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Illustrative Mathematics Introduces ‘IM Experience’ & ‘IM Classroom,’ Helping Leaders Implement An Effective K–12 Math Curriculum

Together, the IM Experience and IM Classroom connect educators to engaging experiences and resources to help create a learning environment where all students feel confident and capable in math

Illustrative Mathematics (IM), a nonprofit dedicated to creating a world where all learners know, use and enjoy mathematics, announces the IM Experience—wrap-around resources and events intended to make math instruction effective throughout the exploration and implementation of IM K–12 Math. The IM Classroom integrates key pillars of support that are essential to building and sustaining a problem-based math instruction program.

Nationwide, families and educators ranked math as the most important subject students take in school, while also ranking it the course most in need of updating and improvement, according to a recent survey on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Respondents noted the importance of making math more relevant for students and connected to the real world, as well as the importance of ongoing professional learning.

“Implementing a math curriculum is so much more than selecting the right resources; it is about envisioning and realizing what math instruction looks and feels like in the classroom,” said Dr. Bill McCallum, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Illustrative Mathematics. “The IM Classroom is our model to unlock effective math instruction, and the IM Experience is the community we nurture to make that model available to every school.”

The IM Experience features a series of webinar events, data-driven success stories, onsite school visits and industry speaking engagements that shape how educators can implement a strong math curriculum and create an IM Classroom. The IM Classroom is a framework to conceptualize and implement a problem-based math instruction program.

“When I heard about Illustrative Mathematics, I thought what I was getting was just another resource of real-world problems for me to use,” said Rob Randazzo, a math teacher at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines Public Schools, during an Illustrative Mathematics webinar event. “I quickly realized that it is much bigger than that. Illustrative Mathematics is so rich and gives me so much to think about and has really changed who I am as a teacher.”

An IM Classroom consists of four pillars:

  • Problem-based curriculum and instruction – IM Certified® Curriculum features print and online materials that engage students and support teachers with instructional routines and other resources that support them in meeting the learning needs of all students.
  • Certified professional learning opportunities – Both onsite and virtual professional learning opportunities support teachers through an initial implementation and ongoing learning to help them grow in their practice.
  • Tools to support school and district leaders – Buy-in from leadership is crucial and helps create an environment where teachers are given the resources for coaching, collaborative planning, implementation and long-term support.
  • Resources to engage with families and local communities – Throughout each unit in an IM Classroom, families receive overviews and interactive math questions to ask their children.

Illustrative Mathematics is anchored in the belief that all students are capable of learning grade-level mathematics.  When cultivating an IM Classroom with integrity, students enter a space that encourages participation, confidence and collaboration, and equips them to know, use and enjoy mathematics.

To learn more about the IM Experience and creating an IM Classroom, visit https://www.illustrativemathematics.org/im-experience/.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

Current issue of Equity & Access:


Equity & Access - Issue 28

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