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Math Adoption Committee

June 17, 2011

During my internship, I had the opportunity to be a part of the elementary math curriculum review and adoption process within our school district.  The district is looking to replace their current math curriculum, Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space.  The two curriculums being considered were Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions and Macmillan McGraw-Hill Math Connects.  The teams reviewing the materials were looking within each curriculum for mathematically rich content, materials that build student confidence when solving problems, and lessons that connect various math applications as well as integrate other subject areas.  On paper, the process looked straight forward, taking input from all individuals.  However, half way through the process, it became clear that the adoption process was not going to be a straight forward decision. 

The group of twenty-eight educators were divided into grade levels, kindergarten through fifth grade.  Each grade level combed through the curriculum materials from both companies and determined which curriculum best supported the Washington State Math Performance Expectations for the grade level they represented.  After the review process, each grade level presented their curriculum recommendation followed by a somewhat heated discussion about best practices and which curriculum would best meet the needs of all learners.  At the end of the day-long session, the Assistant Superintendent joined the meeting to review the final recommendations and get a thoughtful understanding of each viewpoint.  Due to the varying viewpoints, a clear recommendation was not reached and upon further review, a decision would be made.

Unfortunately, due to current budget issues, the purchase of new curriculum is put on hold within our school district.  The final recommendation from the committee was to adopt Math Connects.  I was able to use some of the Math Connects resources within my learning community.  I used the curriculum to teach elapsed time and determining the lowest common multiple for fractions.  The curriculum adoption process was a very informative process to be a part of.  I enjoyed working with other educators from our various elementary schools as well as learning about different math curriculums.  Once I do have a permanent teaching position, I look forward to serving on curriculum adoption committees. 

Math Connects

Math Expressions

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