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Frequently Asked Questions

IM Certified™ Curricula
IM Certified Partners
IM Certified™  IM Professional Learning


IM Certified™ Curricula

Who authored the IM Certified math curricula?

IM Certified curriculum is authored and maintained exclusively by Illustrative Mathematics, led by noted mathematician and standards author Dr. Bill McCallum. The Illustrative Mathematics team has extensive experience with materials creation based on years of providing free K–12 materials and resources. 

Check out the IM Authors

What is common across IM Certified curricula?

  • problem-based
  • 5 practices framework
  • universal design for learning
  • embedded supports for:
    • students with disabilities
    • English learners
  • extensions for students who are ready for more
  • instructional routines
  • activity and lesson structure
  • practice problem sets with built-in cumulative review

Are the IM Certified curricula core programs or supplemental?

Our materials are designed for full-course use as a core program to support an aligned, coherent progression within and across grades.

It is my understanding Illustrative Mathematics releases it’s curricula as OER. What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

OER are freely available materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared to better serve all students. OER license types vary: some OER allow free download and use, while others also allow adaptation.

How can I know that OER Materials are high-quality?

As it relates to IM’s materials, you want to make sure it has the IM Certified designation. The IM 6–12 Math v.I certified curriculum is built on research-based principles to ensure teachers have the tools needed to facilitate student success. The certification means that IM has reviewed it and ensured that it meets and will continue to meet the high standards that IM customers have come to expect.  IM 6–8 Math v.III is highly rated in all EdReports Gateways and we expect the same great reviews on 9–12 when it’s reviewed later this year. EdReports is an independent nonprofit that reviews K–12 instructional materials for focus, coherence, and rigor.

What kinds of extra supports are available with IM curricula?

  • All lessons include built-in supports for English learners and students with disabilities.
  • Most lessons have extensions for students who are ready to go more deeply into the mathematics.
  • There are additional lessons for students in Algebra 1 who need more support that could be used in an extended block. Algebra 1 offers a full year of support material that is aligned to the curriculum.
  • There are family support materials to help families understand the mathematical work that their students are doing.

How long are the lessons in each curricula?

Each lesson is designed for a 50-minute class period. For educators with different class period lengths, IM provides guidance of where material can be safely added or removed to support the individual needs of teachers.

Do the curricula include assessments?

  • Yes. The following assessments are included in every unit:
    • pre-unit diagnostic assessments
    • embedded formative assessments
    • practice problems
    • end-of-unit summative assessments
    • mid-unit assessments (for longer units)

If you’d like to learn more about additional assessment options, please look into IM’s Certified partners.

How does IM’s assessment design correlate to the design of other widely-administered assessments like SAT, ACT, PARCC, and SBAC?  

To the extent that these other assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards, the assessments included in IM’s curricular materials assess the same content knowledge. In designing our assessments, we surveyed item types that are commonly used. As a result, our assessments include multiple choice, multiple response, short answer, restricted constructed response, and extended response item types. The purpose of this choice was to give students opportunities to encounter these item types on summative assessments throughout the year to gain familiarity and comfort. Additionally, we provide scoring rubrics for restricted constructed response and extended response items that mirror the scoring guidance for other widely-administered assessments. More information about assessment design is available in the curriculum teacher guides.

Are the lesson aligned to the standards?

Yes, each lesson displays the alignment to the standards. Practice problems indicate the lesson to which they are aligned, and the standards alignment can be inferred by looking at the standards aligned to that lesson.

How did you determine the sequence of the curriculum?

The order of units was thoughtfully designed so that concepts can be developed in a coherent way. Learning is more sticky when new concepts are connected to existing knowledge, and a coherent curriculum can take advantage of that. For example, the area of a triangle (developed in grade 6, unit 1) is used as a context to write and solve equations (in grade 6, unit 6). Another example: After learning about proportional relationships in grade 7, unit 2, students learn that pi is the constant of proportionality between diameter and circumference of a circle in unit 3. Additionally, these examples show how supporting work is used to support understanding of major work of the grade.

Why are there units dedicated to supporting work of the grade?

