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Friday, October 21, 2016

Eureka! Math Works! guest post by Marika Parnell, 2nd grade teacher at Alta Vista

There are a lot of mixed feelings from the parent community surrounding Eureka Math and Common Core. It has been a difficult transition for students to learn math skills in a different way. Students have needed to learn new vocabulary and new processes. This has led to parent anxiety. Because this method of teaching math is not one parents are familiar with, many feel inadequate to help their students with their homework and find it hard to gauge their students’ grasp of the material. 

Following the Scope and Sequence, I gave my students the first Module assessment at the beginning of September. After taking the first half of the assessment I could tell the students were not yet ready for the assessment. Their scores clearly showed they were struggling with the concepts. The first graph shows how the students did on our first Module assessment at the beginning of September. Eleven students (or 44%) scored below proficiency or at risk, with six students meeting expectations, and eight exceeding for the portion of the assessment they completed.

While we started Module 2, we continued to review Module 1. When I felt the class was ready, we re-took and finished the Module 1 assessment at the end of September. I could not have been happier with the results. It showed twenty-two students meeting or exceeding expectation, while three (or 12%) scored just below and NO student scoring at risk. This was amazing growth in such a small space of time!

I shared the results with the parents, who are feeling a bit easier about Eureka Math. Many attended the Parent Math night and now understand the importance of this new rigorous math and see its benefit. But most importantly, as my students become more familiar with the routines and vocabulary, they have continued to show growth in their understanding and proficiency.

While the implementation has taken and continues to take many hours spent reviewing lessons and watching videos at night and sometimes on weekends, seeing the growth in my students makes it feel all worthwhile.