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IM 6–12 Math: Talk with the Authors Webinar Q&A

FAQ’s from IM 6–8 Math Webinar Q&A

FAQ’s from IM 9–12 Math Webinar Q&A


IM Brings Equity to All with Enhanced Math 6-8: Webinar Q&A

How does Illustrative Mathematics support students with learning disabilities that need examples of procedural practice?

Our approach to fluency and procedural practice is that it’s embedded in the curriculum. Tasks within the curriculum are intended to draw on that procedural practice rather than present it as a separate thing. That said, many teachers have been using the lesson narrative and lesson synthesis to generate examples for students to follow

Some of the supports for students with disabilities also offer suggestions such as:

  • beginning with examples with more accessible values,
  • providing students with additional examples to reinforce understanding, or
  • creating a chart and inviting students to suggest annotations, language or diagrams to include that will support their understanding of a process or concept.

Is the new version available now?

The Supports for Students with Disabilities and Additional Enhancements are available now through any of our IM Certified partners.  The English Language Learner Supports will be available this summer.

So, is the curriculum delivered in a specific package for students with disabilities, so they see extra text explaining diagrams?

The alt text described in the webinar refers to text that is added to the coding of the digital version of the curriculum to support students using screen reading tools, which can support students with a visual impairment. This coding will be included in the digital version of the curriculum for all three IM Certified partners.

How do you recommend implementing (transitioning) IM into a modified math class? All units? A few units? Something else?

This type of decision really depends on a school’s or district’s philosophy for supporting all learners. Since the curriculum is designed to provide multiple access points to activities, we have observed so far that the curriculum works quite well for students who have some unfinished learning from previous grades.

We are continuing to think about the best ways to support students who are far below grade level. Once the elementary curriculum is released, we aim to be able to connect to activities that will help address unfinished learning. In the meantime, we suggest using the curriculum standards that are tagged for each lesson and tools like SAP’s Coherence Map to help you identify prerequisite content to revisit.

The IM Certified Professional Learning Catalog includes a PLC, “Focus on Planning to Support Students with Disabilities,” designed to support teachers with intentional planning that is responsive to the needs of their students.

Will these updates be in the print materials currently ordered?

That question is best answered by our IM Certified distribution partners

Is this PD good for teachers who use this as a resource that have not purchased it for their district?

For individual teachers who are using IM as a supplemental resource, they might consider attending Teacher Academy hosted by Kendall Hunt in Newark, NJ or the Math Institute of Wisconsin in Milwaukee this summer to experience the full range of resources available in the curriculum: the structures, routines, assessment tools, supports for teachers, etc.

For groups of teachers who are using IM as a resource and who have a specific focus on supporting EL students, they might consider the PL that is specifically focused on the Math Language Routines, which would help them implement the routines with the IM resources and with their district resources.

I am just getting to know IM. Is it the same as Open-up Resource?

The new version of the IM 6-8 curriculum shared in the webinar  is the most up to date release of the IM 6-8 curriculum available to districts. Many of the enhancements presented are only available through Kendall Hunt, McGraw-Hill and LearnZillion.

Have you looked at how the additional supports have affected the amount of time needed for a lesson or unit?

Additional supports were designed to have a limited impact on the timing of each lesson. Most supports include suggestions for instructional moves or ways to structure to student interactions within existing activities, and do not require additional time.

In certain cases, for supports that involve some additional steps, it will be worth the added time to ensure that all students are able to engage with the activity at hand to meet the goals of the lesson. Both the supports for English language learners and for students with disabilities are grounded in routines. As teachers and students become more familiar with the MLRs and standard support suggestions, the amount of additional time will decrease. Teachers have even reported that certain routines, such as MLR2 Collect and Display can make the activity synthesis and lesson synthesis more efficient.

How does the curriculum support the learning of the advancement/extension of learning?

Select classroom activities include an opportunity for differentiation for students ready for more of a challenge. We think of them as the “mathematical dessert” to follow the “mathematical entrée” of a classroom activity.

Every extension problem is made available to all students with the heading “Are You Ready for More?” These problems go deeper into grade-level mathematics and often make connections between the topic at hand and other concepts.

Some of these problems extend the work of the associated activity, but some of them involve:

  • work from prior grades
  • prior units in the course
  • reflect work that is related to the K–12 curriculum but a type of problem not required by the standards; they are not routine or procedural, and they are not just “the same thing again but with harder numbers.”

