Printed from Afterschool Curriculum Choice - Math
Location: http://www.sedl.org/afterschool/guide/math/


Curriculum Details for
Moving with Math


Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
Moving with Math
Publication Date: 1984
Grade Level: K–12
Content Focus: Math
Costs: $200 minimum
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.
Developer Contact Information
Math Teacher’s press
4850 Park Glen Road
Minneapolis, MN, 55416
800-852-2435
www.movingwithmath.com

User Comments (add a comment)
There are 0 user comments on file.

Program Description

Design Summary

Moving With Math is designed specifically for afterschool, as both a math curriculum and a youth development program.  The intended audience is students who are below the basic level of math, those who are not understanding basic math concepts, and those who are not passing state tests.  It is designed to help students master the transition from concrete to abstract mathematical learning by helping them to understand the reasons behind concepts through the use of manipulatives and activities.

Each lesson is hands-on and has a real-world connection.  Games and activities are designed to be fun and promote kinesthetic learning and problem solving.  There are many points of entry for students beyond traditional math, including drawing pictures, using vocabulary, having discussions, and journal writing.  The curriculum includes a teacher guide, student book, pre- and post-assessments, class record sheet, parent handbook, and manipulatives.

Costs and Staff Training

The initial cost is around $200, although the complete cost of the basic class kit can vary in price depending on the program.  Training is available but not required, and is usually offered in the form of a two-hour implementation workshop. Costs are negotiable and based on school need. In many cases, training is included with the cost of the materials, and funding assistance may be available in some situations.

Staff Qualifications

No formal teaching experience is required to implement Moving With Math.  Practitioner reviews support this but also suggest that instructors be skilled at classroom management.  Content expert reviews suggest that a solid understanding of math theories, as well as knowledge of different types of instruction, may be helpful when implementing this curriculum.

Standards Alignment

  • National: National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • State: Curriculum correlates with standards in all 50 states.

Research Base

None specified.

Evaluation Details

Moving With Math was independently evaluated by George Washington University, looking at impact on SAT-9 scores and teacher satisfaction.  The study found significant gains in scores for students, and those who were at lower levels improved the most.  Teachers ranked the program highest out of every math program they had tried.

Overall Strengths/Overall Challenges

Strengths
  • Games and manipulatives are particularly engaging for students.
  • Assessment technology is useful, producing detailed reports about the strengths and weaknesses of each student.
  • Scripted lessons are clear and objectives are aligned with standards.
  • Explicit instruction is effective for students who thrive on repeated exposure. 
  • Calendar plans out lessons and can save time for newer teachers.
  • Research based.
  • Repetition of skills and concepts is done in an effective way.
Challenges
  • Does not directly address different learning styles. 
  • Interaction with other students only occurs during game time.

Practitioner Expert Review

Practitioner Expert Background

Two practitioners reviewed this curriculum. One practitioner worked for 28 years, first as a math teacher, then for the past five years as the county-wide director of instructional programs.  About six years ago, they added Moving With Math as the math component to their Summer Academy program.  They use it in middle school with grades 3-7th. Students are generally middle class and from different racial backgrounds.  They also used Moving with Math in afterschool during the school year in conjunction with their core program, about a few days a week.  The other practitioner has been teaching for many years and she became responsible about nine years ago for planning mathematics activities for summer school elementary teachers, and she decided to start using Moving With Math.   She has used it during the summer school and afterschool programs, with students who are of primarily African American backgrounds.

Logistics

Training
  • Training is led by company representatives, can be accommodated to the needs of the school or district, and can range from three hours to a full day. 
  • Attended a formal training.
  • Both practitioners have been extremely pleased with the company’s customer service.
Set-up/preparation
  • Preparation generally takes about 10 or 15 minutes per lesson.  The pacing calendar is easy to use and breaks down the curriculum clearly.
  • Maximum group size of 15 is ideal.
  • Computers and internet access are needed for pre- and post-tests.

Student Engagement

  • Students particularly enjoy the active component of the curriculum, such as games.
  • Direct instruction with manipulatives, begins with the concrete and then moves to the abstract.
  • Students feel successful, and often say they like math when going through the program.
  • Content is age-appropriate and topics are well-tailored for each grade level.
  • Significant parent component included.
  • The built-in assessments help students get feedback about their improvement and what specific skills to focus on.

