Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for alignment to the CCSS. In Gateway 1, the instructional materials meet the expectations for focus by assessing grade-level content and spending at least 65 percent of class time on the major clusters of the grade, and they are coherent and consistent with the Standards. In Gateway 2, the instructional materials reflect the balances in the Standards and help students meet the Standards’ rigorous expectations, and they connect the Standards for Mathematical Content and the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Focus & Coherence

0
7
12
14
14
12-14
Meets Expectations
8-11
Partially Meets Expectations
0-7
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Rigor & Mathematical Practices

0
10
16
18
18
16-18
Meets Expectations
11-15
Partially Meets Expectations
0-10
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
22
31
38
37
31-38
Meets Expectations
23-30
Partially Meets Expectations
0-22
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Focus & Coherence

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for Gateway 1. These materials do not assess above-grade-level content and spend the majority of the time on the major clusters of each grade level. Teachers using these materials as designed will use supporting clusters to enhance the major work of the grade. These materials are consistent with the mathematical progression in the standards, and students are offered extensive work with grade-level problems. Connections are made between clusters and domains where appropriate. Overall, the materials meet the expectations for focusing on the major work of the grade, and the materials also meet the expectations for coherence.

Criterion 1a

Materials do not assess topics before the grade level in which the topic should be introduced.
2/2
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that they assess grade-level content. The assessments are aligned to grade-level standards.

For example:

  • Unit 5, Mid-Unit Assessment Problem 5 provides a scenario in which bacteria is doubling over time. Students determine if the given population of bacteria is a function of the number of days. Students also determine if the function is linear and explain their reasoning (8.F.1). The problem reads, “Lin counts five bacteria under a microscope. She counts them again each day for four days, and finds that the number of bacteria doubled each day—from 5 to 10, then from 10 to 20, and so on. Is the population of bacteria a function of the number of days? If so, is it linear? Explain your reasoning.”
  • In Unit 7, End-of-Unit Assessment Problem 2, students select all expressions that equal 6 to the -10th power. The five choices are all variations of using the properties of exponents, providing students opportunities to think flexibly and build fluency (8.EE.1).

Assessments are located on each Unit Page for each of the first eight units. Unit 9 Putting It All Together is an optional culminating unit and has no assessments. Assessments are limited to seven problems but are often broken into multiple prompts and assess numerous standards. Units 1, 3, and 5 also contain a Mid-Unit Assessment for a total of 11 assessments.

Indicator 1a

The instructional material assesses the grade-level content and, if applicable, content from earlier grades. Content from future grades may be introduced but students should not be held accountable on assessments for future expectations.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that they assess grade-level content. The assessments are aligned to grade-level standards.

For example:

  • Unit 5, Mid-Unit Assessment Problem 5 provides a scenario in which bacteria is doubling over time. Students determine if the given population of bacteria is a function of the number of days. Students also determine if the function is linear and explain their reasoning (8.F.1). The problem reads, “Lin counts five bacteria under a microscope. She counts them again each day for four days, and finds that the number of bacteria doubled each day—from 5 to 10, then from 10 to 20, and so on. Is the population of bacteria a function of the number of days? If so, is it linear? Explain your reasoning.”
  • In Unit 7, End-of-Unit Assessment Problem 2, students select all expressions that equal 6 to the -10th power. The five choices are all variations of using the properties of exponents, providing students opportunities to think flexibly and build fluency (8.EE.1).

Assessments are located on each Unit Page for each of the first eight units. Unit 9 Putting It All Together is an optional culminating unit and has no assessments. Assessments are limited to seven problems but are often broken into multiple prompts and assess numerous standards. Units 1, 3, and 5 also contain a Mid-Unit Assessment for a total of 11 assessments.

Criterion 1b

Students and teachers using the materials as designed devote the large majority of class time in each grade K-8 to the major work of the grade.
4/4
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations for spending a majority of instructional time on major work of the grade.

  • The number of units devoted to major work of the grade, including assessments and supporting work, is seven out of eight, which is approximately 87.5 percent.
  • The number of lessons devoted to major work of the grade, including assessments and supporting work, is 102 out of 122 total non-optional lessons, which is approximately 83.6 percent.
  • The number of days devoted to major work, including assessments and supporting work, is 117 out of 140 days, which is approximately 83.6 percent.

