by Tina Cardone

The vision of Illustrative Mathematics is to create a world where learners know, use, and enjoy mathematics. This raises the question: Which learners? And what role do the authors of a curriculum play in shaping the experience?

Continue reading “Equitable Teaching Practices in IM K–12 Math”

By William McCallum

I can’t imagine what it must feel like right now to be a teacher facing the uncharted territory that is the coming school year. Will I be teaching 100% online, or have some face-to-face interaction with my students? Will I be teaching synchronously or asynchronously for most of the school year? How will I get to know my students and how will they engage in one another’s ideas? How will I get to know my students’ families? How can I give them manageable guidance to support students this year? Most of all, where can I get help with all these questions?

By Kristin Gray

Most importantly, I hope everyone is taking care of themselves, their families, and others as much as they are able to during this time. With schools and districts pushing instruction online with a quick turnaround, everyone is experiencing unprecedented change.

By William McCallum

The number line is a seemingly simple object: a straight line with two points marked 0 and 1. Those two points are the seeds of great complexity, however. Whole numbers are located at positions marked off by iterating the interval. Fractions are located at equal subdivisions of the spaces between whole numbers. Flip all those numbers to the other side of 0 and you have negative rational numbers. Then, although the line is completely dense with rational numbers, you find you can sneak between them with infinite decimal expansions to define a whole universe of irrational numbers. Given all of these layers of complexity, when exactly is the right moment to introduce this marvelous object to students?

Does the perfect elementary math curriculum exist? Armed with a growth mindset and the Alpha IM K–5 curriculum, teachers in Ipswich Public Schools push their thinking to reach all mathematicians.

By Maureen D. O’Connell

I preach growth mindset daily. When my students say they can’t do something, they almost always add their own “…yet.” However, walking this walk as an elementary school teacher is another story. Creating, mastering, and modifying curricula to reach each and every student—in every content area—is a daunting expectation. We hold ourselves to near impossible standards.

Continue reading “Creating an Accessible Mathematical Community with IM K–5: the power of “yet” for students and adults”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

― Maya Angelou

By Kristin Gray

When I think back to my 8th grade math class, I cannot recall the exact problems I struggled with or exact things the teacher said or did, but I can distinctly remember how I felt each day walking into that classroom: anxious. From the very first day of school, I struggled, and my feelings of failure and self-doubt only compounded as the year progressed. I just could not keep up. While many, many years have passed, and details have faded from my memory, I have never forgotten how badly I felt about myself as a learner of mathematics each day.

Continue reading “First Impressions: The First Units in IM K–5 Math”

Illustrative Mathematics

It was great to see so many of you at NCSM and NCTM in San Diego. If we missed you, or you weren’t able to attend, read our NCSM and NCTM round-up below.

By Kristin Umland,VP Content Development

A great conversation I had with the IM elementary school curriculum writing team got me thinking: What is a measurable attribute? That is, when given an object, what can we measure about it? Before you jump in with your own answer, consider these questions:

Is “redness” a measurable attribute? Why or why not? Does this picture help you decide?

Continue reading “What is a Measurable Attribute?”

By Anna Polsgrove

When I first started the Math Methods course at University of California, Irvine, all of my ideas on how to learn math took a complete 180.

During the first two months, a million questions swirled in my head as I worked through problems with my classmates: We don’t just teach the algorithm anymore? What do you mean “use representations to build conceptual understanding”? What is an area diagram? What are all of the multiple strategies to solve a problem? How am I supposed to anticipate misconceptions when I have never taught the curriculum?, just to name a few. Continue reading “The IM 6–8 Math Curriculum Changed My Math Methods Experience”

By Allison Van Voy

When I started teaching four years ago, I had no idea how important number sense was to a student’s math understanding. I was fresh out of college, brand new to teaching, and number sense was not a concept I had learned in my math courses.