Exploration Lesson 1

What's the Big Idea.jpg


Participants will explore and become familiar with the Big Ideas Math website and resources and will identify components that will support effective mathematics instruction.

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Big Ideas Math is a program designed in alignment with the Common Core State Standards, and has a narrower focus to provide deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. In a study with two teachers from the same school, one used Larson's "Big Ideas Math" as the primary program, and the other did not. Students in the class using the Big Ideas Math program had lower scores on the pretest than the control group, but still managed to produce higher scores on the post-test. This study concluded that the Big Ideas Math program is incredibly effective in improving mathematical knowledge, even or students that had higher and lower scores on the pretest.

There is no doubt that the Big Ideas Math program is a successful and effective program for mathematics instruction, but perhaps it would be improved if it was tailored specifically to the teacher and class that is using it. As this course progresses, participants will do just that. The first step is to get to know the program and materials. To read more about the research study conducted on Larson's "Big Ideas Math," visit http://www.bigideaslearning.com/for-reviewers/larson_bim_comparative.pdf.


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  • Read this article about the purpose of the Big Ideas Math program.
  • Visit this website. The "Features" section provides descriptions of the various components of the Big Ideas Math website. Keep these specific features in mind when you explore the textbook, website, and available resources.
  • Login to Big Ideas Math. Begin exploring the resources available, including the Dynamic Student Edition, to experience the resources available to students.
  • Post your initial reactions to the Big Ideas Math program on the discussion tab on the Lesson 1 page. Are there any features that stand out? Can you envision using this program in your classroom? Your post should reference specific components of the Big Ideas Math website. Make connections to your experiences as a student and teacher. Respond to at least two of your classmates' posts, as your peers may have different ideas of how to use certain resources.

In Preparation for Lesson 2...

Start thinking of a grade-level textbook and chapter that you would like to use for your course project. You will need the resources to adapt and create a 2-3 lesson learning segment, as well as an assessment.

In Lesson 2, you will begin to critique the program and textbook, as well as the resources made specifically for the chapter you have selected.


To go on to Lesson 2, click here.

To return to the course introduction, click here.

To view the portfolio page for this course, click here.