A lesson-level analysis is most representative of the instructional materials because this calculation includes all lessons with connections to major work with no additional days factored in. As a result, approximately 83.6 percent of the instructional materials focus on major work of the grade. An analysis of days devoted to major work includes 18 days for review and assessment, but the materials do not dedicate items to be used for the review.

Indicator 1b

Instructional material spends the majority of class time on the major cluster of each grade.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations for spending a majority of instructional time on major work of the grade.

  • The number of units devoted to major work of the grade, including assessments and supporting work, is seven out of eight, which is approximately 87.5 percent.
  • The number of lessons devoted to major work of the grade, including assessments and supporting work, is 102 out of 122 total non-optional lessons, which is approximately 83.6 percent.
  • The number of days devoted to major work, including assessments and supporting work, is 117 out of 140 days, which is approximately 83.6 percent.

A lesson-level analysis is most representative of the instructional materials because this calculation includes all lessons with connections to major work with no additional days factored in. As a result, approximately 83.6 percent of the instructional materials focus on major work of the grade. An analysis of days devoted to major work includes 18 days for review and assessment, but the materials do not dedicate items to be used for the review.

Criterion 1c - 1f

Coherence: Each grade's instructional materials are coherent and consistent with the Standards.
8/8

Indicator 1c

Supporting content enhances focus and coherence simultaneously by engaging students in the major work of the grade.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that supporting work enhances focus and coherence simultaneously by engaging students in the major work of the grade.

Supporting standards/clusters are connected to the major standards/clusters of the grade. The lessons are designed in a way that supporting standards are interwoven into the lessons and activities that maintain a focus on the major work of the grade. The Grade 8 curriculum includes multiple examples of supporting work being used to support the focus and coherence of the major work of the grade.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 17, students use volume formulas for three-dimensional figures to explore aspects of functions. Students compare functions presented as equations, graphs, and/or tables when exploring linear and nonlinear relationships. In the lesson Warm-Up, students determine if two quantities are functions by examining the distance a truck traveled in relation to the amount of gas used (8.F.1). Activities 3 and 4 address 8.F.1, 8.F.B, and 8.G.9 as: “Students continue working with functions to investigate what happens to the volume of a cylinder when you halve the height.” The lesson Cool-Down connects 8.G.C and 8.F.1 as students explore the height and volume of cylinders. In Lesson 18, students explore the effect on the volume of cylinders in functions where two variables are scaled. Students use volume formulas for cylinders and graphs of the functions in this exploration.
  • In Unit 6, standard 8.SP.2 supports major work standard 8.EE.6. The first three lessons introduce students to associations in two variables and how to display and analyze those associations using scatter plots. In the Lesson 4 Warm-Up, students estimate the slope of a given line that lies close to, but not directly on, two points. During lesson activities, students state the meaning of the slope in the given contexts and also whether outliers have an effect on the slope of the line of best fit. Lessons 5 through 8 continue to build students' understanding of lines and slope (8.EE.5) to build an understanding of scatter plots and bivariate data.
  • In Unit 8, standard 8.NS.2 supports major work standard 8.EE.2. In Lesson 3 Activities, students assess whether different rational numbers are solutions for square roots. In Lesson 4, students find solutions to functions that include square roots, and they estimate solutions to square roots in order to develop a deeper understanding of square roots as numbers and not just as solutions to the side length of a square when the area is known.

Indicator 1d

The amount of content designated for one grade level is viable for one school year in order to foster coherence between grades.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the amount of content designated for one grade level is viable for one year.

The suggested amount of time and expectations of the materials for teachers and students are viable for one school year as written and would not require significant modifications. As designed, the instructional materials can be completed in 153 days.

  • From the provided scope and sequence found in the Course Guide, Grade 8 includes materials for 140 instructional days. There are 122 non-optional lessons, ten summative assessments, and eight review days.
  • 119 of these non-optional lessons are designed to address grade-level standards. Three non-optional lessons do not explicitly address grade-level standards but provide problem contexts and activities that prepare students for the unit or connect work from prior grades.
  • Two optional lessons are also present in the first eight units. Unit 9 Putting it All Together includes an additional two optional lessons that require up to 10 days depending on the number of lessons completed. There are 153 instructional days if all optional materials are used.
  • Each unit is comprised of 11 to 22 lessons. Within each unit, lessons contain a Warm-Up, two or three Activities, a Lesson Synthesis, and a Cool-Down. Guidance regarding the number of minutes needed to complete each component of the lesson is provided in the Course Guide.

