The IM Experience—Let’s All Know, Use, and Enjoy Mathematics

By Dionne Aminata, IM Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives

As a fully remote organization, the IM team gets a lot done working behind the screens. Now, with IM K–12 Math in full swing, many of us are stepping away from our computers and going OUTSIDE! We are booking flights, donning our purple shirts, and creating face-to-face opportunities with the IM community. The IM Experience is all about understanding and enhancing the way IM impacts schools, districts, and communities, so that we can continuously improve our product and service offerings.

We want to hear from you! We’ve got questions about the IM Experience, and we know that the answers are on display in classrooms, school buildings, and district offices, so we’re making the rounds.

  • What does the IM Classroom look like?
  • What is the optimal experience for students who engage in our curriculum?
  • What do teachers want to experience when teaching the curriculum or participating in our professional learning sessions?
  • What experiences and questions do school and district leaders have as they move from adoption to implementation?
  • How does implementing a problem-based curriculum affect families and communities?

Over the past several months, we have embarked on a roadshow, developed case studies, executed a webinar series, and curated an event schedule that brings us directly to the nationwide IM community. We have learned so much from connecting with schools and districts thus far, and we are excited to learn and do more. Below I share how we’ve kicked off the IM Experience.

IM Experience: Roadshow

In 2022, we launched a pilot IM Classroom Roadshow, with our first stop in Des Moines, Iowa, at Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS). The IM Classroom Roadshow is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with, learn from, and support districts that are implementing the IM curriculum in ways that exemplify the IM Classroom.

Creating a world where all learners know, use, and enjoy mathematics is a huge undertaking, and we are making time to check on our progress. As a part of the IM Classroom Roadshow, we spent this past school year observing classrooms, collecting achievement data, and conducting interviews with students, teachers, and school and district leaders.

DMPS has a supportive leadership system dedicated to providing all students with equitable, rigorous instruction. These leaders are implementing IM K–12 Math in ways that allow teachers to grapple with the content, develop their practice, and employ the belief that all students are capable learners of mathematics.

Observing and listening to students as they embody the joy of math is a magical experience. Listen as DMPS students share how they know, use, and enjoy mathematics.

Know Math: Ninth-grader Ashley speaks about being a mather and feeling good about knowing mathematics.

Use Math: Fifth-grader Dina shares how math can be used everywhere, and the specific ways she uses math.

Enjoy Math: Kindergarteners Rohan, Mila, and Jay’con talk about how much fun they have solving problems and collaborating with their classmates in math class.

IM Experience: Case Study

We’re connecting with school districts of all sizes across the country to conduct qualitative and quantitative research. Our 2023 IM Case Studies from Greeley, CO, New Orleans, LA, and Des Moines, IA, highlight a diverse set of stories as told by students, teachers, and leaders using the IM curriculum. These stories capture the successes and challenges of implementing our problem-based curriculum, and its impact on teaching and learning.

The case studies didn’t just produce an array of heartwarming sound bytes; they also produced an incredible amount of feedback for our curriculum and professional learning content teams. The insights gained will help support our ongoing development of products, programs, and services. With this empirical data, we plan to amplify IM’s status as a provider of high-quality instructional materials and professional learning products and services.

Read the completed case studies here:

IM Experience: Presents

We also know that teachers and leaders have questions and concerns as they implement or consider adopting the IM curriculum. With our ears firmly pressed to the ground, we have delivered on our effort to provide relevant and timely information to our IM community through the IM Experience Webinar Series. All educators can benefit from these webinars, whether or not they are implementing the IM curriculum. Each panel discussion answers the questions that teachers and leaders are currently asking. By bringing together math education experts and practitioners to discuss hard-hitting topics, educators gain access to best practices and insightful solutions to today’s challenges.

Click on the links below to learn more about our webinar series or watch a replay on-demand:

  1. Implementing a Problem-based Instructional Model
  2. Building Thinking in an IM Classroom
  3. Leveraging Coherence to Build Responsive Classrooms
  4. Cultivating Brilliance through Grade-level Instruction
  5. Pacing for Rigor
  6. Inspiring Collective Agency through Responsive Coaching
  7. Family Engagement, Collaboration, and Support – Coming November

Many webinar participants are saying that our one-hour sessions are not enough. You want MORE! We hear you! Coming soon, the conversation will continue through the IM Blog and our new IM Podcast, which will include video and audio formats. Subscribe to our email list to be the first to know about these amazing opportunities!

IM Experience: Events

Have you seen the IM team in-person yet? We are adding several opportunities for IM community members to get the answers they need directly from IM thought leaders and subject-matter experts.

In July, the purple shirts united when IM sponsored the UnboundEd Standards Institute in the nation’s capital. Teachers and leaders dug into the Institute’s sessions, learning about the importance of teaching grade-level content while ensuring that all students feel affirmed as they engage in meaningful and rigorous math instruction.

During the weeklong event, we hosted a focus group to learn more from users and non-users of IM, and a Lunch and Learn to highlight features of IM K–12 Math that align to UnboundEd’s GLEAM Instructional Framework. Most importantly, participants had opportunities to ask their burning questions directly, and get immediate, in-person responses from IM leaders.

A wonderful time was had by all!

IM Experience: Events

Where will we see you next? Our 2023 conference season schedule is out! Find our IM booth at an exhibit hall or come listen to IM experts speak at any of these upcoming events. We look forward to connecting with you!

Let’s All Know, Use, and Enjoy Mathematics

As we learn about and create dynamic experiences for the IM community, one thing is clear: More and more learners (teachers and students alike) are coming to know, use, and enjoy mathematics. I have had an amazing IM Experience in my travels this year, observing classrooms and interviewing leaders, teachers, and students. See my testimonial below. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to see you outside!