Math Curriculum FAQs

What are the scheduling requirements for math classes? 

Every day in the Platform is equivalent to approximately 60 minutes of instruction, though this timing is somewhat flexible. For elementary and middle school, there are roughly 150 days of instruction, and for high school there are roughly 135 days of instruction.  

Where does your curriculum come from?

Our main curriculum provider for grades 4-11 is Illustrative Mathematics. Additional content for Portfolio Problems is sourced from a variety of sources including, Citizen Math (formerly known as Mathalicious), Desmos, Open Middle, and 3-Act Tasks. 

Our 12th grade course offering, Modeling & Statistical Reasoning, consists of a curation of resources from Desmos, Illustrative Mathematics, Citizen Math (formerly known as Mathalicious), EngageNY, Mathematics Vision Project, Next Gen Personal Finance, and New Visions. Each task is attributed to its original author. In some places, we have created our own materials.

Does the math curriculum have answer keys?

Yes! We are proud to be offering answer keys for our Illustrative Mathematics-based courses. Answer keys will be published for Modeling & Statistical Reasoning on an ongoing basis. 

Legacy courses include answer keys and teacher resources when available, but will not receive any additional updates. 

What is the sequence of courses in the Base Curriculum?

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The two pathways for our courses are shown above. All of the courses provide a rigorous learning experience for all learners. Each course includes embedded supports and extension opportunities for students needing further differentiation.

For our high school courses, we offer both a traditional and integrated pathway, the components of which are laid out in Appendix A of the CCSS. Most 9th graders will take Algebra 1 or Math I. We also offer Algebra 1 and Math I Success courses that are designed to provide just-in-time supports so that students can engage with grade-level algebra content. These courses are intended to be offered concurrently with either Algebra 1 or Math I and are not standalone courses. See “What are the Algebra 1 Success and Math I Success courses” for more information about these courses.

In 10th grade students take Geometry or Math II. In 11th grade they take Algebra 2 or Math III. There are also condensed versions of the 11th grade courses, Algebra 2/Pre-Calc and Math III/Pre-Calc, which are designed to prepare students for an AP Calculus course in their senior year (see below). Our 12th grade offering is Modeling & Statistical Reasoning, which is particularly appropriate for students pursuing non-STEM post-secondary pathways. Though this is our only 12th grade offering at this time, school sites may consider additional 12th grade or Advanced Placement (AP) offerings to meet the needs of their students. 

While we do not offer a standalone course that is explicitly called “Pre-Calculus,” we do offer “Math III/Pre-Calculus” and “Algebra 2/Pre-Calculus.” These courses compress Math III (or Algebra 2) into less time, leaving room for additional units and Focus Areas that are aimed at preparing students for AP Calculus AB in 12th grade. The two additional units focus on rational functions and trigonometric identities and inverses.

For 12th grade, the Base curriculum includes one offering, Modeling & Statistical Reasoning. Summit Learning does not currently offer any AP math courses, though we are considering additional 12th grade offerings for the future.

I am confused about the Citizen Math (fko Mathalicious) links.

Citizen Math (fko Mathalicious) activities are included in some units throughout grades 6-12. As long as you teach one of those grades and access the Citizen Math (fko Mathalicious) activity through the Summit Learning Platform, no extra login should be necessary. To best access and understand the flow of a Citizen Math (fko Mathalicious) lesson, click on the links in the Plans Tab which take you directly to the specific activity on the Citizen Math (fko Mathalicious) website.

Do your courses have syllabi?

We do not currently offer syllabi for our Base curriculum math courses, though the information found within the Platform covers many of the same topics a syllabus would. You can also find overarching course information for the Illustrative Mathematics 4-11 curricula on the IM/Kendall Hunt website:

Grade 4 Course Guide

Grade 5 Course Guide

Grade 6 Course Guide

Grade 7 Course Guide

Grade 8 Course Guide

Algebra 1 Course Guide

Algebra 1 Success Course Guide

Geometry Course Guide

Algebra 2 Course Guide

I found a broken or missing link in the curriculum.