Indicator 1e

Materials are consistent with the progressions in the Standards i. Materials develop according to the grade-by-grade progressions in the Standards. If there is content from prior or future grades, that content is clearly identified and related to grade-level work ii. Materials give all students extensive work with grade-level problems iii. Materials relate grade level concepts explicitly to prior knowledge from earlier grades.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations for the materials being consistent with the progressions in the standards.

The instructional materials clearly identify content from prior and future grade levels and use it to support the progressions of the grade-level standards. The instructional materials also relate grade-level concepts explicitly to prior knowledge from earlier grades.

The materials are intentionally designed to address the standards the way they are laid out in the progressions, and the Unit Overview clearly explains how the standards and progressions are connected for educators. Units begin with lessons connected to the standards from prior grades that are relevant to the current topic. Standards from the grade level and prior grades, and standards that will be addressed later in the year are identified in the sections as “addressing,” “building on,” and “building towards,” respectively. For example:

  • Unit 3 Linear Relationships, Lesson 1 Overview states, “This lesson is the first of four where students work with proportional relationships from a Grade 8 perspective.” In the lesson, 7.RP.2 is identified as the standard that the lesson is “building on,” the standard the lesson is “addressing” is 8.EE.B, and the standard the lesson is “building toward” is 8.EE.5. According to the CCSSM progressions, the study of proportional relationships is a foundation for the study of functions. After Lesson 4, students move to linear relationships. The Lesson 5 Overview states, “After revisiting examples of proportional relationships in the previous lessons, this lesson is the first of four lessons that moves from proportional relationships to linear relationships with positive rates of change.”

The Warm-Ups in lessons frequently work with prior-grade standards in ways that support learning of grade-level problems and make connections to progressions from previous grades. For example:

  • Unit 3, Lessons 1 and 2 begin with looking at graphs and comparing proportional relationships (7.RP.2). The Lesson 1 Warm-Up has students compare graphs of proportional relationships with the same scale. The Lesson 2 Warm-Up includes different scales. Lessons 3 and 4 continue work with graphing proportional relationships with attention to graph features such as scale. Students pay attention to graph features in preparation for grade-level work with linear equations and graphs of linear equations.
  • The Unit 8, Lesson 3 (6.EE.4, 5.NF.4) Warm-Up includes practice with multiplying fractions (5.NF.4) which is essential in the lesson for estimating square roots. This connection is explicit in the teacher materials that state, “The purpose of this warm-up is for students to review multiplication of fractions in preparation for the main problem of this lesson: estimating solutions to the equation $$x^2 = 2$$. For example, 3⁄2 · 3⁄2 = 9⁄4, which is a value close to 2 so 3⁄2 is a value close to the $$\sqrt{\smash[b]{2}}$$.”

The instructional materials attend to the full intent of the grade-level standards by giving all students extensive work with grade-level problems.

In the Course Guide under Course Information and Scope and Sequence, there is a chart which reflects the mathematics in the materials. All grade-level standards are represented across the 9 units. Additionally, the materials provide practice for the standards while at the same time refrain from giving extraneous practice.

Overall, there is evidence that materials develop according the progression in the standards. Tasks are aligned to grade-level work and are connected to prior-grade knowledge. For example:

  • The Unit 5 Overview outlines multiple ways that function understanding is developed by building upon prior-grade work, including input/output patterns in Grades 4 and 5, independent and dependent variables in Grade 6, work with ratios and proportions in Grades 6 through 8, and work with geometric measurement as early as Kindergarten. Students explore linear relationships built from work early in Units 1 and 2 with similarity of triangles. The unit develops from exploring input/output patterns in order to develop a formal understanding of the definition of a function in Lessons 1 and 2, to exploring different representations of functions in Lessons 3 through 7. This work includes verbal descriptions, equations, tables, and graphs. Multiple representations are used in each lesson. The lessons near the end of the unit work with volume formulas. Lesson 22, the final lesson in the unit, explicitly connects work with functions to volume and includes exposure to non-linear functions.
  • The Unit 4, Lesson 13 Solving Systems of Equations Warm-Up consists of four problems where students reason about the solutions to equations through true/false questions about a graph with two equations of lines solutions. The first activity has students match the graph with the system of equations, then students work on a digital graph to find solutions to a system of equations. In the second activity, the students look at six different graphic representations of systems of equations and discuss the meaning of having no solution, one solution, or infinite solutions. In the Cool-Down, students look at the graphic representation of a system of equations and give possible solutions based on what the graph looks like. There are also five practice problems that are connected to the lesson.

