Math Thematics

Independent Study of Washington State K-8 Curriculum Review Final Report
October 27, 2008 Strategic Teaching

Review of Mathematical Soundness Background Notes for WA State Curriculum Study
W. Stephen Wilson, Ph.D.
This review looks at the mathematical development of whole number multiplication, area of a triangle, and adding and subtracting fractions in the elementary K-5 programs from TERC Investigations, Math Expressions, Bridges in Mathematics, and Math Connects. This review found Math Expressions and Math Connects to be mathematically acceptable. TERC Investigations and Bridges in Mathematics were found to be not mathematically acceptable.
Middle School
This review looks at the mathematical development of multiplication and division for fractions and proportions in the middle school 6-8 programs for Math Connects, Prentice Hall, Holt, and Math Thematics. This review found Math Connects ranking first and Prentice Hall and Holt tied at second with Math Thematics at the bottom.

MathThematics What Works Clearinghouse
Effectiveness: No studies of MathThematics that fall within the scope of the Middle School Math review meet WWC evidence standards. The lack of studies meeting WWC evidence standards means that, at this time, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of MathThematics.

Mathematically Correct Mathematics Program Reviews Comparative Summary for Seventh Grade

Illinois Loop

Characteristics of the Math Thematics program
  • NSF funded
  • Themed modules connecting math content to physical or social world with each module focusing on multiple content strands
  • Spirals
  • Problem-based
  • Contains some worked out examples demonstrating solution methods
  • Some direct instruction
  • Guided discovery
  • Group work
  • Technology use encouraged
  • Treatment of proportionality is problematic
  • Lacks foundational development of proportionality
  • Engaging lessons, math gets fragmented

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