After reviewing the recommendation of the Methow Valley School District Instructional Materials Committee (IMC), the MVSD School Board unanimously voted to adopt the Bridges Math Resources for grades K-5 and Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) – Third Edition for grades 6-8 during the regular board meeting on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
The Methow Valley Math Curriculum Development Committee met throughout the spring of the 2016-2017 school year. During this period of time, the committee identified common beliefs about teaching and learning, examined current research, and observed best practices happening elsewhere in the area of mathematics.
This process included mapping the district’s current instructional practices using the following curriculum development framework:
- Washington State Learning Standards – How closely do the resources align with the identified standards?
- Common Assessments Aligned to the Standards – Do the resources support classroom- based assessment that inform daily instruction? How closely do they align to state assessments?
- Instructional Approach – Do the resources balance knowledge and skill development with deeper levels of conceptual understanding, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and other critical 21st century skills?
- Resources – Do they provide students with access to engaging and relevant activities? Do the resources support a progression of learning from one grade level to the next?
- Professional Development – Do staff have access to high quality professional development opportunities that align with the resources, assessments, instructional approach, and standards?
- Family and Community Engagement – Does it provide opportunities for parents to receive training and support in support of their own children?
Using this framework, the committee identified overlaps, inconsistencies, and gaps within each area of the current K – 8 Mathematics Curriculum. With the help of thought-partner and NCESD – STEM Specialist Andy Boyd, committee members identified highly rated resources for possible adoption and implementation at grades K-5 and 6-8.
Parent and Community Input
Prior to submitting their final recommendation, the IMC Committee solicited a final round of feedback from parents and community members. Feedback in the form of statements gathered from parents and community members who recently reviewed the resources and materials included the following:
- “The materials look engaging and seem to build from grade level to grade level.”
- “My son loves the booklets. He thinks it makes math really interesting and fun. The materials engage the students, and importantly engages the teacher to actively teach.”
- “We have noticed a need for a math plan that builds consistently not only throughout the year, but also from grade level to grade level. A school-wide plan would be welcomed! Students will have a clear picture of where they’re headed.”
- “I’m super excited to see the school adopt a K-5 math curriculum.”
- “I endorse a math curriculum series that encourages critical thinking and experiential learning which appears to be consistent with this set of resources.”
- “I’m encouraged by this conclusion and its consistencies between the years. In review, it appears to fit a model that supports thinking from a functional perspective.”
After carefully reviewing options, piloting lessons, and soliciting parent and community feedback, the committee has made a recommendation to the MVSD School Board of Directors to adopt the K – 5 Bridges Math Curriculum and to update the Connected Math Project resources currently being used, by purchasing Connected Math Project – Third Edition for the following reasons:
- Serve as curriculum-based resources that highly align with the current Washington State Learning Standards as identified by ED-reports
- Professional development supported by North Central ESD in the use of the resources
- Used successfully in other Washington State schools
- Provides all students with equitable access to the general education materials and instructional strategies
- Inquiry-based lesson design, supported by relevant, real world applications
- Includes basic skills component
- Provides a K – 5 scope and sequence of skills
- Provides staff with an ability to evaluate their own teaching and learning
- Provides enrichment and intervention options
Acknowledgement – There Isn’t One Perfect Resource
As part of the committee’s recommendation, members acknowledge the fact that there isn’t one particular resource that will best meet the needs of every student. However, the committee believes the adoption of a “core” resource used by all as a foundation, complemented with the use of supplemental resources and materials to address any noted gaps will lead to higher levels of success in the area of mathematics for all students.
Thank you, Methow Valley! It’s your generous support of our local levies that supports our ability to provide our students with access to the high quality resources and materials needed to be successful!