A typical lesson has a Warm-Up, one or more Activities, and a Cool-Down. Additionally, every lesson provides practice problems that can be used as independent or group work. Some lessons also provide an “Are you ready for more?” problem. These problems are an opportunity for students to explore grade-level mathematics in more depth and often make connections between the topic in the lesson and other concepts at grade level. They are intended to be used on an opt-in basis by students if they finish the main class activity early or want to do more mathematics on their own.

Overall, the materials give students extensive work with rigorous, grade-level problems.

Indicator 1f

Materials foster coherence through connections at a single grade, where appropriate and required by the Standards i. Materials include learning objectives that are visibly shaped by CCSSM cluster headings. ii. Materials include problems and activities that serve to connect two or more clusters in a domain, or two or more domains in a grade, in cases where these connections are natural and important.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that materials foster coherence through connections at a single grade, where appropriate and required by the standards.

Materials include learning objectives that are visibly shaped by CCSSM cluster headings, including:

8.EE.C Analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations.

  • The Unit 4 Overview describes how work in solving linear equations builds on work from Grades 6 and 7 with equations and expressions in one variable, then further builds to algebraic methods for solving equations. The Lesson 10 learning targets state: “Make connections between ordered pairs in tables and graphs,” and “Given descriptions of two linear relationships, interpret ordered pairs in contexts, focusing on when or where the same ordered pair makes each relationship true.” The Lesson 13 learning targets are also connected to the cluster heading, including: “Understand that a system of equations can have no solutions, one solution, or infinitely many solutions.” “Connect features of the graphs to the number of solutions the system has.” and “Start solving systems algebraically.”

8.G.C Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving volume of cylinders, cones, and spheres.

  • The Unit 5 Overview details the progression of geometric measurement from Kindergarten and lays out how the unit will extend concepts of volume to deepen students' understanding of the geometric features of three-dimensional shapes such as radii, bases, and heights. In addition, the unit integrates student work with functions as they develop a conceptual understanding of formulas for volume. All Unit 5 lessons include real-world or mathematical problems. Sample learning goals aligned to the cluster heading include: “Find volumes of cones in mathematical and real-world problems” in Lesson 15 and “Solve a variety of mathematical and real-world problems about the volume of a cylinder, cone, or sphere” in Lesson 21.

Materials include problems and activities that connect two or more clusters in a domain, or two or more domains in a grade, in cases where these connections are natural and important. Multiple examples of tasks connecting standards within and across clusters and domains are present. These connections build deeper understanding of grade-level concepts and the natural connections which exist in mathematics.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 8, Activities 2 and 3, students model real-world problems with functions by interpreting the start value and the slope (8.F.B.4). This includes understanding linear equations as describing linear functions (8.F.A.3) and involves comparing different representations of a function, with an emphasis on equations and graphs, but also includes verbal/written descriptions of the real-world scenario (8.F.A.2).
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 11, standards 8.F.B and 8.G.C are addressed simultaneously as, “Students investigate how the height of water in a graduated cylinder is a function of the volume of water in the graduated cylinder.”
  • In Unit 8, Lesson 2, standards 8.EE.A.2 and 8.F.B are both addressed as students take measurements of area and side lengths, collect data, and determine $$y=x^2$$ as a function that models the relationship between area of a square and a side length. Students make estimates of side lengths given the area of a square and begin to use square root symbols and terms.
  • In Unit 8, Lesson 3, standards 8.G.A.1 and 8.EE.B are addressed. The Warm-Up task reviews 8.G.A.1 where students must identify lines that have been translated from a given line. The rest of the lesson focuses on the 8.EE.B cluster with an emphasis on students using their understanding of translations to derive y = mx + b from a graph of y = mx. The series of tasks use contexts to help students make connections to the equation of a line and how translations can be helpful in interpretation in context.

