Board Adopts New Math Textbook - The Missourian: Local News

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Board Adopts New Math Textbook

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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 9:00 pm | Updated: 7:53 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

A new elementary math textbook has been adopted in the Washington School District for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The school board last week approved the low bid of $226,881.32 from enVision/Pearson for the textbook series.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said the district’s instructional coaches reviewed a total of eight elementary math samples and narrowed the field to two series which aligned best the districtwide math curriculum and Balanced Math.

The other series considered was Math in Focus/Singapore Math.

Balanced Mathematics is a differentiated instructional program designed to develop high-level thinking, problem-solving and communication skills and to enhance student attitudes toward mathematics.

VanLeer said several elementary teachers of various grade levels reviewed the two series and provided input on the selection.

The overall consensus by the committee, she said, is that enVision Math best supports the direction of the district, and would be a smoother transition for staff and students.

School board member Trish Mitchell asked if Math in Focus was more advanced.

Melanie Trentmann, an instructional coach, said Math in Focus is a rigorous textbook, and uses some unique strategies and vocabulary.

The transition to that series may be more difficult from the procedural textbook now used, she said. It also can be difficult for students who transfer into the district in the upper elementary grades because the vocabulary is different, she added.

Both series use a conceptual approach along with concrete models before introducing procedural skills.

VanLeer said enVision would be a smoother transition to the conceptual approach because it aligns to the professional development conducted with the staff the past year for Balanced Math. It will still be a different delivery of lessons compared to the current book, but Math in Focus would be an even more difficult transition requiring even more professional staff training, officials said.

School officials said there is a strong emphasis on vocabulary, problem-solving and critical thinking, and the rigor is appropriate for each grade level with remediation and differentiation built into every lesson.

School board members also were given a written comparison between the two textbook series to review.

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