These problems are intended to be used on an opt-in basis by students if they finish the main class activity early or want to do more mathematics on their own. It is not expected that an entire class engages in “Are You Ready for More?” problems, and it is not expected that any student works on all of them. “Are You Ready for More?” problems may also be good fodder for a Problem of the Week or similar structure.

Are there updates to the “Are You Ready For More?”

There were some small edits made for clarity but no major revisions to the “Are You Ready for More?” questions.

Teachers have concerns about unit pacing. After using 2019 and 2020 calendar to plan out pacing with with unit assessments, Unit 8 is not fully covered 6-8 before state testing. (April 2020) What would you suggest taking out to create more time to cover each unit.

Given the complexity of each school’s diversity of students and differing demands based on the scope and timing of state testing, it is not possible for us to make any general recommendations.   

Can you speak to your experiences using IM with reluctant learners?

We asked some teachers and coaches who are using IM this year and they reported that for both struggling and reluctant learners the routines have been key.

One coach said of a teacher who had some struggling but reluctant learners and some successful but reluctant learners:  “She (the teacher) did a great job with IM this year and she brags on her kids retention and ability to participate. Her struggling learners LOVED Notice & Wonder + Which One Doesn’t Belong.  The students knew they couldn’t be wrong and the teacher always recognized their answers as valid.” The teacher sent some examples of work that showed how the representations (tape diagrams and hanger diagrams) helped the students reason and explain their thinking, even kids who hate explaining their thinking.

Another coach wrote, “The teacher team I work with has expressed how much students have picked up on the routines and expectations part, they are noticing and wondering even when not prompted. They are reasoning and sharing their thinking!”

IM 9–12 Math Talk with the Authors: Webinar Q&A

Is this going to be recorded and posted for later viewing?
Yes. The recording will be available on the high school curriculum page of the IM website.

Is there a dependency map between Math 8 and Algebra 1?
Yes, there’s one in the works. 

I have not had the opportunity to access the middle school resources, so I am not familiar, but are the lessons designed as 45 minute lessons? 60 min? 90 min blocks?
The Teacher Guide gives an approximate time for each part of a lesson. This can allow you to determine pacing for either traditional or block schedules.

As a HS teacher, I’ve never used the MS curriculum, but I’ve heard great things about it. Is it free? It looks like I can access the entire curriculum on the site.
You can access some of the teacher materials on the IM demo site (assessments and practice problems are missing). There are three companies that offer a certified version of the high school curriculum. One of those partners, Kendall Hunt, does does provides a free digital version of the curriculum.

As students work through the pages, is it reliant on having internet connectivity or is it also available without internet?
Each partner offers different options, There is at least one partner that allows teachers to download and print student-facing materials so the curriculum can be used in classrooms without the internet.

Which partners use Geogebra?
Kendall Hunt and LearnZillion

Currently teaching Algebra 1 to middle school students. We are using the 6–8 curriculum and supplementing to include Algebra 1 standards. Would love to preview your quadratics units to help build their understanding in the same manner. Would that be possible this spring?
Yes, we will share at the end of the webinar how to contact one of our partners to work with you on this.

Do we get to see the tools that students use to show their work, to complete the work? Is there a teacher dashboard view of what assignment the students are logged into/what page they’re working on/how many times they attempted the question?
LearnZillion and McGraw-Hill offer these types of features.

What were the 3 parts of the Algebra extra support materials? That went really fast.
A warm-up focused on numeracy and sense-making, an activity whose purpose is learning or revisiting prerequisite math content, and an activity whose purpose is practice.

Is there any way we can have access to the Algebra 1 support materials before the summer release? They look great and I would love to use them this year!
It won’t be possible to provide access prior to the summer release.

I notice that on the Kendall Hunt site, there’s no place to download PDF versions of the lessons, student pages, etc. (like the Word and PDF documents on Open Up Resources) Will there be PDF versions in the future or will you need to purchase print versions?
Yes, the PDF versions will be available on April 2019.  

Will the Algebra 1 supporting materials be made available through the IM website, or only through certified partners?
Yes, the PDF versions will be available on April 2019.  Additionally, Kendall Hunt will be offering Google Doc versions of the materials this summer.

Sorry for the bad wording. Support materials could be interventions?
While that’s not how they’re recommended to be used, we recognize the likelihood that users will adapt them to suit their needs.

