# Emma's Portfolio Page

Emma's Personal Page | Effective Teaching with Big Ideas Math | ETAP 623 Home

## Topic/Purpose

The intent of the course I am developing is to prepare teachers to use the "Big Ideas Math" program effectively in middle school mathematics classes. The goal is for each learner to adapt the program to meet his or her classroom's specific needs. Each class has different students, different technologies, and different resources available. In this course, we will review the program and create a unit that will be tailored to fit individual demands.

The course will focus on the following questions:

- What teaching and learning strategies does the program support?
- How can "Big Ideas Math" materials be differentiated to meet IEP and 504 goals?
- What technologies can be used to promote student learning with the "Big Ideas" program?
- What additional resources can be used to foster student learning?

## Learning Outcomes

**Participants will be able to:**

- Analyze the components of the Big Ideas Math program
*(Bloom's Analyze)* - Identify strengths and weaknesses of the program, given the lesson plans and provided materials
*(Bloom's evaluate, Gagne's cognitive strategy)* - Utilize supplemental resources to adapt and differentiate instruction
*(Scardamalia and Bereiter's knowledge how-to, Bloom's create)* - Identify forms of technology and strategies to support effective instruction
*(Gagne's cognitive strategy, Bloom's apply)* - Create, implement and evaluate an adapted Big Ideas Math lesson plan
*(Scardamalia and Bereiter's deep knowledge of, Bloom's create)*

## Needs Assessment

**I. Intent**
The Big Ideas Math program is a Middle School mathematics program created in alignment with the Common Core State Standards. This program contains a variety of resources from lesson plans and tutorials, to assessments and review games. However, teachers cannot simply be given an entirely new mathematics program and effectively teach all students in a matter of minutes, days, or even weeks. The process of successfully implementing a new mathematics program has many components, and takes time. The intent of this course is to provide a guide for teachers as they work to adapt this program for their classroom.

**II. Gathering Information**
In order to further understand the need for this mini-course, I conducted a survey with several middle school mathematics teachers that have implemented the Big Ideas Math program in the Fall of 2014. I asked these teachers about their process from their initial look at the textbook and resources, to the first lessons they taught. The teachers were asked the best teaching strategies to use with the Big Ideas program, and the most supportive technologies to pair with the program. Differentiation was also discussed, as well as the need for supplemental activities from outside sources.

**III. Results**

The results of the survey are summarize in the following document:

This survey was given to teachers with 10+ years of teaching experience. When the program was first purchased, teachers worked together over the summer to determine the general logistics of using this program in the classroom. At this time, it was decided that teachers would follow the program's two-day cycle; an activity day followed by a lesson day. Packets would be created for each unit including the warm-up questions and activities provided by the Big Ideas Math program. On lesson days, teachers would implement the use of Cornell note-taking, to follow the examples provided in the textbook. The teachers created the unit packets for the first several units, but did not plan the specifics of each lesson.

Most of the surveyed teachers begin to prepare for a unit by examining or taking the assessment. By knowing exactly what will be assessed, teachers will have a better idea of how to prepare their students. The teachers then create unit objectives based on the chapter assessment. Teachers then go through the daily activities and lessons. Many teachers look through the activities in order to decide if this activity is well-aligned with the unit objectives. Since these teachers have prior experience, many supplement activities that they have created in the past, or begin instruction right away.

Modifications are made based on the specific needs of students. Teachers use "Fair Game Review" activities for students that need more practice on certain topics. The program also includes enrichment activities and puzzles for students that need a challenge. The teachers use the assessments provided by Big Ideas Math, and work with Special Education teachers to create a modified unit test. While the program does have "Test A" and "Test B" with two different levels of difficulty, these do not always align with the specific needs of students with IEP's or 504 plans.

The teachers use many of the instructional tools provided by Big Ideas Math. The answer presentation tool will display answers from the questions in the textbook, and will show the work to get to that answer when the question is clicked on. This appears to be a useful resource for many teachers. All teachers are equipped with Promethean boards, but some do not find the provided PowerPoint slides useful, and create their own instructional slides of FlipCharts instead. The activities support collaborative and cooperative groups. On lesson days, teachers use Cornell Notes to walk students through the given examples.

There seem to be a few notable strengths and weaknesses of the program that should be considered in the creation of this course. The program is rigorous, but has an incredibly fast and over-optimistic pace. While there are an incredible amount of resources for both students and teachers, the alignment between practice problems and tests is not entirely consistent. Lastly, most topics are covered very thoroughly, but there are some key instructional points that are not even addressed by the text. These are all important factors to keep in mind when using and designing instruction for the Big Ideas Math program.

