Did Someone Say FREE?
In case you haven’t heard… the team at Illustrative Mathematics (@IllustrateMath) wrote a FREE curriculum (yes I said FREE) for grades 6 through 8 to be released by Open Up Resources!
The Illustrative Mathematics Middle School Curriculum is innovative, coherent, and provides access and rigor for all students. No stone was left unturned when crafting these materials. The level of passion and scrutiny that went into all things created is mind boggling. This curriculum “elevates mathematics instruction and sparks enjoyment of mathematics for students in a whole new way!” Just check out the work done on the embedded Geogebra applets released here.
The team was led by William McCallum (@wgmccallum)–who has promised to get back to blogging more often over at Mathematical Musings. This spring he wrote a four part series on Curricular Coherence. He shared, “…a coherent curriculum, focused on how to get students up the mountain, would make sense of the journey and single out key landmarks and stretches of trail—a long path through the woods, or a steep climb up a ridge.” From what I’ve seen…I believe the team has accomplished this. You can read the rest of his first post in the series here.
Another member of the Illustrative Mathematics writing team, Sadie Estrella (@wahedahbug), recently wrote about her experiences as a teacher “create(ing) content from scratch.” She goes on to write, “during this time, I had various resources I used, random texts, blog posts, etc. But never did I find any text or curriculum that I felt met the teaching philosophy I had in my head and emanated throughout my classroom. Pretty much every text I encountered looked like a replica of what I experienced as a student and that is DEF insufficient.” This resonated with me and it felt like she was in my head.
Reading her post, I could feel her skepticism regarding the “whole curriculum thing (curriculum schmiculum).” She acknowledges that it took some time working on this curriculum before she was able to stand back to see its power. She shares, “what I came to realize at this moment was that good curriculum, curriculum that does a lot of the heavy lifting in math content, coherence and some teacher moves (5 practices) allows the teacher to re prioritize the work they need to do in order to support quality learning.” What a powerful statement! And it’s so true. Check out the entirety of this post over at her blog here.
Kate Nowak (@k8nowak) answers the question “Do I have to do it this way?” about the Illustrative Mathematics Middle School Curriculum over at her blog. She chose a great analogy credited to someone at the Louisiana Department of Education.
She writes, “if you were to try and cook a new, complicated recipe, you would probably make it as it’s written the first few times you make it. You don’t know what all the ingredients are for, you don’t know the rationale behind all of the instructions, you don’t really understand how it works, yet, before you cook it a few times. Once you start to understand the recipe, though, you can make smart choices to modify it to suit your tastes and needs: substitute green beans for eggplant, leave out the almonds, or take it out of the oven a little earlier, for example.”
And then there is the work happening over at #learnwithIM. Check it out and you’ll see teachers from across the country giving up their time this summer to learn, collaborate, and grow from working with this curriculum.
The anticipation is growing!!!
The decisions made by the writing team were incredibly purposeful. The curriculum tells a story. I’m so excited to see what they do next!
Written by Bridget Dunbar (@BridgetDunbar)