Teachers work together, prepare for launch of new math program

Three women sitting and one man standing at a table.
Elementary Coordinator Henry Freedman leads math teachers in professional development for the new Math in Focus curriculum, launching in September.

On January 31, math teachers in grades K-5 participated in professional development in anticipation of the new Math in Focus program that will launch in the fall. The session was led by Elementary Coordinator Henry Freedman.

The teachers worked to complete the Scope and Sequence document for grades K-5. This entailed examining the Math in Focus materials, aligning student work to the New York State Next Generation Math Learning standards, and inputting the performance task with examples of what students will be expected to know and illustrate.

Three women sitting at a table, talking.
Teachers discuss the new Math in Focus curriculum.

“The point of this document is to give teachers a starting point to begin teaching the program,” explained Freedman. “It will provide teachers, including new teachers in the district, with clear directions for instruction.”

The district decided to move to Math in Focus in order to unify the math curriculum for grades K-6 and provide students with continuity as they move from one grade level to the next. Students will be more familiar with the language, format and general nature of a single math program, versus that of the three different math programs that were previously being used.

Group shot of room with teacher sitting and talking.
The new Math in Focus program will provide better continuity for students in grades K-6.

It will also allow for more teacher autonomy to address the learning needs of students, empowering them to create lessons to meet specific needs without having to rely heavily on a scripted teacher edition.

“Math in Focus is a challenging program with an emphasis on problem solving,” said Freedman. “Students must possess the conceptual base to understand and solve math problems. Math in Focus will help students gain confidence and persistence to be a successful problem solver.”

Additional professional development days will be held this spring to prepare for the launch of Math in Focus in September.