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New Math Curriculum Proposed to District 308 Board

Feb 28, 2014 11:51AM ● By Steven Jack
The following was provided by Oswego District 308

The Community Unit School District 308 plan for a new math curriculum set to begin next fall was revealed at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, Feb. 24.

During a presentation led by Director of Secondary Education Dr. Edsel Clark and Director of Elementary Education Dr. Lisa Smith, the group recommended “My Math” by McGraw-Hill for elementary students, and “Glencoe” by McGraw-Hill for both junior and senior high school students.

Several teachers also were a part of the presentation, which also included Assistant Director of Elementary Education Melissa McDowell and Assistant Director of Secondary Education Mike Purcell. The new teaching materials were recommended to help School District 308 meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and to provide students with the necessary skills to compete at the national and international levels.

“The mathematics curriculum review is the first series within a five-year, board-approved curriculum review cycle,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Wendt said. “The effort to design a new mathematics curriculum by a team of district teachers and administrators is important work, and I applaud the group’s efforts. I am excited to see new mathematics programming, teaching strategies, materials, and opportunities for students beginning next fall.”

A math curriculum team comprised of teachers and administrators from district elementary schools, junior highs, and high schools assisted in the selection process. The committee wanted a program that met state standards, encouraged students and teachers to work at higher levels of thinking, and provide students with the skills and knowledge to compete internationally. The process included vendor presentations to directors, who then assessed the alignment between CCSS and School District 308 curriculum. Vendors also made presentations to the committee.

At the elementary level, the materials include “My Math” for kindergarten and grades one through five, as well as five years of consumable print resources, five years of digital licensing, a one-year Planet Turtle license, teacher support materials, classroom manipulatives, and a professional-development plan.

At the junior high level, the materials include Glencoe math 2015 courses one, two and three, three years of consumable print resources, seven years of digital licensing, five years of ALEKS licensing, teacher support materials, and 35 iPad4 devices.

The high school materials include Glencoe Algebra 1 and Geometry and Algebra 2 textbooks, seven years of digital license, a one-year ALEKS licensing, teacher support materials, and 35 iPad 4 devices.

Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Dr. Judith Minor is excited about the change in curriculum. Instead of solely focusing on the problems, students will now learn to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others as well as use math to model real-world situations, she said.

“We are teaching kids to think like mathematicians, and that is so exciting,” she added.