What we’ve been working on …

It’s a long time since I posted something, but today I have some exciting news. Some of you may have noticed that about a week ago the Illustrative Mathematics Project went live with the next version of its website (illustrativemathematics.org). The site has a set of tasks for one standard at each K–8 grade level. More tasks will be appearing over the coming weeks.

Eventually the sets of tasks will include elaborated teaching tasks with detailed information about using them for instructional purposes, rubrics, and student work. Such a fully developed set of tasks will be what we call a Complete Illustration of the standard. Right now we are trying to build up our collection of Initial Illustrations of standards, which will have the following characteristics:

  • A minimum of 4 tasks (although typically 5-6 or more depending on the standard).
  • Most will be more like assessment tasks or brief teaching tasks. At least one will be the kernel of an instructional task that can eventually be more fully developed and elaborated with the help of teachers using it in classrooms.
  • The tasks in the set will vary in difficulty. Some but not all will be scaffolded.
  • A balance in computational/algorithmic and conceptual tasks.
  • An appropriate number of contextual problems for the standard.
  • Most of the tasks will illuminate the “center of mass” of the standard, and a few will light up the periphery.
  • At least one task will bridge in some way to another standard, ideally across domains or grade levels.

The new site also allows users to register. This is not necessary to see the tasks, but if you register you will be eligible for news bulletins and various opportunities for involvement in the project that will arise over the next few months.

Go to illustrativemathematics.org to see the new goodies. (This is still a beta site, and you may encounter slowness or other problems from time to time.)

About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.
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3 Responses to What we’ve been working on …

  1. Basi Berg says:

    Hello. I am finding the information on your site very helpful in my teaching and curriculum work. Can you direct me towards similar work on common core standards being done with math on the high school level?
    Thank you,
    Basi

    • The Illustrative Mathematics Project will have high school illustrations very soon, and ultimately aims to illustrate all the standards K-12. Also, the Progressions Project will eventually produce progressions for high school.

  2. Tad Watanabe says:

    Bill,
    I was glancing through the illustrative tasks for 6.RR.3. The standard mentions “tape diagrams” and “double number line diagrams” explicitly, but only one task included a tape diagram and none included double number line. The most frequently sought after entry at my blog site is “tape diagram” and “double number line.” I don’t think these representations are familiar to US teachers, and I wish more illustrative tasks will include these diagrams to help them understand what they are and how they may be used.