First, check to see if your math unit or Focus Area is up to date. Learn more about reviewing and accepting updates in this article: Incorporating Base Curriculum updates.

If your math unit or Focus Area is up to date, you can check in the Base Curriculum’s copy of the same math unit or Focus Area to see if the link is fixed there. If it has not, send us a help ticket to let us know.

How do I score End-of-Unit Assessments?

For guidance on how to score End-of-Unit Assessments, please visit the Administering and Scoring End-of-Unit Assessments & Portfolio Problems resource in the Learning Space. You may also want to explore this example of a scored paper-based End-of-Unit Assessment

Can I teach the units in a different order than what’s provided in the Base curriculum?

While teaching the units in a different order is possible, we strongly advise against it. In the unit dependency charts below, an arrow indicates that a particular unit is designed for students who already know the material in a previous unit. Reversing the order would have a negative effect on mathematical or pedagogical coherence. Examples:

  • There is an arrow from 6.2 to 6.6, because students are expected to use their knowledge of contexts involving ratios (from 6.2) to write and solve equations representing such contexts (in 6.6).
  • There is an arrow from 7.4 to 7.8, because students are expected to use their skills in representing percentages (from 7.4) when solving problems about probability (in 7.8).
  • There is an arrow from 8.3 to 8.6, because students are expected to use their skills in writing and interpreting an equation that represents a line (from 8.3) to interpret the parameters in an equation that represents a line that fits a scatter plot (in 8.6).

Additionally, not only do the concepts within the courses build on each other, but the exercise sets, which accompany each day, contain 30-50% spiraled material. Proceeding in a different order than the Base will result in disjointed material for you and your students.

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How do math courses change for students on a modified plan?

Each math unit overview includes a section titled ‘Modifications’ that provides general guidance on how to modify a unit in a way that allows students to engage with grade-level mathematics. In grades 4-8, Algebra 1, and Math I, a Summit Learning Modified Math Standards Blueprint and modified End-of-Unit Assessment are provided and intended to serve as a recommended starting point for modifications; fewer or more modifications may be needed and should be determined on an individual student basis. 

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For our Illustrative Mathematics courses (grade 4-11), the Plans tab includes suggested strategies that address cognitive functioning and are listed as ‘Supports for Students with Disabilities.’ Because modifications are unique to an individual student’s needs, specific modifications and their impact on daily lesson and assessment content should be finalized through the collaboration of the mathematics educator, Special Education department, and school administration or via a predetermined process at the school level.

How do I best meet the needs of my students who are learning at an accelerated pace?

Student acceleration is a decision that should be carefully considered. We agree with Illustrative Mathematics’ “commit[ment] to cultivating a solid K–8 mathematics foundation by appropriate implementation of grade-level standards and limiting acceleration options before high school.” Challenging students should come through extension of course level concepts. 

The activities in our curriculum are written to provide a rigorous mathematical experience for all students. In fact, many activities in grades 6-11 contain an additional prompt called, 'Are You Ready for More?' that teachers can use to help students take their learning further. 

The CCSS Publisher’s Criteria states, "National surveys have repeatedly concluded that postsecondary instructors value greater mastery of a smaller set of prerequisites over shallow exposure to a wide array of topics, so that students can build on what they know and apply what they know to solve substantial problems." In alignment with the philosophy of the CCSS, our curriculum prioritizes depth of learning over pace. We have also built these opportunities into Portfolio Problems, which push students to take deeper looks at relevant course concepts.

If your site opts to proceed with student acceleration, careful consideration must be paid to ensure equitable access to accelerated pathways. The selection, or placement, criteria should result in a group of students that reflects the diversity of your school. Disparities should be investigated at the site and district level to help close the opportunity gaps and increase the access of under-represented groups. Sites should also examine over-represented groups to ensure that families understand the positive and negative consequences of placing a student in an accelerated course. If your site has an existing accelerated pathway, long term student outcome data should guide programmatic changes. Placement in an accelerated course should always align with student goals.

Our high school course offerings include two accelerated courses, Math III/Pre-Calc and Algebra 2/Pre-Calc, which each include two additional units designed to prepare students for AP Calculus.

