All in with OUR/ IM Math 6-8 : New for Year 2 – Extra Practice pages for each lesson

The teachers of our district worked together to create resources to address a variety of problems they had during year 1.

Made to meet a variety of teacher needs:

  • I keep running out of time for the cool down
  • I want to allow students a chance to reflect and revise cool downs
  • I don’t know how to collect homework/ hold students accountable
  • I wish my students had a little more basic practice available for home
  • I want problems aligned with the curriculum that I can
    •  use for whiteboard practice during my extended block 
    •  use for practice during my support class
    • Send home for students who work with tutors
  • I want to spiral in more review of previous grade level content before students need it in the curriculum

Here is our set for the first half of grade 8 unit 1.  Here is a copy in word for easy editing.  We are spiraling in material students will need for unit 4 throughout the first 3 units.*  You can see that in the first half of unit 1 we focused on one step equations, using fractions and decimals with comfort, and the distributive property. Our goal is to have students comfortably at grade level as they begin unit 4’s equation work. We never want these reviews to distract from the lesson at hand, and so this review is short and builds slowly.

How teachers might choose to use this resource:

We hope it is flexible enough to fit each teacher and classroom. Here are a few ideas:

  • Keep current cooldown routine but limit time – this is their rough draft only. Do a quick Critique, Correct and Clarify (MLR 3) with one of the rough drafts, perhaps structured as a “My Favorite No”.  Students do a Stronger and Clearer (MLR 1) version of the cool down as part of homework.**
  • If you need to collect something from students daily – give one page per day.  Blank back side can be used to work the 3 to 5 practice problems provided by the curriculum
  • If you just want students to have access to extra resources for mastery – hand out as a packet at the beginning of the unit. 
  • If you want extra problems to draw on for classroom activities (stations, white boards, intervention), use problems as a teacher resource to create these activities. 

Unit 1 Lessons 1-10 pdf word

Unit 1 Lessons 11-17 pdf word

Unit 2 Lesson 1-12 pdf word

Unit 3 Lessons 1-14 pdf word

Please share other ways you find to use these!

* I’ll continue to add future units here as they are ready. We hope to have through unit 3 ready by the end of August.

**For more on math language routines see the course guide – tons of helpful information is waiting for you there!

All in with OUR/ IM Math 6-8 – Looking back at Year 1

I work closely with the 8th grade teachers of our district and can say without hesitation: We are excited as we move into year 2 with this curriculum.  

But true confessions: Sometimes year 1 felt bumpy. 

It was hard for many of our team to adjust to this different way of teaching. It was hard for our students who wanted so much for us to revert to old methods and tell them what to do, and were stubbornly determined to wait us out. Sometimes the connections were not what we expected or were used to, and it felt a little uncomfortable. And sometime unit test scores were not what we wanted.  

Time was tight and we had no real time for reviewing before state testing. In fact we had to cut short things that were priority standards. After testing we covered things that featured prominently in the state performance task. 

We pushed onward and did our very best for our students. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say we were worried going into state testing, and even more worried when we watched them taking it. 

And in spite of what was sometimes uncomfortable, state test scores showed amazing program growth.  

  • Our average growth per teacher was 7%
  • 47% of our teachers experienced double digit growth
  • More than half our teachers had over 50% of their students meet or exceed standards. (for comparison the district averages for the last 4 years in 8th grade math were: 45%, 43%, 38% and 41%)

So while sometimes we had days where our lessons felt like a hot mess, somehow we got better.  How is that possible??

  1. Our curriculum was better aligned to the grade level standards. Teachers spent time teaching the things they were supposed to teach at the correct level of rigor. 
  2. Teachers learned more about the math content. Teachers who planned using the teacher materials were pushed to think more deeply about the math they were teaching. They begin to see connections they did not see before. It was amazing PD to dig in and learn this course. 
  3. Teachers began to understand the vertical connections and their place in the progression of student learning. The curriculum emphasized building on previous year’s learning all year long. 
  4. Spiraling allowed mastery over time.  Topics came up again and again, which allowed students to revisit and deepen their understanding. Research shows that this has a profound impact on retention.
  5. Pedagogy and access. The curriculum is built to support teaching differently than we have before, in a way that promotes access and understanding for all students.   Some teachers experimented with this more than others, but for all of us we are just at the beginning of this learning. Note – lots of teacher and student growth could happen without this piece, but the greatest growth came in classrooms that experimented with these new methods. 

