We’re excited to make this year an engaging and successful one for your child. We want students to understand, use, and enjoy mathematics! This year, our students will be working with a math curriculum from Open Up Resources, an education nonprofit. I’m excited to share with you a bit about the program, how it’s different from ones your child may have worked with in the past, and why I’m excited about it.
The new curriculum, authored by respected mathematicians at Illustrative Mathematics, recently earned the top rating in independent reviews by EdReports, the ‘gold standard’ for K–12 curriculum. Schools nationwide have been using the curriculum, and many teachers have shared remarkable results from their classrooms.
The curriculum is designed to foster excitement about–and deep understanding of–math. Students participate in hands-on activities, in order to help them understand math conceptually; for example, they study equivalent ratios by mixing colored water solutions to understand why doubling and tripling produces the same shade of solution as the original. Students love these lessons, and the approach helps them apply math to real-world scenarios.
Students also participate in many collaborative activities – problem-solving in pairs or teams – in order to help them express their math thinking and learn from their peers. Middle school kids love to talk, and we find that it helps to push their thinking, while also developing students’ communication and collaboration skills.
Based on the feedback from the community input sessions, deep dive session, and field testing experience from teachers, we expect our students to thrive with this program. Yet because it approaches math a bit differently, the materials they bring home may sometimes look different from the worksheets full of math problems that traditionally characterized math work. This program takes an innovative approach to math learning – but rest assured, we expect that our students will be very successful with all forms of mathematics problem-solving.
Parents can follow along at home by accessing resources designed for parents that provide a window into the concepts your child is learning in class. These online family resources:
- describe the big ideas your child will encounter over the course of each unit
- provide an overview of the mathematics your child is learning
- detail what to expect as the learning deepens
- offer questions you can use at home to promote conversation around the math
We hope these resources will help you stay connected with your child’s learning and reinforce the skills students are learning in class at home.
We value the partnership with our families as we work to foster a love of math, and success with math, for our students.