Parents often ask for additional resources that they can use to practice with their children to develop that procedural fluency. Does the current version of IM for HS come with a bank of extra practice problems that teachers can pick to use for study and practice that are not part of the designed assessments or the homework practice problems? These would be different than what is offered as homework practice problems?
Not at this time.

You mentioned IM Certified Partners. We don’t use the 6–8 curriculum. Can you say a little bit more about what this means?
Educators who select IM Certified curriculum and professional learning have the assurance that those organizations have committed to:

  • Actively collaborate with IM on their modifications to the material to maintain their alignment to the standards and IM’s design principles.
  • Strategically align with the mission and goal of IM.
  • Give back to the ongoing development of the curriculum and professional learning so that all learners benefit.

In addition, IM Certified Partners receive the latest curriculum updates directly from the IM team.

I love the IM curriculum for Math 8, could you talk a little bit about any additional considerations of the Algebra 1 curriculum given the additional number of standards that students must be taught in high school?
The high school standards are meant to be addressed in three or four years of coursework. We designed three courses, each spanning about 30 weeks of instruction, that address the non-(+) standards.

Is it structured so that one could get through all of the Algebra 1 curriculum and extra support materials in a single school year still?
The ideal use case is when there is extra time built into the school day for students who need support to be successful in Algebra 1.

Is there a place that posts links to some of the key research regarding effective teaching, best practices etc?
Here is a link to our curriculum page: https://www.illustrativemathematics.org/curriculum/.  At the bottom are links to the research base for the curriculum. There is also a blog poswith extensive data from a school that implemented the curriculum.

Will all materials be made available through IM website for free?
The IM website will have a demo version of the materials (the teacher materials without assessments). IM is committed to always working with a partner who will have a free version of the curriculum. Kendall Hunt is that partner.

Will you also partner with Open Up Resources, like IM 6–8?

For what units do you anticipate providing the extra support materials? Will it be all or just some?
All units in Algebra 1.

Will the release on Open Up Resources have the same content as the one that is being released via IM/Kendall Hunt/McGraw-Hill/LearnZillion?
We do not have information regarding Open Up Resources release plans.

Will this always be essentially for no cost?
IM is fully committed to always supporting a version of the curriculum that can be accessed for free.

As a HS teacher, I’m interested in learning if the current platform supports immediate feedback for students as they attempt the tasks?
LearnZillion and McGraw-Hill have platforms that provide these types of features.

We are using the middle school program through Open Up Resources and our PD has been from IM.
IM Certified professional learning will always be available to districts regardless of which organization they access the materials.  Feel free to contact any of our PD partners.

How can we get information on the differences between the partners and their offerings?

How often will mistakes be corrected via the website? There are still mistakes/typos on the Kendall Hunt site that were corrected on the Open Up site (6–8).
We strive to correct any mistakes as quickly as possible. If you find errors, please report them to: bit.ly/imtypo.

Summer Release Date?
The availability will vary slightly by partner, but the full high school curriculum will be available no later than July 31,2019.

Open Up offered low cost workbooks for the students, will Kendall Hunt offer something similar?
Yes, click here to learn more.

Do you know if there are virtual PD options for teachers to support implementation?
Yes. A full catalog of options is available at https://www.illustrativemathematics.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/IM-Professional-Learning-Spring-2019-Catalog-HS.pdf

We’re currently looking at adopting a new Alg1/Geo/Alg2 curriculum at our HS in the next couple of years, and just went standards-based this year based on proficiency grading using rubrics (beginning, developing, proficient, advanced). Do the summative assessments support this easily?
Each summative assessment item is aligned to a CCSS standard. Additionally, there is a resource for every lesson called “student learning targets” that many teachers using standards-based grading find handy to help generate their list of success criteria.

What are the differences between the curriculum/features when getting it for free with Kendall Hunt versus purchasing it through LearnZillion or McGraw-Hill?
There is a brief description of each partner’s offering at www.illustrativemathematics.org/partners. There are also links there to each partner to get demo access to their platforms.

If you’ve been trained in how to use the MS materials, will you have to attend a 2-day HS training?
The design principles of the curricula are similar, and so the features that we discuss in the two-day training Teaching and Learning with IM Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 Math Curriculum are similar but focused on high school content. While attending the entire 2-day training might not be necessary, ideally, you would join your colleagues for the afternoon of the second day to get to know the new platform and plan the first unit with colleagues. We do recommend the unit overviews throughout the year, specific to the courses you are teaching, so that you can get a deeper understanding of how the content within and between units connects along with intentional decisions made by the authors.