The supporting work of the grade provides students with more opportunity to solidify conceptual understanding and build fluency for the major work of the grade. For example, unit 1 in grade 6 is Area and Surface Area, which is supporting work of the grade. This unit reviews arithmetic and provides a context and application for work in units 4 and 5, Operations and Fractions.

My district’s pacing is different. Can I teach the units in a different order?

When considering a change in unit order, it’s important to consider the original flow of the curriculum as much as possible, so various components do not lose impact. For example, distributed practice, pre-unit diagnostics, and end-of-unit assessments can still be used, but slight modifications may be necessary. Procedural fluency is built into the activities and practice problems in a progressive manner as students move through the units. Development of concepts also builds over time through a progression of units and is a consideration when choosing and ordering the units as well. We recommend consulting the Unit Dependency Chart, designed by Illustrative Mathematics, when considering the order of units.

How do the curricula integrate the standards for mathematical practice?

At the beginning of each lesson, a narrative describes the lesson’s goals and addresses how these goals will be accomplished. A description of the way in which the mathematical practices come into play in the lesson is included in these narratives.

Do you have any resources for families?

Every unit in each curriculum includes a section called Family Support Materials, which describes in plain language the big ideas students will encounter. These resources provide an overview of the mathematics your student is learning, detail what to expect as the learning deepens, and include questions that promote conversation about the mathematics.

What is the difference between the lesson synthesis and the lesson summary?

The lesson synthesis is included in the teacher materials, and is a plan for five minutes at the end of the lesson when the teacher helps the students wrap up the main points of the lesson. The lesson summary is included in student materials, and is written to help summarize the main mathematical points of a lesson, including any new vocabulary, in student-friendly language. They are meant for students to read on their own time, or perhaps to read to help catch up on a day they were absent. They are also useful for families who want to understand in more detail what their student is learning.

Where is IM Certified 6–8 Math available?

Today, IM Certified 6–8 Math is available from our IM Certified partners: Kendall Hunt, LearnZillion, and McGraw-Hill Education. The latest version available for implementation this fall includes enhanced English language supports for teachers and supports for students with disabilities, as well as other improvements.

When will IM Certified Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 be available?

IM Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 will be freely available for district implementation this fall. A free demo can be viewed here.

When will IM K–5 Math beta be available?

IM K–5 Math beta will be released for the 2021-22 school year. You can learn more here.


IM Certified Partners

What is IM Certified?

IM Certified means that educators can have the assurance that an IM Certified partner:

  • has actively collaborated with IM to enhance the material without negatively impacting outcomes
  • strategically aligns to IM’s mission and goals
  • gives back to the ongoing development of the curriculum and professional learning so that all learners benefit

Who is partnered with Illustrative Mathematics?

IM has three IM Certified curriculum partners: Kendall Hunt, LearnZillion, and McGraw-Hill Education. IM has four IM Certified IM Professional Learning partners: Kendall Hunt, LearnZillion, McGraw-Hill Education, and Mathematics Institute of Wisconsin. IM has one partner that provides interim assessments aligned with IM 6–8 Math v.III: CenterPoint Education. IM Certified partners share our commitment to providing the IM Certified curricula and professional learning to all teachers as it is meant to be experienced, in the format they need to ensure success. 

Is Illustrative Mathematics in partnership with Open Up Resources?

No, Illustrative Mathematics and Open Up Resources have decided to fulfill their respective missions through different paths. Illustrative Mathematics is committed to always offering a freely available version of all of our curricula.


Professional Learning

Is there IM Certified IM Professional Learning to support the IM Certified curricula?

Yes, there is IM Certified IM Professional Learning offered for IM Certified 6–8 Math and IM Certified 9-12 Math (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2) via our four IM Certified partners: Kendall Hunt, LearnZillion, Mathematics Institute of Wisconsin, and McGraw-Hill Education

IM 6–8 Math v.III IM Professional Learning Catalog

IM 9–12 Math v.I IM Professional Learning Catalog

I am interested in becoming an IM Certified facilitator. How can I learn more?

We are currently in open enrollment for candidates who are looking to become an IM Certified facilitator. You can learn more here.