Grades K-2 Summary of Alignment and Usability

The instructional materials reviewed for K-2 meet the expectations for alignment and usability in each grade. The materials spend the majority of the time on the major work of the grade, and the assessments are focused on grade-level standards. Content is aligned to the standards and progresses coherently through the grades. There is also coherence within modules of each grade. The lessons include conceptual understanding, fluency and procedures, and application. There is a balance of these aspects of rigor. The Standards for Mathematical Practice (MPs) are used to enrich the learning, although they are not always appropriately identified, and the lessons do not always attend to the full meaning of each MP. The materials facilitate learning by attending to the criteria for use and design, planning and learning, and differentiation. The materials scored slightly lower in assessment criteria. While the summative assessments are strong there is not enough information for the teacher to use the formative assessments to inform their instruction. Overall the K-2 materials support student learning by attending to alignment to the standards and instructional usability.

Grades 3-5 Summary of Alignment and Usability

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 3-5 meet the expectations for alignment and usability in each grade. The materials spend the majority of the time on the major work of the grade, and the assessments are focused on grade-level standards. Content is aligned with the standards and progresses coherently through the grades. There is also coherence within the modules of each grade. The lessons include conceptual understanding, fluency and procedures, and application. There is a balance of these aspects of rigor. The Standards for Mathematical Practice (MPs) are used to enrich the learning, although they are not always appropriately identified, and the lessons do not always attend to the full meaning of each MP. The materials facilitate learning by attending to the criteria for use and design, planning and learning, and differentiation. The materials scored slightly lower in assessment criteria. While the summative assessments are strong there is not enough information for the teacher to use the formative assessments to inform their instruction.  Overall the Grades 3-5 materials support student learning by attending to alignment to the standards and instructional usability.

Grades 6-8 Summary of Alignment and Usability

The instructional materials reviewed for this grade band meet the expectation for alignment to the Common Core State Standards and partially meet the expectations for usability. For focus, the materials meet the criteria for the time devoted to the major work of the grade. The majority of the chapters and the respective days allocated in the timeline align to the major work of each grade. For coherence, the supporting work is clearly connected to the focus of the grade in a meaningful way. Coherence is also evident in the connections between two or more clusters in a domain and two or more domains in a grade. The instructional material meets the expectations for the criterion of rigor and balance with a perfect rating. Within the concept development sections of each lesson, the mathematical topic is developed through understanding as indicated by the standards and cluster headings. Procedural skill and fluency are evident, with an abundance of examples and computation activities which stress fluency in conjunction with skill development. Application of the mathematical concepts exists throughout each module. The three aspects of rigor are balanced within the lessons and modules. The instructional materials also meaningfully connect the Standards for Mathematical Content and the Standards for Mathematical Practice. Weaknesses were noted in the identification of the Standards for Mathematical Practice and in attending to the full meaning of each practice standard. Overall, the materials meet the quality expectations for alignment to the Common Core State Standards.

The materials reviewed partially met the expectations for usability. The underlying design of the materials distinguishes between problems and exercises. The design is not distracting or chaotic, and supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject. The materials reviewed partially meet the criterion for teacher planning and learning. The materials partially support teachers in planning and providing effective learning experiences by providing quality questions to help guide students' mathematical development. Materials contain a teacher edition with ample and useful annotations and that sometimes includes suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. However, the materials do not provide strategies for gathering information about students' prior knowledge within and across grade levels. Also, the materials do not meet expectations for differentiated instruction. There are limited notes in the margins and boxes in the teacher materials that provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners, and a variety of solution strategies are not always encouraged.