With Florida's new approach to math instruction, elementary teachers will be teaching fewer benchmarks each year, but spending more time on each concept, increasing the depth -- rather than the breadth -- of instruction
Tallahassee, FL (PRWEB) March 2, 2010
Math is a hot topic in the education headlines and Florida leads the nation in reforming the way the important subject is taught with the 2010 launch of its new set of guidelines for teaching math, the "Next Generation Sunshine State Standards" -- benchmarks built on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Curriculum Focal Points for Grades PreK-8.
With these new standards, the number of benchmarks that need to be taught per grade level will shrink from more than 80 to an average of 17 clearly defined standards per grade. This means that teachers, particularly at the elementary level, will need to ensure that all students have mastered those standards because they won't see them again in the next grade.
The research-based K-5 math program that Pearson, the education, technology and services company, developed specifically for Florida, is uniquely designed to help teachers achieve this goal. The new Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley enVisionMATH Florida presents each math concept in concrete, pictorial and abstract ways that give teachers multiple options for instruction and offer students repeated opportunities to learn them.
"With Florida's new approach to math instruction, elementary teachers will be teaching fewer benchmarks each year, but spending more time on each concept, increasing the depth -- rather than the breadth -- of instruction," said Dr. Randy Charles, one of the authors of both the NCTM Curriculum Focal Points and the enVisionMATH Florida program. "This is important because benchmarks are not repeated from one grade to the next, making grade-level mastery more critical than ever before."
For example, learning multi-digit multiplication is now a benchmark for fourth grade. Students must master that concept during that school year as it will not be taught again in fifth grade; fifth grade learning will build directly on the concepts learned in previous grades.
Dr. Charles, added, "In the past, the first part of the school year was spent revisiting concepts from previous year's of math class. Now with the new Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, teachers will spend more time on fewer benchmarks. Therefore, they must have the tools to assess whether or not students have indeed mastered the benchmarks as well as for intervening when they need more instruction. These assessment and intervention tools are directly embedded in enVisionMATH Florida."
Through its print and digital Visual Learning Bridge, enVisionMATH Florida offers students step-by-step visual instruction that makes learning math accessible to all students, regardless of learning styles or abilities, because it helps them "see" the math.
Strategies for implementing the widely adopted Response to Intervention (RTI) model are embedded in enVisionMATH Florida. Each topic in the program includes assessments for closely and continuously monitoring student progress that provide the data for determining whether further instruction is needed or students are ready to advance. The program also includes targeted instructional resources - both in print and on the digital path - for giving students extra instruction and practice in the areas where they may be struggling.
Independent research from PRES Associates, an educational research firm, confirms that the enVisionMATH approach to instruction improves student achievement in math for all students.
PRES Associates' President Dr. Mariam Azin, who conducted the efficacy study of enVisionMATH, said "In all of my years conducting educational program efficacy studies, I have never seen consistency in results across all different student populations as I saw with the enVisionMATH curriculum. In our study, we found that the enVisionMATH students significantly outperformed the students who used other math programs on all three national assessments in the three areas of math computation, math problem solving and communication and math vocabulary."
School districts around the state are currently reviewing the following Pearson programs for use in classrooms in fall 2010: Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley enVisionMATH Florida for grades K-5 , Florida Mathematics 1, 2, 3 for grades 6-8 and Prentice Hall Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 ©2011 for Florida Regular and Honors for grades 9-12.
For more information about Pearson and its support for math education in Florida, visit http://www.mathforflorida.com, an interactive Web site developed to offer teachers activities for teaching to the current math standards and making the transition to the new standards. The site includes videos, visual learning animations, problem-based interactive learning activities, and printables, games and puzzles so that teachers can familiarize themselves with what to expect in the future without sacrificing content they need for their students today.
About Pearson and Florida:
Pearson (NYSE:PSO) has been providing learning materials to Florida schools for more than 100 years. As the world's leading education and technology company, you may know us individually as Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Longman, SuccessMaker, NovaNet, PowerSchool, , SuccessNet, and so many more - names in the world of education that are recognized and respected across the state and the globe. We provide education and testing materials from birth through professional learning as well as the complex management systems that maintain student information data for thousands of schools. Our Pearson people are living and working in every school district across the state, and visiting teachers, principals and curriculum directors every single day. In fact, most teachers in Florida have learned their profession by studying with Pearson's Merrill or Allyn & Bacon textbooks, and many have benefited from our professional development programs.
We are your education partners today, tomorrow and for the future and will continue to invest in the very best instructional materials, teacher education, technology advancements, and services to help you and your students achieve success for generations to come. Like Florida's educators, we are stable, resilient and unwavering in our commitment to our children. The challenges of today's economy will not deter us from our mission to create innovative educational solutions customized to align with Florida's standards for 21st century learning. For more information, visit http://www.mathforflorida.com or http://www.pearsonschool.com.
kate.miller (at) pearson (dot) com