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Collaborative Team Produces New Common-Core Math Series

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and Big Ideas Learning have collaborated to introduce "Big Ideas Math 2014," a Common Core-aligned middle school math program.

Among key features of the program is the "dual pathways" model, where instruction can be adjusted via the regular pathway or the compacted pathway through middle school mathematics. The regular pathway prepares students for Algebra 1 or Integrated 1 in ninth grade. The compacted pathway is for accelerated learners who will progress on to geometry or Integrated 2 in ninth grade.

The "dynamic classroom" feature includes an interactive presentation tool for teachers, which includes textbook material such as chapter opener cartoons, virtual manipulatives, essential questions, vocabulary, key concepts, examples, mini-assessments, and warm ups.

Program components are available online and in print (with DVD companion) and include pupil and teacher editions, English and Spanish record and practice journals, an assessment book, and chapter resources.

Big Ideas Learning and HMH developed the program with the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Content and Standards for Mathematical Practice as its foundation, according to a company release.

Benchmarks of the Standards for Mathematical Practice are that a proficient student should:

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them;
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively;
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others;
  • Model with mathematics;
  • Use appropriate tools strategically;
  • Attend to precision;
  • Look for and make use of structure; and  
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Big Ideas Learning is headed by Penn State University, Erie Math Professor Ron Larson and Laurie Boswell, mathematics teacher at The Riverside School in Lyndonville, VT. The duo has authored more than 24 textbooks since their initial effort in 1992.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is headquartered in Boston, MA and among the world's largest providers of prek-12 education solutions, delivered to 60 million students in 120 countries. The company also publishes novels, non-fiction, children's books, and reference works.

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at [email protected].