Curriculum Components

Our resources are divided into three courses aligned to the New York State Common Core Learning Standards for Mathematics. Each course is divided into six or seven units, all of which are built around a common structure that shares several key components:

  • An Initial Task is intended to help teachers find out what students know already about the math in the unit.
  • The core mathematics of each unit is developed through a series of resources linked to Big Ideas. As teachers move through the unit, Big Ideas keep students focused on how concepts are connected and how they address mathematical problem solving.
  • One key component of our work is the use of Instructional Routines to structure classroom discourse and collaborative problem solving. These are embedded in the plan for each Big Idea.
  • Before attempting the end-of-unit assessment, students have an opportunity to synthesize their knowledge through a multi-day Formative Assessment Lesson.
  • Teacher-designed Re-engagement Lessons allow students to revisit, revise, and extend their understanding of the unit's core mathematics.
  • Finally, a Balanced Assessment, which is composed of a series of Regents-like multiple choice questions and a rich task, allows students to apply their understanding in an assessment setting, which also provides teachers with analyzable data for planning successive units.

Our focus has been on creating resources intended for students to build conceptual knowledge of mathematics. With this knowledge, it should be easier for teachers to build procedural fluency and give students authentic opportunities to apply the mathematics they know. While we recognize the importance of practice exercises and weekly quizzes, we do not provide these kinds of resource as it has been our experience that teachers are able to create these resources for themselves.
For answers to frequently asked questions about our curriculum, please see this page.