## Analysis of the Learner and Context

**The Learners**
Participants will include current teachers of middle school mathematics. Learners will have varying levels of experience with other mathematics programs and different curricula. All participants should have some experience working with various classroom technologies and must have online access to the Big Ideas Math program. Instruction will be geared towards preparing the teacher to successfully and effectively implement the Big Ideas Math program, and foster student learning.

**Instructional Context**
This is a fully online mini-course that requires the use of a computer, internet access, and access to the Big Ideas Math program. Learners will use readings and the provided resources to analyze and critique the program, and will actively engage in the preparation of a learning segment from the program suitable for middle school students.

## Performance Objectives

- Participants will analyze and critique the components of the Big Ideas website, lesson plans and materials.
- Participants will identify strengths and weaknesses of the provided materials, and will find and create supplemental activities and resources to improve the lesson plans.
- Participants will modify lesson materials and assessments to differentiate instruction.
- Participants will identify forms of technology and teaching strategies to support effective instruction.
- Participants will demonstrate knowledge of effective implementation of the Big Ideas Math program by creating a learning segment, or mini-unit, with meaningful activities and assessments from the provided materials, modified or original materials, and additional sources.

## Revised Performance Objectives

With feedback and further development of this course, several changes were necessary.

- Participants will analyze the components of the Big Ideas website, lesson plans and materials, and will state which components will best support learning.
- Given the provided materials, participants will identify strengths and weaknesses of the Big Ideas Math program, and will find and create supplemental activities and resources to improve the lesson plans, while providing rationale for the adaptations of these lesson plans.
- Participants will modify lesson materials and assessments to differentiate instruction to meet IEP and 504 goals, and will justify the differentiation.
- Participants will identify forms of technology and teaching strategies to support effective instruction and will create plans that incorporate these strategies and technologies in a useful and well-planned way.
- Participants will demonstrate knowledge of effective implementation of the Big Ideas Math program by creating a learning segment, or mini-unit, with meaningful activities and assessments from the provided materials, modified or original materials, and additional sources.

## Task Analysis

#### Prerequisites:

Participants should have the following prerequisite knowledge:

- Knowledge of and experience teaching middle school mathematics,
- Skills in modification of instructional materials and differentiation of instruction, and
- Basic knowledge of effective instructional strategies and technologies.

#### Unit Objectives:

**Unit 1 - Big Ideas Math Exploration:**

- Recognize components of the Big Ideas Math program that support mathematics instruction and learning,
- Analyze lesson plans and instructional materials, and
- Identify strengths and weaknesses of the provided resources.

**Unit 2 - Developing Effective Instruction with Big Ideas Math:**

- Find and/or create instructional materials to supplement the program,
- Identify aligned instructional technologies and strategies to compliment activities and lessons,
- Modify activities and materials to support a variety of learners, and
- Evaluate effectiveness of adapted instruction.

## Curriculum Map

View the instructional curriculum map here: File:Big Ideas Curriculum Map.pdf

## References and Resources

Beck, Michael, Jennifer M. Conner, and Keith Cruse. "A Study of the Instructional Effectiveness of Larson's Big Ideas Math." Educational Research Institute of America (n.d.): Web.

"Big Ideas Math." Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (n.d.) Web. <http://www.hmhco.com/shop/education-curriculum/math/secondary-mathematics/big-ideas-math>.

"Differentiated Instruction in Math." TeacherTube. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Differentiated Learning." NCTM. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, n.d. Web.

"Effective Strategies Brief." Effective Strategies Brief. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2007. Web.

Filigree Consulting. "Four Best Practices for Successful Instructional Technology Deployments." SMART Technologies, Jan. 2013. Web.

"Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Big Ideas Learning Introduce Rigorous New Mathematics Program for Common Core." Book Business. 13 Mar. 2013. Web.

Larson, Matt. "Essential Characteristics of Effective Mathematics Instruction." Houghton Mifflin Mathematics (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Protheroe, Nancy. "What Does Good Math Instruction Look LIke?" Research Report (n.d.): 51-54. Www.naesp.org. Sept.-Oct. 2007. Web.

Taylor-Cox,, J. (n.d.). Differentiating Mathematics Instruction So EVERYONE Learns. Retrieved from https://www.mheonline.com/glencoemath/pdf/