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New Math Materials Coming to K-8 Classrooms


March 22, 2018 – Highly rated open source math instructional materials will be coming to K-8 classrooms in Guilford County Schools next year. The school board learned more about Eureka Math and Illustrative Mathematics (Open Up) at its meeting Thursday. Open source materials are online resources that can be freely used, distributed and modified.

Eureka Math materials, provided by the nonprofit agency Great Minds, will be used in elementary classrooms starting in 2018-19. Eureka Math is the only open source comprehensive math curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards at every grade. Thirty-four GCS elementary schools are already using some of the materials, and 93 percent of elementary principals surveyed are interested in expanding its use district-wide.

Illustrative Mathematics, provided by nonprofit Open Up Resources, is a free resource created by Common Core standards author Bill McCallum that will be used in middle school classrooms. Illustrative Mathematics earned the highest ever rating for a middle-school math curriculum on EdReports, an independent nonprofit reviewer of instructional materials.

Four GCS middle schools are already using some of the materials, and all have reported improved teaching using these resources. Eighty-two percent of teachers surveyed say students are more engaged. All GCS middle school principals who responded to a survey are in favor of using a consistent math instructional resource for 2018-19

A 2017 Chiefs for Change study states, “Investing in high-quality curriculum has more statistically significant effects on student outcomes than other interventions.” Eureka Math and Illustrative Math (Open Up) both received perfect scores by EdReports. Materials are judged on focus and coherence, rigor and mathematical practices and instructional supports and usability. Each resource comes with complete units of study, differentiated lessons and explicit teaching notes.

Open education resources provide content for free, but printing must be financed by the district. The estimated printing costs for GCS are $928,200 for Eureka ($26 per student) and $468,653 for Illustrative Mathematics ($27.50 per student). GCS has not provided math resources to teachers in more than 10 years, well before the adoption of the current state standards. Contracts for professional learning and curriculum writing will be brought to the board for approval in April.

The new materials will support the academic goals of the Strategic Plan, especially Goals II and V. Goal II of the strategic plan focuses on improving student achievement in Math I, formerly Algebra I, as the content must be mastered before more advanced courses can be taken. Goal V aims to decrease achievement gaps between groups of students.