Does anyone out there have a great math curriculum that they love? My charter school is looking to change things up and try a new one and we are open to any suggestions that you may have! I am a 6th grade Language Arts teacher, but I am on our curriculum committee. I have NO IDEA where to even start, so any ideas would be useful! Thank you!

We are using Pearson's Envision Math curriculum. While I feel the need to supplement it with some additional problem solving (especially extension-wise...in fact, I developed a variety of math extension menus with deep-thinking problems that I'd be willing to pass along), I enjoy the way it's laid out in terms of pacing and spiraling between grade levels. It also has some great videos to go along with the teaching (some better than others, but provide a visual at least). Our district has developed its own tests to go with it, though. I'm sure you'll have several other suggestions - take some of them back and take a look at each of the materials with your committee! We all have our own biases, and you definitely want it to match what your school is looking for in a curriculum.

I was going to suggest Pearson EnVision Math too! I used it at my school last year, and I miss it dearly! It's so much better than any of the programs that I have available at my new school. It is structured in terms of individual lessons and topics, and the video, as noted above, makes the lesson more engaging for students. I was and still am a big fan of it!

I used Pearson EnVision Math for the first time this year. I'm interested in the math extensions you're using with your students and what types of modifications your district made to the topic tests.

We adopted Envisions three years ago, and think it is a very good program. When we were adopting a math program, we called all the publishers for a sample set, which they shipped to us right away, so we could look over each choice. We also had our final three send in a book rep to give us a presentation of their books. I should add that we are a very small school (one class per grade level) and they were willing to do this for us. We looked at a variety of them, such as Go Math!, Saxon, Progressive, and some others I can't remember. We liked Go Math! as well, but Envision was everyone's number one choice on the selection committee.

Unfortunately, I cannot share the district tests per policy, though I can say that the district used some of the end of topic tests, and added in some "Level 4" questions or aligned it better with the common core standards. In terms of the extensions, PM me your e-mail address and I can forward you what I've culled/created -- it isn't specifically connected to the EnVision curriculum, and instead tied to the five major mathematics strands...but there's a ton of problem solving opportunities within it! The more kids it can benefit, the better!

We are piloting Math Expressions. It is my first time using this and would welcome any tips or suggestions.

We don't have a math curriculum.... it is tough. We are told the standards we have to teach and given a lot of suggestions and activity ideas as well as a pre test and post test for each unit. A lot of their "suggestions" are EngageNY lessons which I won't touch with a 10 foot pole. They are brutal and not conducive at ALL to a workshop type learning environment. In my previous schools I have used My Math (Ok... I'd give it a B) and Investigations (loved, loved, LOVED!)

My school just went through a similar process last year and chose Math in Focus. It's based on Singapore math and is pretty rigorous. The word problems are the best part (real world, multiple step). My only complaint is that the problems in the assessment book are way harder than anything in the workbook or textbook, so I end up making my own chapter and unit assessments.

Yeah, the independent school near me uses the Singapore Mathematics curriculum blended with the Common Core state standards and school curriculum goals. Singapore Math must be a rigorous curriculum, since the school charges a whopping $18,500 for tuition!

In evaluating a math curriculum, personally I would look for more application and less fill-in-the-blank algorithms. Although I would never ignore the need for drill and practice, most curricula emphasize the how with less emphasis on the understanding and application. In my opinion, knowledge, understanding, and application are inseparable to learning, and they don't always occur in that order, either; these three aspects of learning are intertwined. Especially important, and very much so in math, is connecting new learning to previous learning, a step also sometimes skipped over. Personally, I question the need to make the work more rigorous instead of making the work more engaging; just adding on extra work or increasing the difficulty of situations does not necessarily result in learning. Students who are engaged in their problem solving, however, often are doing the same more difficult work or increased workload. I agree that raising expectations results in raised results, but one can only raise the expectations so far. Most importantly, and again, especially in math, is a curriculum that allows time for mistakes. Mistakes are good. Mistakes are part of the learning process. Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus was right when she anticipated that her students would "Take chances, get messy, and make mistakes." Most often in math, a mistake is actually a correct attempt from the students' current understanding and ability; when the students correct their mistakes, often after scaffolding with the teacher or discussing with a cooperative group or study-buddy, they reshape their attempts, which in the meantime reconstructs their neuronic pathways and strengthens the insulation of these brain connections. Physically, because of their mistakes, their brain has become stronger and more resistant to alteration concerning that concept.