Math concepts continually reinforced through concrete real-world applications

Everyday Mathematics helps students master key concepts by revisiting content in a variety of contexts

When it was time for North Kansas City School District in Missouri to adopt a mathematics resource for its elementary school students, a select pool of teachers was asked to evaluate several resources. Eventually, Everyday Mathematics from McGraw-Hill Education was selected as the resource.

“According to all of the professional development that our teachers received and all of the research on what good math instruction looks like, Everyday Mathematics was clearly the right choice for our teachers and students” says Chad Sutton, who is the pre-K through 8 assistant to the superintendent.

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

Everyday Mathematics builds teachers’ confidence that students will master 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.

Everyday Mathematics has tools for students and teachers. Students can log into the platform to get extra practice or to play games online that reinforce what they’ve learned in class. Teachers can see students’ work and track their progress toward mastery of concepts. This information can be used to identify students who might need extra help.

Flexibility and alignment

North Kansas City implemented Everyday Mathematics in the fall of 2015 and saw an immediate increase in math scores.

“We felt that Everyday Mathematics really aligned to our vision of what good quality math instruction looks like” Sutton says. Sutton added that teachers are not mandated to use Everyday Mathematics on a “page-by-page or day-by-day” basis because the district really wants teachers “to use it as a resource to truly meet the needs of students.”

Instruction coordinator Todd Hinnenkamp says the district had a teacher-led demonstration program for Everyday Mathematics that showed teachers “doing their very best work with teaching and learning” with the program and it “permeated the implementation process.”

Tangible results

Quantitatively, Sutton says every demographic group has seen a rise in mathematics achievement levels as measured by Missouri achievement standards.

“The results that we’ve seen in our achievement scores are really strong” Sutton says. “Our free and reduced-price lunch students outperform the state significantly while our ELL students—once they are in grades 3, 4 and 5 outperformed the state too. Every group of our demographics, especially those two groups, are reaping the benefits. We’ve never seen anything like it.”

Qualitatively, Hinnenkamp says he hears from middle school math teachers that students are coming in more prepared from elementary school.

“Middle school teachers are saying they’re able to do so much more with sixth-grade classes compared to two years ago” Hinnenkamp says. “It’s huge that what we’re seeing in elementary school impacts what students can do at the middle school.”

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