Everyday Mathematics enhances core math instruction for teachers and students

Students master key concepts while teachers can easily track their students' progress
By: | Issue: May, 2017 | Case Study
March 31, 2017

Champaign Unit 4 School District in Illinois wanted to give its teachers a very clear pathway to evolve their math instruction to meet rigorous, Common Core state standards.

District leaders were very happy with earlier results from McGraw-Hill’s Everyday Mathematics and saw Everyday Mathematics 4, its latest iteration, as an enticing solution, especially in teaching the Common Core state standards, according to Susan Zola, assistant superintendent for achievement, curriculum and instruction.

“So even though we were very happy with our initial work, we are extremely happy with how Everyday Mathematics now has a line to the Common Core” says Zola. “It’s really given a much clearer pathway for teachers and students to do the lesson components, in terms of how concepts are introduced.”

Everyday Mathematics, which was developed by The University of Chicago’s School Mathematics Project, continually reinforces abstract math concepts through concrete real-world applications. It helps students master key concepts by revisiting content in a variety of contexts over time, as opposed to rote memorization.

Everyday Mathematics 4 adds to teachers’ confidence that students will master the Common Core state standards for each grade. Teachers can see how content develops across lessons and can pinpoint each student’s mastery level for standards at any point during the school year.

“I think that the fact that all the lessons are specifically aligned to Common Core allows teachers and students and administrators to have some clarity in the instruction and in what we would expect in terms of student learning” Zola says. “At the end of the day, obviously our work is always going to be about student outcomes, and the quality of the students’ success is always based on having a sound core curriculum.”

Zola says access to McGraw-Hill consultants and to the authors of Everyday Mathematics provides Champaign with a feeling of collaboration and partnership rather than one simply of a paying customer.

“It has been thoughtfully developed and it continues to be renewed and enhanced” Zola says of Everyday Mathematics 4. “McGraw-Hill is always trying to improve its work and they’re very responsive to our needs both in terms of professional work and practice.I think part of the difference for us is McGraw-Hill is a collaborator and a partner.”

This summer, The University of Chicago will hold a two-week immersive experience for Champaign elementary staffers, which will expand the depth and understanding of Everyday Mathematics 4, and will provide a valuable reward for attendees.

“Now you’ve got two weeks of model classroom experiences for teachers, coaches, administrators and district teaching-learning team members” Zola says.

Zola says teachers are appreciative of the district’s continued investment in Everyday Mathematics as an instructional and professional development tool.

“They’re very appreciative that we’ve invested in a high-quality resource” Zola says. “I think people have appreciated the sustained and ongoing professional practice conversation. It’s clear that we’re sustaining strong core experiences for math.”