Gateway Two

Rigor & Mathematical Practices

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for aligning with the CCSS expectations for rigor and mathematical practices. The instructional materials attend to each of the three aspects of rigor individually, and they also attend to the balance among the three aspects. The instructional materials emphasize mathematical reasoning, identify the Mathematical Practices (MPs), and attend to the full meaning of each practice standard.

Criterion 2a - 2d

Rigor and Balance: Each grade's instructional materials reflect the balances in the Standards and help students meet the Standards' rigorous expectations, by helping students develop conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application.
8/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for rigor and balance. The materials meet the expectations for rigor as they help students develop conceptual understanding, procedural skills, and application with a balance of all three aspects of rigor.

Indicator 2a

Attention to conceptual understanding: Materials develop conceptual understanding of key mathematical concepts, especially where called for in specific content standards or cluster headings.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the materials develop conceptual understanding of key mathematical concepts, especially where called for in specific standards or cluster headings.

Materials include problems and questions that develop conceptual understanding throughout the grade level. Multiple opportunities exist for students to work with standards that specifically call for conceptual understanding. Students access concepts from a number of perspectives and independently demonstrate conceptual understanding throughout the grade.

The conceptual understanding required in 8.F.A is addressed in Unit 5 as students define, evaluate, and compare functions. For example:

  • Lesson 1 begins to develop the “idea of a function as a rule that assigns to each allowable input exactly one output.” This understanding is cultivated in the first Activity of Lesson 1 as student play "Guess My Rule" in an applet. Students enter any input value into Column A of the spreadsheet found in the applet, and the resulting output appears in Column B. Student pairs generate a rule after completing as many iterations as needed. Functions' rules include additive, multiplicative, and exponential patterns.
  • In Lesson 2, function language is introduced after students identify examples and nonexamples of functions in order to extend the idea that the output is dependent on the input. In the first Activity, students are prompted: “A number is 5. Do you know its square?” and the anticipated response is given as, “Yes, the square of 5 is 25.” Another prompt asks, “The square of a number is 16. Do you know the number?” resulting in the anticipated response, “No, there are two different numbers whose square is 16, namely 4 and -4.” The term “function” is not introduced until the second Activity in which students use function language to express whether the given scenarios from the previous Activity are functions. The corresponding exemplar statements from the given examples are, “Yes, the square of a number depends on the number,” and “No, knowing the square of a number does not determine the number.”
  • In Lessons 3 through 7, students use and compare verbal descriptions, tabular and graphic representations of functions, as well as equations. In the second Activity in Lesson 4, students are given three unlabeled continuous graphs in order to make connections between representations. They choose the matching equation and context (8.F.3), use the context to identify the dependent and independent variables, and finally, use the graph to identify the output when the input is 1 and interpret what that tells you about each situation in prompt 3 (8.F.1). The graphs include a non-linear representation and two linear functions, one with a positive slope and one with a negative slope.

Cluster 8.G.A addresses congruence and similarity using physical models, transparencies, or geometry software and is found in both Units 1 and 2. Unit 1 begins with transformations.

  • In Lessons 1 through 6, students spend most of the instructional time either physically moving shapes or imitating that movement on a GeoGebra program. In Lesson 1, students first look at transformations as a way of moving objects in a plane. They define these movements in their own words in Lesson 2 and establish the actual definition of the movements in later lessons.
  • Lessons 11 through 13 explore congruence. In the Lesson 12 Warm-Up, students are given a variety of congruent triangles in different orientations and the following prompt: “All of these triangles are congruent. Sometimes we can take one figure to another with a translation. Shade the triangles that are images of triangle ABC under a translation.” Students develop the concept that a two-dimensional figure is congruent to another two-dimensional figure if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of transformations. The idea of “rotations and reflections usually (but not always) change the orientation of a figure” is discussed here and further explored when students name a sequence of transformations to prove some of the non-shaded triangles congruent to triangle ABC.
  • In Lessons 14 through 16, students establish informal arguments about angles. The second Activity in Lesson 14 states, "Lines ℓ and k are parallel, and t is a transversal. Point M is the midpoint of segment PQ.” Students use tracing paper to “Find a rigid transformation showing that angles MPA and MQB are congruent.”

