Does the instruction in Math
Advantage provide an opportunity for students to learn the benchmark ideas and skills?Numerous
sightings were analyzed to determine the instructional criteria ratings for TYPICAL SIGHTING CHART (Adobe PDF document) The graph below depicts major strengths and weaknesses in the overall instructional
guidance provided by
Math Advantage received on each of the 24 instructional criteria, across all six of
the benchmarks used for the evaluation.INSTRUCTION HIGHLIGHTS CHART (Adobe PDF document)
Overall, analysts rated
All chapters present a unit purpose through a set of objectives and a unit project, and the lesson purpose is stated on the opening page of each lesson; however, the effectiveness is inconsistent from one benchmark to another. The material addressing the algebra benchmarks does not provide a unit or lesson purpose. The same is true for material dealing with number ideas and skills. Material addressing the geometry benchmarks does a better job of providing a purpose for chapters and activities. In all cases, the rationale for the activity sequence must be inferred from the way activities are clustered.
For the most part, the material explicitly states prerequisite knowledge or skills in a
variety of ways. However, for some benchmarks, such as the number concepts and algebra
graph concepts, prerequisite connections must be inferred.
A great variety of contexts are given for all the benchmarks except for number concepts. Students gain experience with a range of real-world contexts through investigations, teacher demonstrations, and discussions. The text is strong in including activities that promote firsthand experiences for geometry skills and ideas. There are some suggestions for firsthand activities for all benchmarks through Learning Labs and Idea Files; however, most lessons do not engage students in firsthand experiences.
Instructional Category V
The material provides opportunities for students to express and attempt to clarify their ideas about the benchmarks; however, there is little evidence throughout the material that students have opportunities to justify or interpret their thinking or get feedback from others. Most of the material addressing the benchmarks, particularly the number and algebra skills and concepts, is weak in guiding student interpretation and reasoning. The material does not identify opportunities for students to think about what they’ve learned nor make suggestions to teachers on how to encourage this.
Instructional Category VI
Instructional Category VII
There is little evidence of resources to help teachers improve their understanding of mathematics content or for creating an environment that welcomes curiosity, creativity, and healthy questioning for any of the benchmarks. Attention to diversity is evident in pictures including women, minorities, and persons with disabilities; however, there are no references to contributions by these groups to mathematics-related fields. There are suggestions in ancillary materials for modifying instruction for students with special needs. |