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Curriculum Details for
Math is Cool!

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Practitioner Expert
Content Expert
Math is Cool!
Publication Date: 2003
Grade Level: K–8
Content Focus: Math
Costs: $650
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.
Developer Contact Information
School’s Out Washington
801 23rd Ave, Suite A
Seattle, WA, 98144

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Design Summary

Math is Cool is specifically designed for afterschool.  The curriculum provides a framework for creating an environment that reinforces school-day math with real world applications. The primary goal of Math is Cool is to help afterschool programs infuse math across all different types of programming, helping children to see the everyday relevance of math. The curriculum takes a student-centered approach, focusing on hands-on learning that shows students how math relates to their own interests.  This helps to make math accessible and enjoyable to people of all learning styles and cultural backgrounds.

Curriculum materials include a program guide containing concepts and methods, and a kit including manipulatives and other materials. The Math is Cool model also provides guidance for creating a math rich environment by linking math to literacy, partnering with parents, school, and community.  Sample letters to send to schools, families, and local businesses to help garner support for the program are included with the curriculum.

Costs and Staff Training

The Curriculum Guide and Kit costs $650, and the guide can also be purchased separately for $29.95.  There are grants offered to local programs to supplement costs.

Training is available but not required and comes at a cost of $1,900 for a 5-hour onsite session. Programs have the option of partnering with each other for a team training at a reduced cost.  A few times per year free trainings are offered in Washington state, where the curriculum is published.

Staff Qualifications

Formal teaching experience is not required to implement Math is Cool.  However, some experience with family and community outreach is helpful.  Content expert reviews support this, also suggesting that instructors need to be confident in their abilities to perform everyday math, and be creative enough to infuse math into their existing program.

Standards Alignment

  • National: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), National Afterschool Association’s Standards for Quality Afterschool Programs
  • State: None specified.

Research Base

None specified.

Evaluation Details

There has been no formal evaluation of Math is Cool.  However, there was an independent evaluation of staff who use the program to examine how their attitudes, knowledge, and confidence changed regarding using math in their afterschool programs.

Overall Strengths/Overall Challenges

  • Based on great ideas with great potential.
  • The trainers and representatives from the company are inviting and friendly.
  • Programs of all types can easily use the curriculum in a way that is appropriate for them.
  • The guide uses real-world situations to show students that math is all around them.
  • Adapts fun games that students already play to math learning.
  • It is accurate and easy to use.
  • Some users might feel overwhelmed by the lack of structure, and may want more concrete guidelines and scripted activities.
  • At the other end, if a program is already committed to math enrichment, Math is Cool may be too basic.
  • Some may feel that more resources, ideas, and guidance are needed.

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