Cluster 8.G.6 builds understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem and is found in Unit 8.

  • Lesson 6 Activity 1 prompts students to find the length of the sides of several triangles using a grid, some of which are right triangles and some are not. Through the investigation, students arrive at an understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem and that it only applies to right triangles. After the investigation the Pythagorean Theorem is officially introduced to the students.

Indicator 2b

Attention to Procedural Skill and Fluency: Materials give attention throughout the year to individual standards that set an expectation of procedural skill and fluency.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that they attend to those standards that set an expectation of procedural skill. Materials attend to the Grade 8 expected procedural skills, particularly those related to solving linear equations and systems of equations.

Procedural skills and fluencies are intentionally built on conceptual understanding and the work students have accomplished with operations and equations from prior grades. Opportunities to formally practice developed procedures are found throughout practice problem sets that follow the units, including opportunities to use and practice emerging fluencies in the context of solving problems. Units 1-3 include embedded review of rational number operations, and Units 5-9 include continued practice of content that is developed in Unit 4. According to the Design Principles within the Grade 8 Course Guide within each unit, “Students are systematically introduced to representations, contexts, language, and notation. As their learning progresses, they see and understand more efficient methods of solving problems, supporting the shift towards procedural fluency.” Number Talks included in many Warm-Ups often revisit fluencies developed in earlier grades and specifically relate to the Activities found in the lessons. Additionally, students demonstrate procedural skill and fluency throughout the year in a variety of practice problems. Examples of lesson practice problems follow:

  • 8.EE.7 is found in Unit 5.
    • In Lesson 3, students solve and check the solutions to multi-step equations such as 4z+5=-3z−8.
    • In Lesson 7, students solve and check the solution to the multi-step equation -(-2x+1)=9−14x.
    • In Lesson 9 Problem 3, students solve and explain the reasoning leading to the solutions of multi-step equations such as 4(2a+2)=8(2−3a).
  • 8.EE.8b is found in Unit 5.
    • In Lesson 1, students solve a system of two equations, both in slope-intercept form, using substitution.
    • In Lesson 3, students graph a system of equations with no solution and then write the equation of each graphed line.
    • In Lesson 4, students solve a system of two equations, both in slope-intercept form.
    • In Lesson 12, students solve a system of two equations, both in slope-intercept form.
    • In Lesson 20, students write and solve a system of equations representing the context given about a bicycle shop inventory in order to find the number of bicycles in the store.

8.EE.7 is found in Unit 4 where students use computational skills to solve linear equations in one variable.

  • Lesson 1 through 4 connect to past grades with lessons and activities that incorporate the idea of balancing equations.
  • In the Lesson 3 Warm-Up, students match hanger diagrams to equations and variables to their respective shapes within the diagram. Next, students begin to match the first “moves” in solving equations in the first Activity. In the additional activities in Lesson 3, students “[think] about strategically solving equations by paying attention to their structure” when they are presented two student work samples to evaluate and provide recommendations for solving.
  • In Lesson 4, there is a mix of tasks that focuses on practicing solving equations such as matching, choosing solution steps, evaluating the work of sample student solution paths, as well as assessing similarities and looking for mistakes.
  • In Lesson 5, students move toward a general method for solving linear equations using mental math to solve one-step equations for a variable on one side and then work with a partner to justify their steps with one another between each step.
  • Lesson 6 Strategic Solving states: “In this lesson, students learn to stop and think ahead strategically before plunging into a solution method. After a Warm-Up in which they construct their own equation to solve a problem, they look at equations with different structures and decide whether the solution will be positive, negative, or zero, without solving the equation. They judge which equations are likely to be easy to solve and which are likely to be difficult.” In the following lessons students look at situations when an equation has many or no solutions. Once students are introduced to a general procedure for solving equations continuous practice is provided.

Systems of equations (8.EE.8b) are formally introduced in the latter part of Unit 4 after students solve linear equations in one variable (8.EE.7), including writing, solving, and graphing equations as well as deciding what it means for an equation to be true. Students learn to interpret and solve systems of equations in Lessons 12 through 15 in preparation for applying their procedural knowledge in Lesson 16.