To read more about Illustrative Mathematics’s stance on acceleration, please see “Guidance for Accelerating Students in Mathematics

Should I assign everything as a Notebook? What are the pdf and digital versions of tasks used for? 

A guiding principle for our curation of IM is that technology should enhance learning, not hinder it. We include digital applets and activity alternatives when we believe they present improved learning opportunities. We encourage you to follow the same principle in deciding how to present activities to your students. Some questions you can consider:

  • Will student thinking be better captured in writing or digitally?
  • Does a certain format better facilitate student exploration?

When accessing the IM math curriculum through the Summit Learning Platform, each task (warm-up, activity, cool-down, and exercise set) is presented in 1 to 3 different formats. Teachers will want to consider the merits of each of these formats, relative to each specific task, prior to assigning them to students. Some formats will be better suited to specific tasks than others. 

Math tasks in the Base curriculum are available as, Notebooks (Summit Learning’s online workspace), printable pdfs, and/or off-Platform digital applets. A discussion of each is below. 

 

What

Advantages

Considerations

Printable

pdfs 

All Warm-ups and Activities

  • Maintains intended formatting
  • Students can complete without the need for computers
  • Can print entire unit at once on IM/KH
  • May take longer to grade
  • Work can be misplaced

Notebooks (Summit Learning’s Online Workspace)

All Warm-ups, Activities, Cool-downs, and Exercise Sets

  • Work stored in the Platform
  • Can be assigned to virtual/hybrid/absent students
  • Feedback and Notebook can be viewed together
  • Content can be edited if desired
  • Embedded accessibility features (e.g. text-to-speech, voice typing, alt text)
  • Difficult for students to show their thinking and/or draw
  • Difficult to share work with class
  • Formatting not conducive to printing

Digital Applet

Some Activities

  • Dynamic software
  • Fewer materials to prepare
  • Work is not saved
  • Difficult to share work with classmates

 

For remote settings, online Notebooks will likely be the preferred option for nearly all tasks and students. For in-person settings, teachers will consider each task individually to determine its best format. 

As cool-downs and exercise sets are both opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress, consider assigning them in the Platform, for students to complete in Notebooks, so that student work and teacher feedback are viewable on an ongoing basis throughout the unit. This practice helps teachers to quickly determine trends to inform the next day’s class as well as provides opportunities for just-in-time support as laid out in the Cool-down Guidance. It also gives students ongoing insight into their progress over the course of the unit. 

What is the fastest way to print everything for the unit I am teaching?

The fastest way to print course materials is directly from the IM/Kendall Hunt website.Navigate to the teacher page of the unit you are teaching, select ‘Resources’ at the top of the page, then select the pdf version of ‘Student Task Statements.’ This document contains all student-facing warm-ups and activities for the unit. To obtain a pdf of all cool-downs, select the pdf version titled, ‘Cool-downs.’

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Consider the best practice of downloading and printing a single copy of all Student Task Statements, which can be kept in page protectors in a binder. These can then be used as masters for making photocopies once you decide which format (printable, digital, or applet) best suits each activity. You might even consider leaving a Post-it note for yourself indicating the format you chose and why as a reminder for future years. 

How do I make pacing decisions based on missed content or instruction due to the pandemic?

We know that many schools are thinking about how to address gaps in student learning given the impact of the pandemic. Before making decisions, we recommend reviewing the Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math resource, which includes research-based methods that can be leveraged to help address these gaps, or unfinished learning, and inform instructional decision-making throughout the 2021-2022 school year. 

Additionally, in grades 4-11 we provide Curriculum Adaptation Packs to support teachers to identify prior concepts and skills that students need to access the content in each unit as well as provide just-in-time support to keep students progressing in their learning. 

In grades 6-11 we provide Cool-down Guidance to support teachers to address newly discovered unfinished learning and identify opportunities to revisit content in future lessons without stopping to re-teach a concept.

Before you begin teaching a unit, we recommend that you review that unit’s Curriculum Adaptation Pack and Cool-down Guidance. Additionally, this summary includes research-based methods for for addressing unfinished learning due to the pandemic. 

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