K-5 Math Adoption Preps for 2014-2015 Implementation

October 18th, 2013 by Diane Lauer Leave a reply »
math 2The Thompson School District is planning to implement a new mathematics program in grades K-5 for the 2014-2015 school year.  Diane Lauer, Executive Director of Instruction, will be convening a math adoption task force comprised of Thompson educators, parents and community members.

K-5 Math Adoption Task Force

This task force will gather feedback related to what stakeholders would like see in new math program, evaluate up to 6 different math programs from a variety of publishers, host a question and answer showcase with the publisher’s representatives, identify the top two programs for piloting in select Thompson classrooms, and ultimately recommend one program to our Board of Education.

Adoption Process Timeline:

  • October-November 2013
    • Host K-5 Math Adoption Family Forum @ MVHS Oct 15 4:30-6 PM
    • Gather feedback from parents, students and teachers about math program needs from multiple pathways
    • Select Task Force members – teachers, parents, community
    • Evaluate six math programs
      • Go Math! – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
      • Math in Focus – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
      • Math Expressions – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
      • Everyday Math – McGraw-Hill
      • My Math – McGraw-Hill
      • Envisions – Pearson
    • Offer opportunity to any parent/community member to view the 6 programs
  • December 2013
    • Host publisher showcase for questions and answers  (December 11 – 4:40-6 PM Board Room)
    • Host public review of materials; gather feedback
  • January-March 2014
    • Identify top two products for pilot
    • Pilot top two programs in select classrooms
  • March-April 2014
    • Review pilot data
  • May 2014
    • Identify preferred choice for district implementation
    • Host public review of materials
    • Recommend new K-5 curriculum materials to Board of Education
    • Board of Education approves new K-5 math curriculum
  • June & August 2014
    • Provide training to K-5 teachers

Your Feedback is Needed!

We want your feedback and insights.  Please take some time to share with us your thoughts related to the following three questions:

  1. What do you like about our current K-5 math instructional program?
  2. What do you not like about our current K-5 math instructional program?
  3. What would you like to see in our next K-5 math instructional program?

Feel free to use the comments section on this blog to share your thoughts.  Please note that there will be multiple opportunities throughout this school year to provide your perspectives throughout the entire process.

Also, we invite you to subscribe to this blog so that you are always getting the most up to date information about teaching and learning in the Thompson School District.  Just enter your email in the top right corner of this blog and click the “Subscribe” button.

Community Review of Materials

We welcome any community member, teacher, student or parent to come and view the materials our task force will be evaluating. Please call or email Amber Wallace at 613-5056 to make an appointment. All the materials are housed in one of our professional development classrooms and at times, the room will be used for training purposes.  We want to ensure that when you do arrive, you have easy access to the materials.


If you have any questions, please contact Diane Lauer, Executive Director of Instruction regarding this adoption process.  Diane can be reached at diane.lauer@thompsonschools.org or 613-6785.



  1. Melissa Workman says:

    The components of Investigations that I appreciate are

    *it puts an emphasis on conceptual understanding rather than mere procedural fluency
    *students are encouraged to investigate multiple strategies to solve problems
    *there is a strong school-home component
    *teacher guides are very easy to use
    *there are ways to differentiate instruction

    What I dislike about Investigations:

    *At second grade, I feel it moves too slowly and is not rigorous enough for most learners
    *Procedural fluency is not emphasized-there needs to be a balance
    *It does not necessarily hit all of the Common Core Standards that students are expected to master by the end of the year

    I would like to see a program that aligns completely with the Common Core standards. Teacher guides should be easy to use. The program should include all manipulatives and other resources. There should be a balance between developing procedural fluency and conceptual understanding. Students should be encouraged to investigate multiple strategies, but should also be able to consistently utilize the strategies that work best for them.