  • In the Lesson 12 Warm-Up, students take a situation and features of the graphs without actually graphing, to develop fluency with the vocabulary and begin to visualize where systems of equations may have solutions. All tasks involve graphing equations and discussing solutions in context of graphs. The term “system of equations” is introduced.
  • In the Lesson 14 Warm-Up, students use substitution strategies to mentally solve systems of equations. In Activity 1, students analyze the structure of a system of equations before deciding on an efficient solution path. The equations lend themselves to suggesting substitution as the first step toward finding a solution and develop the procedure for substituting an expression in place of a variable.
  • In Lesson 15, students write and interpret systems of equations from contexts with rational coefficients and continue to practice solving using various methods, including: “[Solving] the systems to find the number of solutions.; [Using] the slope and y-intercept to determine the number of solutions.; [Manipulating] the equations into another form, then compare the equations. [Noticing] that the left side of the second equation in system C is double the left side of the first equation, but the right side is not.”

Indicator 2c

Attention to Applications: Materials are designed so that teachers and students spend sufficient time working with engaging applications of the mathematics, without losing focus on the major work of each grade
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the materials are designed so that teachers and students spend sufficient time working with engaging applications of the mathematics. Engaging applications include single and multi-step problems, both routine and non-routine, presented in a context in which the mathematics is applied.

Work with applications of mathematics occurs throughout the materials in ways that enhance the focus on major work and when standards call for application in real-world or mathematical contexts. The Grade 8 Course Guide states: “Students have opportunities to make connections to real-world contexts throughout the materials. Carefully-chosen anchor contexts are used to motivate new mathematical concepts, and students have many opportunities to make connections between contexts and the concepts they are learning. Additionally, most units include a real-world application lesson at the end.” Connections between clusters and application extensions are also found in the multiple-day lessons found in optional Unit 9.

Cluster 8.F.B addresses students using functions to model relationships between quantities and is found in Unit 5. Lessons 5 through 11 are specifically identified as addressing 8.F.B and use a variety of applications as students model relationships using functions. Students identify and create tables, graphs, and equations modeling relationships.

  • The Lesson 6 Warm-Up states: “The purpose of this Warm-Up is for students to realize there are different dependent variables that can be used when making a model of a context, and the choice of which we use affects how a graph of a function looks.” Students view five photographs of a dog taken at equal intervals of time and two graphs representing the scenario. Both graphs have the same independent variable but look dramatically different. Students determine how the dependent variable represents the perspective of the graph.
  • In the Lesson 10 Warm-Up, students are asked to share what they notice on a graph of temperature data during different parts of the day. In Activity 1, they use piecewise linear graphs to find information about the real-life situation they represent. In Activity 2, students analyze a situation to calculate the rate of change.
  • In Lesson 11 Activity 1, students investigate how the height of water in a graduated cylinder is a function of the volume of water in the graduated cylinder. Students make predictions about how the graph will look and then test their prediction by filling the graduated cylinder with different amounts of water, gathering and graphing the data. Students use an applet to reason about the height of the water in a given cylinder. They graph the relationship and then explain the meaning of specific points in their recorded data. Students need to apply the context of the given cylinder to the graph to determine, “What would the endpoint of the graph be?” In the next phase of the Activity, students compare this relationship to ones in which the radius of the cylinder has been modified and explain how the slope is less steep in the given graphic representation.

Standard 8.EE.8c addresses students solving real-world and mathematical problems leading to two linear equations in two variables and is found in Unit 4. Lesson 16 includes opportunities for students to investigate applications of systems of equations.

  • In Activity 1, students solve problems involving real-world contexts. For the first problem, students find the time at which two friends will meet if they are cycling toward one another. In the second problem, they determine how many grapefruits are sold if students are selling both grapefruits and nuts. The price of both items is given as well as the total number of items sold and the total money made in the fundraiser. In the third problem, students find the number of hours Andre and Jada must work to make the same amount of money when working different jobs and getting paid different rates. In each problem, students “explain or show [their] reasoning.” After engaging in these problems, students create their own situation and solve. These scenarios are then exchanged for other pairs of students to solve.