Content

Adaptability to instructor needs
  • Room for instructors’ creativity.
  • Very scripted program, but offers extra questions and different ways of teaching that can be helpful for instructors.
General skills taught
  • Teaches math skills based on standards.
  • Encourages social skills such as sharing, team work, etc.
Addressing diverse student needs
  • Reinforcement and repetition of basic concepts is particularly effective.
  • Teacher can group students by ability level.
  • The teacher’s guide offers suggestions and activities that touch on the needs of all learning styles. Many different components.
  • Materials are available in Spanish.

Strengths and Challenges

Strengths
  • Day-by-day lessons plans are clearly laid out and easy for the teachers to use.
  • Research based.
  • Repetition of skills and concepts is done in an effective way.
  • Games and manipulatives are particularly engaging for students.
  • Assessment technology produces detailed reports about the strengths and weaknesses of each student.
Challenges
  • Neither practitioner found any major challenges with this curriculum.

Content Expert Review

Content Expert Reviewer

Lisa Ting
Lisa Ting is currently involved with educational consulting projects and private tutoring. She previously taught first grade and fourth grade at Charles River School in Dover, Massachusetts. She was active in creating age-appropriate and engaging curricula in math, reading, writing and social studies. She is certified in Project Read and Math Curriculum at Dana Hall for grades 3-5. She received her Masters degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2004 with interests in developmental psychology and after school programs.

Content

  • This is a structured math curriculum, covering topics from grades pre-kindergarten through high school.
  • Certain topics spiral across the grades for reinforcement. 
  • Moving with Math is an appropriate and detailed math curriculum for the classroom, however, it can also be implemented in a summer school, after school, or weekend class.
  • The content appears to be accurate, explicit for the teacher, and hands-on by means of using lots of manipulatives.
  • It assumes that students will understand and improve their skills through memorization and practice.

Skills

Academic Skills
  • List of skills taught for each grade. For example, Grade 4 covers numeration, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, rational numbers, geometry, measurement, and problem solving.
  • Charts for quick teaching reference, linking problems to additional reviews and skill builders.
Study Skills
  • Curriculum does not explicitly develop study skills, although some students may infer from the repeated practice that being organized and persistent can yield positive results.
Non-Academic Skills
  • There is an element of cooperative play while the students play games.

Alignment to Standards

  • The curriculum is clearly aligned with state and national standards. It provides compelling graphs, charts, and research to support its efficiency and success rates.
  • The objective for each lesson correlates with the state standards.

Assessment

  • Students are assessed with pre- and post-tests, each containing 50 questions and referring to a specific objective.
  • The format allows the teacher to target the areas that students are struggling with, and can offer more practice and re-teaching.

Structure

  • This curriculum is highly structured, offering a calendar to chart out what to cover and when to cover particular content areas.
  • There is flexibility as to how long the lessons can be. Depending on time and need, they can run anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 hours.
  • Teachers can teach one concept in more depth if needed.
  • Lessons are entirely teacher-directed.

Addressing Diverse Student Needs

Adaptability
  • Assessments help to identify students’ skill sets.
Developmental level
  • Tailored for pre-K through high school.  Problems are developmentally appropriate.
Learning Styles Addressed
  • Movement/spatial learning: Students are up and away from their desks when playing games.
  • Interpersonal learning: The students can work together on problem solving.
  • Artistic learning: During journaling, prompts are given to explain one’s thinking.
Multiculturalism
  • This curriculum does not explicitly address students’ diverse background, although the materials do offer a few pictures of students of different ethnicities.

Strengths and Challenges

Strongest Features
  • Scripted lessons are clear and objectives are aligned with standards.
  • Explicit instruction is effective for students who thrive on repeated exposure. 
  • Calendar plans out lessons.
Challenges and Drawbacks
  • Does not directly address different learning styles. 
  • Interaction with other students only occurs during game time.

SEDL Home   Curriculum Choice was developed by PEAR, the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency at Harvard University in partnership with the SEDL National Center for Quality Afterschool.
©2017 SEDL