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New OER Math Curriculum

OER math
Written by Lori Gracey

This OER math curriculum has both student and teacher resources, depth, innovation, and is standards-aligned. And it’s free. What more could you want?

The world of Open Educational Resources (OER) is growing by leaps and bounds every day as more and more people contribute their expertise. Since the resources shared are free and open to anyone, they are a wonderful choice for district adoption, leaving the funding normally spent on expensive textbooks to be used for technology to enhance learning. (You can learn more about OER in this blog.) I’ve recently discovered an excellent math curriculum for grades 6-8 that is complete, based on the standards, and incorporates problem-based learning.

What They Offer

Open-Up Resources and Illustrative Mathematics together provide a ton of classroom-ready content for educators with three main design principles in mind:

  • Access for All – The curriculum is based on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.
  • Presume Competence – The activities in these materials position students to capitalize on their existing abilities and provide supports that eliminate potential barriers to learning when they arise. Each lesson is designed for a wide range of abilities, and all students are given access to grade-level problems.
  • Strengths-Based Approach – All students, including students with disabilities, are resourceful and resilient members of the mathematics community. When the unique strengths and interests of students with disabilities are highlighted during class discussions, their contributions enhance the learning of all students in the classroom.

In addition, the curriculum offers support in each lesson for students with disabilities and for English Language Learners (ELLs). And assessments for each unit are also available, along with practice problems, downloads, and family materials. All of the content can be accessed via print, imported into a district LMS, or used in OneNote.

A typical lesson includes four parts:OER math

  • A warm-up
  • One or more instructional activities
  • The lesson synthesis
  • A cool-down

There is a detailed teacher’s guide as well, making this a complete package for middle school mathematics. Tested in 175 classrooms during the 2016-2017 school year, this content is well worth your time. And with the money you save from not buying textbooks, you can provide more professional development for staff and more technology resources for students. It’s a definite win/win.


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About the author

Lori Gracey

Lori Gracey has 28 years of experience in education, with 22 years as a curriculum and technology director. She currently serves as the executive director of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and is responsible for training technology directors, administrators, curriculum supervisors, and teachers across the country. During her nine years in this position, she has led TCEA in membership and revenue growth, helped to pay off their building and purchase a new, larger building, and implemented new conferences, partnerships with other associations, and professional development opportunities for members and non-members. She serves more than 17,000 members and oversees a staff of 21. Lori is also on the board of the Texas Society of Association Executives and SXSWedu and recently served as the Regional Program Chair for the ISTE 2017 Convention in San Antonio.

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