Curriculum Details for
Afterschool Achievers Math
Content Expert Reviewer
Dr. Maggie Myers is a lecturer at The University of Texas and a mathematics education consultant. As a mathematics content specialist with the SEDL National Center for Quality Afterschool, she observes promising afterschool programs to identify effective practices, guides materials development for disseminating research-based supports, and conducts training. Maggie has a Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics and extensive experiences in mathematics education, from developing educational materials for young children and their families to teaching high school through graduate-level mathematics. She was the site director for Family Math in Austin, Texas, a math coach, and the creator of materials for informal settings as well as materials for the implementation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Mathematics, the curriculum for the state of Texas. Recently, she led a writing team for revising the grades 3-5 Washington State Mathematics Standards.
- The materials in this program, specifically designed for afterschool, cover number sense, geometry, basic operations, algebra, measurement, mental math, and problem solving.
- It covers topics by grade from K-8th grade, and the content appears to be accurate.
1. Academic Skills
2. Study Skills
- Number sense, geometry, basic operations, algebra, pattern recognition, measurement.
- Mental math and problem solving
- Writing to communicate
3. Non-Academic Skills
- These were not explicitly addressed by the curriculum.
Alignment to Standards
Materials are built around national standards for math curriculum, however, the materials might be different from the expectations for a given grade level for a given state.
- There are pre- and post-tests to measure growth.
- There are also opportunities for students to self-assess.
- The curriculum is scripted and sequenced.
- There are opportunities in the “Go Further” section where students can create unpredictable problems.
- The content is entirely defined through worksheets, cards, etc.
- Lessons are interactive but teacher-directed and scripted.
- Lessons involve direct instruction, models, and examples.
Addressing Diverse Student Needs
- The pre- and post-tests are designed to measure abilities in depth and offer useful feedback to instructors.
- Every day there is opportunity for whole-group and individual work.
Learning Styles Addressed
- The materials are targeted toward K-8 students, and the activities are likely developmentally appropriate for students.
- Young children may struggle with the pencil and paper activities.
- The curriculum consists of five different types of activities that may appeal to different learning styles.
- Movement/spatial learning: Student might sit in circles, use cards, etc.
- Interpersonal learning: Games and activities seem to be individual challenges. Students also work along side one another.
- There are a variety of games and activities that might appeal to different students.
- The curriculum does not explicitly address students’ diverse backgrounds.
Strengths and Challenges
Challenges and Drawbacks
- Easy to implement and requires only 30 minutes per lesson.
- Designed to reinforce standards-based curriculum.
- Uses alternative approaches and group interaction to motivate students to work on math in an afterschool setting.
- Can be challenging to adapt to students’ individual needs and interests.
- Relies primarily on worksheets.