Quick access to information, resources add up to successful math program
Elementary teachers at Stamford Public Schools in Connecticut, leverage data they gather through observation and evaluation, as well as test scores, to drive classroom math instruction. The technology in their math curriculum, McGraw-Hill Education’s Everyday Mathematics 4®, allows teachers to easily record data and provides detailed reports they use to identify students that might be struggling to master specific state standards, as well as those that are ready for a challenge.
One activity that teachers in Stamford use for differentiated instruction is Activity Cards, which provide an easy way to assign fun and engaging activities that give additional instruction focused on specific standards. Activities are designed to be completed in small groups or with partners. Everyday Mathematics 4 also includes a wealth of opportunities for students to practice through scaffolded online games that students can play in class or at home.
These cutting-edge resources are part of the comprehensive approach Everyday Mathematics 4 uses to teach K6 math. It uses real-life examples, frequent practice and various problem-solving methods. The program’s latest version includes a digital grade book, assessments and other resources.
“I’m seeing a big difference in student performance since we started using Everyday Mathematics,” says Jon Kolman, curriculum associate for elementary math and science. “Instead of the focus being on rote memorization of facts, the focus is on concepts. So students have a better understanding of not just what the answer is, but why the answer is what it is.”
Stamford Public Schools used Everyday Mathematics 3 for almost 10 years, but last year switched to Everyday Mathematics 4, which is engineered for state standards.
“We now have the opportunity to have fewer lessons, go more in-depth with the lessons we do, and really focus on the standards,” says Natalie Elder, director for school improvement and professional development for elementary. “Differentiating instruction during learning stations allows teachers to really home in on learning gaps.”
About 8,000 K5 students use Everyday Mathematics 4 in the urban district where 65 languages are spoken and 52 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Teachers were Everyday Mathematics consultants, and each school has its own liaison, who is a district teacher with special training, to help colleagues make the most of the program resources.
Practice makes perfect
In addition to focusing on content standards, Everyday Mathematics 4 gives teachers detailed point-of-use guidance for facilitating math dialogue in their classrooms. This allows teachers to listen to things such as being precise—using proper labels and accurate words—and making a viable argument to defend an answer.
Educators have embraced Everyday Mathematics, Kolman and Elder say, and McGraw-Hill has been particularly supportive and responsive when issues arise. Students seem especially enamored with this approach to math education, Kolman says.
“More students are enjoying math,” Kolman adds. “Students are learning in a fun way instead of just opening up a book and memorizing facts.”
For more information, visit www.everydaymath.com