How will professional learning timing work to be ready to implement fall 2019 if the curriculum won’t be ready by summer? Could PD begin in May/early June—even without all the materials ready?
Yes. Teaching and Learning with IM Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 Math Curriculum is a two-day overview of the curriculum during which we use Unit 1 content to share more about the design principles of the curriculum. For partner-specific platforms, the availability of the PL depends on the availability of the platform. Kendall Hunt has already released their Unit 1 materials so we will definitely be ready to offer the two-day overview of the curriculum on their platform this spring. We do not yet have dates from our other partners.

Was Open Up Resources a certified partner for 6–8?
Open Up Resources is not currently participating in the IM Certified program.

Will more than just Unit 1 be available before the end of the school year? I would like to try a few lessons with my current students.
The entire curriculum will be available in time for the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Contact any one of our partners to determine which lessons are available for an early look. 

Are there additional supports and strategies for students who have serious learning gaps?
The attention to accessibility within the activities, opportunities for ongoing fluency practice built into the work of the lessons, and Algebra 1 extra support materials represent the ways that the current version of the curriculum supports teachers in such cases. We recognize that there are some really extreme challenges out there that make it tough for a standards-aligned curriculum to provide all the support that might be needed.

Is there a recommendation as to how to implement if we are going to adopt this curriculum? Stagger additional course each year or jump in with all three courses in the same year? I’m concerned about gaps because we have an integrated curriculum currently and don’t want gaps that will be irrecoverable (if that’s a word).
If you have the flexibility to use Algebra 1 one year, Geometry the next, and finally all three courses in the third year of implementation, this would probably be the least stressful way to roll out an adoption.

Does the sequence have to be Algebra 1, then Geometry, followed by Algebra 2 or can you do Geometry first followed up by Algebra 1 and 2?
We recommend using the dependency map to make these decisions. To reorder to GAA, you would need to figure out how to address the dependencies between Algebra 1 and Unit 6 in Geometry.

Will the curriculum include materials for honors classes?
Each lesson features an extension problem under the heading Are You Ready for More? that can be used to differentiate for students ready for a greater challenge.

In the meantime, how can schools address the acceleration using the materials that are out there?
Because the materials are openly licensed, schools are free to adapt them in any way that they want. However, this would be a heavy lift for a well thought out acceleration scheme. IM is actively seeking resources to develop an accelerated pathway that starts in grade 6 and completes Algebra 1 by the end of grade 8.

I have seen some posts about this, but what are your thoughts on the fear of “taking the creativity out of teaching”?
When teachers are expected to design their own curriculum, you are expecting them to do two full-time jobs, which leads to burnout and robs them of time they could use to intentionally plan for class time, provide feedback, and understand student thinking. Access to high-quality core materials frees up a lot of time to do the vital work that only classroom teachers can do. Additionally, when teachers start from high-quality materials as a baseline, they can customize to better meet students’ needs while maintaining confidence that they are maintaining grade-level expectations for focus, coherence, and rigor.

How difficult will it be to implement the IM curriculum without attending PD? Especially if teachers have not used many of the instructional routines.
It really depends on the background, disposition, and expertise of the specific teachers, as well as how much ongoing support they have access to. We have seen some in this situation really thrive and some really struggle.

Are your PD providers teachers who have used the program?
Given the newness of the curriculum, they have undergone extensive training and many of them were a part of the writing and review process, as well as having worked to support the teachers in this year’s developmental pilot.

Thank you for the idea of 6–8 acceleration with Algebra 1. Is there a timeframe for this being available?
We anticipate launching fall 2020.

I don’t see the routines or other supports in the Kendall Hunt free material. Where is that located?
You can expect them in the beginning of April 2019.

Will there be more problems available per lesson than what is given on the website so far? Meaning, is there a bank of questions teachers can select from to design assessments?
Each lesson includes 6–10 practice problems with spiraled review built in, and each unit contains 1 or 2 summative assessments. A practice problem bank is on our development roadmap.

Are you hiring?
Information regarding both full time openings and opportunities to work with us as a contractor are available at www.illustrativemathematics.org/jobs. We also post new opportunities through social media as they arise.