standards. By the end of the piloting process, the choice was clear.
“When the pilot test concluded, math teachers were given the option of going back to our previous curriculum or continuing with Go Math,” said Michael Vincent, the district’s supervisor for math and technology. “They all wanted to continue with Go Math.”
Go Math is being used in all middle school math classes this year.
Making math engaging
Go Math provides teachers with resources that make math accessible to students of all skill levels. In addition to providing instruction for students that fits better with Common Core math standards, Go Math makes math more engaging and interactive.
Instead of following along in a book as it shows students how to work through different examples and then asks them to do their own work, Go Math lets students learn by doing. Students work through the examples as the book guides them along.
“I have had a lot of kids comment about how the examples really made sense to them and how they felt they could do it on their own quicker now,” said Lochburn math teacher Emily Ulmstead.
Unlike the district’s previous math books, which would be passed down from year to year, Go Math acts as a workbook. Each student receives his or her own copy at the beginning of the school year and is encouraged to write in its pages to work through examples.
The Go Math curriculum goes beyond the pages of the math book. It offers teachers a full complement of extra paper and digital resources to help students learn each lesson. Teachers can assign videos or interactive programs, which are accessed through QR codes in the book or by logging into the district learning apps, to help struggling students learn the concepts in different ways.
It also provides options for students at different language levels.
“Students who need more language support might get a version of the assignment that has more visuals, while students that are ready for an additional challenge might get ones that have more story problems and some numbers that push their thinking a little bit more,” Vincent said.
Language is included as a part of each lesson’s objectives. The book teaches students vocabulary terms alongside math problems. For example, a lesson on positive and negative numbers can teach students that negative numbers aren’t bad, they’re just less than zero.