Friday, May 5, 2017

Middle School Math Adoption Materials

Seattle Public Schools invites all families, staff, and community members to review the instructional materials under consideration for use in grades 6-8. This will be the first of two rounds of public review. The input you provide will help the middle school math textbook adoption committee narrow the choice of materials for the second round of review and a classroom pilot.
Give Us Your Feedback Between May 3 and May 23
Materials are available for review in two ways:
  1. To view the materials in person, visit the professional library of the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence at 2445 3rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98134 and fill out the feedback form.
  2. To view and evaluate the materials online, visit this page for instructions. After you review the materials, use this feedback form to provide your review. The feedback form is also available in SpanishSomaliVietnameseChinese and Amharic.
What Kind of Feedback Can I Give?
Even if math was not your strongest subject in school, you can still provide valuable feedback. The feedback form will ask six general questions like “will the resources provided help me support my student” or “does this book contain racist or sexist content?” It’s not necessary to be an expert in math to help review the materials. There is also an open comment section where you can provide additional thoughts for the adoption committee to consider.
Materials Review Open House with Translators
On Thursday, May 11, Seattle Public Schools will hold an open house from 5-7 p.m. at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence for families, staff, and community members to learn more about the instructional materials that are being considered for adoption.
The open house will display materials that have been submitted as potential middle school math curriculum. Families, staff, and the community will have the opportunity to examine the teacher and student materials and provide feedback. This feedback is essential to the process of selecting the best materials to recommend for the second round of the review and field test process.
By policy, publishers will not be in attendance; however, there will be SPS staff along with translators available to support participants in the process.
For more information about the middle school math adoption, please visit the adoption webpage.


Anonymous said...

What will newly opening middle schools be using? Had SPS done the adoption on the 7 year cycle, they could have moved beyond CMP by now.

I'm curious what the materials pilot involves. The only requirement is that they "adhere strictly to the instructional materials." Do they pilot specific units, or are they required to use the full year? Can grades 4-5 HCC pilot materials?

Apply to pilot instructional materials
•In order to apply, you must be teaching Grades 6, 7, or 8 Math in a Seattle public school in the 2017-18 school year.
•The Adoption Committee will narrow potential instructional materials to a short list. These instructional materials will be piloted for 6-8 weeks in the fall in order to inform the final selection of instructional materials.

Benjamin Leis said...

The new middle schools will be using the existing curriculum (in so much as any middle school does) since this adoption will not be done before next year (and there is no budget yet to buy the committee's recommendation).

Since as you quoted below the pilots only last 6-8 weeks, they will probably entail 1-2 units. I suspect the staff want the real grade levels to try them out the most but its certainly a conversation to strike up with your principal at the HCC Elementary level.

I definitely recommend trying out the online versions and taking a look if you have any interest in this area.

Pilot said...

My daughter was at Cascadia (AKA Lowell or Lincoln) in 2nd grade. She was part of a group "piloting" the curriculum. They used 4 different materials that year. On all 3 MAP tests in K and 1st grade (total of 6), her math scores were 98th or 99th percentile. 2nd grade MAP scores were 83rd. Things went back to normal for her in 3rd/4th, but given this outcome, I'd rather my kid not be the guinea pig as a middle schooler. Missing material will have a bigger impact than in early elementary.

Just putting it out there if folks haven't had their kid pilot stuff yet. It's not necessarily a good thing to be part of that group.

Simon said...

Personally, I have really liked the Math in Focus/Singapore stuff for elementary level math. My kid with school changes and acceleration used three elementary curricula and is now on Glencoe, and I think the Singapore stuff works way better than the others (but only when the teachers are trained in that methodology and have buy-in). After looking over the materials under consideration, I was happy to see Math in Focus has a middle school curriculum. It would be a natural segue from elementary to middle school to continue on the same methdology. I think transitioning from Singapore to non-Singapore entails a lot of problems without a lot of benefit.

Some people criticize Singapore programs for not being strictly aligned to Common Core. I think that criticism is unfair, since Singapore goes into more depth and covers less material in a year but then has to repeat way less material year to year. By the time you got to 9th grade, all CC requirements are met. Besides, CC is not the end-all/be-all. I like the expertise and fluidity that Math in Focus has produced in the kids I have worked with both here and abroad.

What I positively hate about Glencoe is how it layers complexity without any purpose. For instance, when you start doing geometry and are calculating the areas of irregular shapes, it forces the kids to do super complex arithmetic with weird fraction denominators like 63rds and 87ths. So they cram a bit of challenging fraction review in while the kids are learning to calculate area. I dislike layering complexity on new tasks that way. Glencoe often seems set up to undermine itself because of that approach. I think that and other issues makes Glencoe an inferior curriculum. I remain confused why it was selected, actually. But I guess math curricula are always rich with controversy one way or another.