We can’t wait to see what happens next year now that we know the curriculum and are addressing some of the problems with pacing and practice that we had during the first year.


So the moral of our story is don’t be afraid to jump in. Even with our less than perfect execution, the curriculum was good for our students.

And that is what we are all about.

Fighting Courage

A personal post having absolutely nothing to do with math, but everything to do with teaching.

 

So as a kid I was a wimp. Actually I don’t know how much that has changed in the 45 years since my 10th birthday.
Fact about me: My pain threshold is record-breakingly low. As a kid this translated into crying and whining at even the tiniest injury, and being paralyzingly afraid of one thousand everyday things.
My mom would tell you I did have redeeming and lovable qualities, because, you know, she’s my mom. Even so, parenting what some might describe as a whiny crybaby and others might describe as a hysterical brat, couldn’t have been all sunshine and roses. The day the dentist said he wouldn’t see us anymore because 8 year old me was hysterical about the shot he was trying to give and impossible to manage comes to mind.
From my current vantage point, I am amazed I lived to adulthood. Mom is a better woman by far than I. Think about it for a moment. . . How would you parent this hot mess of a kid?
I can’t say her solution would work for every kid, because each child is unique. But for me her solution was pure genius. She couldn’t change the fact that things would hurt me. So she chose to teach me about courage. Not to “toughen up” or to change my perception of pain (“That does NOT hurt!” was something I heard from others). She taught me that being brave is not about not being afraid, but about facing that fear and doing what needs to be done.
She told me stories of children who saved their siblings from tidal waves and wild animals. She bought me books like Children of the Resistance, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Hiding Place. She told me stories of Harriet Tutman and the Underground Railroad. . . stories of the Little Rock Nine and Rosa Parks . . . stories about Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
She called them stories of Fighting Courage. That became the theme of my childhood.

She knew she couldn’t prevent pain from coming into my life, but she could help me choose my response.

She also chose to live fighting courage in front of me. Once we witnessed a road rage incident that turned into a brutal attack. A driver was pulled from his car through the open passenger window and pounded into the pavement by the other angry driver. 3 lanes of traffic were stopped at the light, and two full gas stations full of people looked on. My 5’3″ mother was the only one to get out of her car and yell at them to stop. “Everyone of these people can identify you and will testify against you! All those cars behind you are writing down your license plate right now!” I was terrified as she stepped from the car, but also incredibly proud. Her actions saved that man’s life.

In the wild, she taught me not to run from wild animals. When a big bear entered our camp, she stood tall and puffed up, and made noise to scare them off. I truly do not know what the correct move is in that situation, but what I learned was that my mom had fighting courage in the face of both man and beast. Not that she had no fear, but that she was willing to do what needed to be done to save herself and protect those around her.

At 56, mom continued her lessons about fighting courage as she battled stage 3 colon cancer. She confides now that there were times she thought she couldn’t take the chemo any more, and she would have to die. But I watched her advocate for herself in her care, chose nurses and people around her that were positive and encouraging, and decide to live.

From then until now, I have watched her attack the natural challenges of aging with the same fighting spirit. Exercise, healthy eating, mental exercise, and choosing to reach out and become an active part of her new community when she moved are all choices she modeled for me.

You don’t have power over evil in the world or natural disasters or disease or the aches and pains of time. But you do have the power to choose your response when those things come your way. The ability to face these things head on instead of hiding or wallowing in self pity is Fighting Courage. It is the greatest gift she has ever given me.
I am sure there are parenting moments she regrets, because every parent who ever lived has those. But this piece of parenting is what I needed more than any other. I strive to let it define my life as it has hers.

Today, at 77, she continues her lessons, this time with stage 3 breast cancer. Chemo starts this month. Here she is: my hero.