McGraw-Hill Education Math programs offer engaging content and smooth implementation
Starting fresh with a new math curriculum was the goal for Gloucester Township Public Schools in fall 2013. The K-8 district, which is located 14 miles southeast of Philadelphia in New Jersey and serves 6,400 students, had a new curriculum and instruction department team charged with the task of updating outdated materials.
“We did not have consistent materials between general education and special education classrooms” says Al Lewis, curriculum supervisor for mathematics, science and related arts. “We wanted all students to use the same curriculum, just with accommodations when necessary.”
The district took on the immense challenge of piloting three different math programs at the same time for grades 3 through 5.
“We believe in letting teachers have ownership over the decisions that will impact their daily work lives, with guidance from the district” says Lewis.
After a thorough assessment of the three options, Gloucester teachers voted to select McGraw-Hill My Math and Glencoe Math. McGraw-Hill My Math (K-5) and Glencoe Math (6-8) are comprehensive print and digital curriculum solutions based on the Common Core standards. The rigorous program enables educators to improve students’ conceptual understanding, fluency and application skills while keeping engagement levels high.
“It was the easiest program for teachers to use, and it didn’t require days of training” says Lewis. “Our district is immensely pleased with having a sequential, coherent math program for grades K-8 that shows clear progression through the state standards.”
After officially adopting McGraw-Hill My Math for grades 3 through 5 for the 2014-15 school year, the district had K-2 students in its eight elementary schools use the program starting in Fall 2015. All 203 Gloucester elementary classrooms now use McGraw-Hill My Math exclusively for math curriculum. Glencoe Math is used for all general education, special education and accelerated math courses at the middle school level. Training and professional development requirements were minimal because the programs are so intuitive for educators to use, says Lewis.
“We had a half day of PD and some training with McGraw-Hill Education trainers, but after the first day, the teachers just got it and wanted to start using the program” he says.
The interactive lessons are pre-built and well-organized, so educators can focus on their students instead of spending hours building lessons. And because each lesson is contained in each student’s McGraw-Hill My Math textbook and online portals, parents have access to the whole picture if they need to assist with homework, says Lewis. Buy-in at all levels
Gloucester teachers consistently report seeing a high level of numeracy and math-facts fluency in their students.
“Students respond well to the program because the interactive manipulatives, wide variety of common assessments and colorful graphics are so engaging” says Lewis. “Teachers also enjoy using McGraw-Hill eAssessment, which helps our district maintain consistency in testing conditions and performance analysis across eight elementary schools and three middle schools.”
Parents appreciate that the district’s literacy program, Wonders, is also offered by McGraw-Hill Education, because of the convenience of logging into one portal and having access to both the reading and math programs in the same place, says Lewis. The portal contains video tutorials of skills and concepts taught in class. Students maintain their existing ConnectED account even as they move from elementary to middle school. “Everyone almost forgets we are so early in the initiative because it has been so simple to use on all fronts” says Lewis. “Feedback has been consistently and thoroughly positive. Choosing McGraw-Hill My Math and Glencoe Math was a positive and popular decision.”
For more information, visit www.mheonline.com/k8_math