The structure of the instructional time creates a situation in which the time actually allotted for the major work of the grade level is limited and extremely difficult to determine. Depending upon the grade level, between 25 and 40% of the daily math time is spent in meetings and many of the meeting concepts are not aligned to the grade level expectations. The amount of time devoted to new concept introduction is reduced to approximately 15 minutes, followed by practice that is not focused on the new concept of the day, but rather a compilation of skills and concepts introduced thus far, many of which are not grade level work. This structure makes it virtually impossible for a teacher to adjust the curriculum in order to meet the grade level expectations.
The incorporation of different games and workstations was a positive part of the series. This allows for students to engage in hands on mathematics and discourse with peers on the mathematics they are working through in games.
The structure of the daily instructional time creates a situation in which the time actually allotted for the major work of the grade level is limited and extremely difficult to determine. Of the suggested 60-minute class period, 15 minutes is devoted to power up activities that includes ongoing practice involving some concepts not pertinent to the grade level. This is followed by a 15-minute new concept introduction and a 30-minute distributed practice session which involves very little practice with the new concept and ongoing practice in unaligned concepts. Therefore, even on days when the new concept is considered major work of the grade level, very little time is actually devoted to it. By the time students are in Grade 5, more than half of the lessons are not aligned to Grade 5 expectations. This structure and the large number of unaligned concepts make it extremely difficult for a teacher to adjust the curriculum in order to address the CCSSM expectations for the grade level.
The assessment materials were not provided with this series. The lack of the assessment resources for the Grades 3 to 5 band made it difficult to review for focus. Reviewers could only review the assessments as they appeared in the teacher guide. It is important to note that there are two different versions of the third grade curriculum materials, and the team reviewed the version consistent with the Grades 4 and 5 materials. The Grade 3 version that is consistent with the Kindergarten to Grade 2 materials was not reviewed.