    • Profile photo of Diane Lauer Diane Lauer says:

      Great perspective Melissa, thanks so much for sharing. I’m hoping we can find materials that better balance conceptual development and procedural fluency. I will be sharing your thoughts with the task force – thanks so much for taking the time to share…

  2. Linda PIckert says:

    I teach 2nd grade in the district.
    1. I like that students learn to understand numbers in a variety of ways and that they have discussions and share their thinking. They also apply these skills to “real life” situations.
    2. The workbooks are user Unfriendly and we don’t need every page. Also, tearing out the pages is a classroom management nightmare. Parents have been a great helping with the younger aged children. Teaching the facts to the skill level that is expected is lacking.
    3. I would like to see that the Common Core standards are clearly covered and that we do not need to supplement. Also, professional development should be made available for all teachers on how to best implement the lessons.

    Thanks for asking for our input!

    • Profile photo of Diane Lauer Diane Lauer says:

      Thanks Linda, we really do appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts! I totally agree about the workbooks, I hope we can have some better consumables with the next adoption. I will be sharing all your insights with the group….

  3. I teacher kindergarten in the district and have found that Investigations has useful manipulatives and ideas. However, a large majority of the content does not align with the CCSS. It seems to be missing the meat of the curriculum. I would really like to see a program that has a variety of options for each addressed standard. For instance, a way to provide instruction for students who need to be retaught a lesson and a tool to use for those who strive for enrichment. There are excellent curriculum programs out there that have this information already embedded.

    I appreciate you asking for our input.

    Thank you!

  4. Dave Dellwardt says:

    •well laid out teacher’s manual, includes big ideas and concepts for each investigation.
    •students can explore multiple ways to solve problems and do what works for them.
    •provide opportunity for multiple modalities of learners.

    •pacing is often too slow
    •lots of cutting out cards, pieces, etc.
    •not enough rigor
    •many pages of the workbook are often wasted

    I would like to see a good balance between exploring the concepts and a structured procedure for manipulating the numbers. A style that makes sense to parents so that they can feel confident helping their students at home. Should have the materials we need so we are not having to supplement our own curriculum.

  5. Lara Saunders says:

    1. I like that our current program emphasizes conceptual understanding, not just memorization. There is an emphasis on thinking about math problems. I also like that students are encouraged to use multiple strategies to get to an answer.
    2. I know a lot of people are concerned that fact fluency is not part of the current curriculum, but I feel like that is an easy piece to supplement on my own.
    3. It is important to me that a new program continues to emphasize conceptual understandings! Teacher manuals should be user friendly and all materials/manipulatives should be included. It needs to be aligned with Common Core, and also needs to be easily accomplished within the time frame of a school year.

  6. JoAnna Tripi says:

    This is my first year to teach second grade. I taught fourth and fifth grades prior to this year. Of all the math curriculum I have used over the past 15 years, I have liked investigations the most.

    I really like the format and support that investigations has given. The pace and spiral of investigations is helpful. I see children thinking about math conceptually apposed to just memorizing steps. It will be important to choose a curriculum that has these same components so students can think about math on a deep level.

    I do agree that we need a curriculum that aligns with the standards better. I am sad to see that an updated version of Investigations is not available for our adoption. The time and energy to learn a new curriculum is overwhelming, so the district will have to thoughtful about they scaffold our understanding.

    Thank you for asking for our input!!

  7. Barbara Anne Ewing says:

    I agree with the comments of previous teachers about liking the focus on conceptual understanding. Sometimes I had to modify Investigations’ “you figure it out” or “figure it out fifteen different ways” modes of instruction when I was working with struggling math students. I often had to help them codify their knowledge of whatever method for computation worked for them. For advanced learners, this feature was great for finding extensions.

    I also liked the way that much of the thinking strategies begun in Investigations stair-stepped their way toward algebraic thinking (thinking about rates, decomposing numbers, pattern finding, etc.). I really don’t want to see us step back to the teaching of only standard American algorithms without building the conceptual understanding of why they work.

    In looking at the connections between Investigations (including unit 10 supplements) and standards, I find that we are not getting instruction on enough of the CCSS. The program seems to lack the rigor they require. However, the new adoption will have to provide support for ALL learners to meet the standards (similar to the tiered instruction that the old Scott Foresman text provided).

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