Background from OER Project Review Team
The textbook materials from the Utah Middle School Math Project were created in response to the Math Materials Access Improvement solicitation issued by the Utah State Office of Education in June of 2012. The materials are a collaborative work with contributors from University of Utah, Utah State University, Snow College, and Weber State College; Jordan, Granite, Davis and Salt Lake City School districts; and many teachers throughout Utah.
Fully addresses the 8th grade standards and seems to be designed from the standards rather than a re-hash of older curriculum. Units are clearly laid out, with logical groupings of standards included in each unit. Also, units are sequenced in a way to support development of major content over the year. The Standards for Mathematical Practice are clearly identified in each unit, both for the teacher and the student. A symbol system indicates to students when they are expected to use certain practices.
An experienced teacher would find this resource fairly easy to use, although he/she may want to adapt lessons to fit the teaching style. This would work will in a heterogeneous or homogeneous classroom. It might be a challenge to use with English Language Learners, as the materials are very text-heavy.
There are no formal assessments included
Lesson structure is always teacher-led and whole-class. Lessons are printed in the student materials, and there is some guidance to teachers about how to facilitate discussion of the lesson
Add in a formal assessment component with aligned rubrics and answer keys
More concrete guidance about how to conduct the lessons, particularly for novice teachers
The units/lessons are strongly correlated to Common Core Math standards. Lessons are explicitly and visibly shaped by the CCSS-M clusters. There is a good mix of conceptual and procedural problem solving.
This material could be used by a relatively inexperienced teacher. The teacher guides are well thought out and explicit.
The curriculum does not provide students with enough opportunity to construct viable arguments and critique others' arguments.
There were no technology resources referenced in this unit. Students weren't asked to represent or support mathematical reasoning using technology tools.
Include some activities where students will create, communicate, and critique others' mathematical reasoning
Include more technology based learning opportunities in this unit
Each lesson contains a complete parent manual for each lesson the student is learning. The curriculum does a good job of explaining the mathematical processes behind the mathematical tenets they are teaching.
The ideal use for this resource is as a textbook for 8th grade math.
Not many opportunities for students to build their vocabulary
Not many materials provided for students who struggle with math
Not many times students get a chance to use and manipulate the math with hands on materials
This is an excellent common core curriculum. It covers all of the shifts as well as increasing rigor and relevance. I have not used this resource yet, but I am planning on trying it out.
Assessments were non-existent or not available for review.
There do not appear to be any accommodations in the regular curriculum for English language learners.
Create pre, mid, and post assessments to complement the curriculum.
Alternative assignments need to be created to ensure that all students are given an equal opportunity to learn.