Indicator 2d

Balance: The three aspects of rigor are not always treated together and are not always treated separately. There is a balance of the 3 aspects of rigor within the grade.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the three aspects of rigor are not always treated together and are not always treated separately.

There is evidence that the curriculum addresses standards, when called for, with specific and separate aspects of rigor and evidence of opportunities where multiple aspects of rigor are used to support student learning and mastery of the standards. There are multiple lessons where one aspect of rigor is emphasized.

Examples of conceptual understanding include:

  • A conceptual understanding of transformations is developed in Unit 1. Students begin this unit by simply describing how one figure moves to another. Students use tracing paper or GeoGebra to make “the moves” and answer the questions with these visual, hands-on tools. In Lesson 3 Activity 1, students are given four figures on a grid and told: “In Figure 1, translate triangle ABC so that A goes to A′. In Figure 2, translate triangle ABC so that C goes to C′. In Figure 3, rotate triangle ABC 90o counterclockwise using center O. In Figure 4, reflect triangle ABC using line l.” Activities similar to this are done repeatedly throughout the beginning lessons of Unit 1. Eventually, students use this information to draw conclusions about congruent figures, angles, and similar figures (8.G.A).
  • In Unit 5 Lesson 6, students demonstrate conceptual understanding of graphs as they relate to context and determine the scale to represent the independent and dependent variables. Students create graphs for a given story/context determining the scale. Discussion questions include: “Which quantity is a function of which? Explain your reasoning;" "Based on your graph, is his friend’s house or the park closer to Noah's home? Explain how you know;" and, "Read the story and all your responses again. Does everything make sense? If not, make changes to your work.”

Examples of procedural skill include:

  • In Unit 5 Lesson 5, students develop procedural skill solving equations with one variable. During the Warm-Up, students solve the following equations mentally: 5−x=8, -1=x−2, -3x=9, and -10=-5x. In the first Activity, students are given a card with a more complex equation on it and told to work with a partner, taking turns after each step to solve the equation. They solve equations on four cards in all.
  • In the Unit 5 Lesson 16 Warm-Up, students apply computational skills using the formula for volume to solve: “27=(1⁄3)h, 27=(1⁄3)$$r^2$$, 12π=(1⁄3)πa, 12π=(1⁄3)π$$b^2$$.” In the first Activity, students practice finding relevant information and completing tables to apply the volume formula to find the value of unknown dimensions.

Examples of application include:

  • In Unit 5 Lesson 21, students practice 8.G.9 as they solve a variety of mathematical problems involving finding the volume of cones, cylinders, rectangular prisms, and spheres in the given figures.
  • In Unit 2 Lesson 13 Activity 3, students apply their understanding of both proportional relationships (7.RP.2) from the previous grade and arguments establishing facts about similar triangles and angle relationships (8.G.5) to estimate the height of a tall object that cannot be measured directly. Students use their learning from the unit and the previous activities to devise a method to estimate, justify, and test.

All three aspects of rigor are balanced throughout the course, including the unit assessments. There are multiple lessons where two or all three of the aspects are connected. For example:

  • In Unit 5 Lessons 3 through 7, students develop their understanding of functions by comparing multiple representations. The majority of Activities use real-world contexts with frequent opportunities for students to interpret functions and their representations in specific contexts.
  • The Practice Problems available for each lesson are strategically arranged so that procedural practice problems lead to opportunities for students to practice and develop proficiency and skills for a concept and engage with more complex application-level problems. On average there are six problems included in the practice problems. Procedural practice, visual representations, contexts, and/or standard methods of solving said problems are present.

Criterion 2e - 2g.iii

Practice-Content Connections: Materials meaningfully connect the Standards for Mathematical Content and the Standards for Mathematical Practice
10/10

Indicator 2e

The Standards for Mathematical Practice are identified and used to enrich mathematics content within and throughout each applicable grade.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the Standards for Mathematical Practice are identified and used to enrich mathematics content within and throughout the grade level.

All eight MPs are clearly identified throughout the materials, with few or no exceptions. The Math Practices are initially identified in the Course Guide under the narrative descriptions of each unit within the Course Information. For example:

  • Unit 2 Dilations, Similarity and Introducing Slope excerpts include: “Through activities designed and sequenced to allow students to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them (MP1), students use and extend their knowledge of geometry and geometric measurement.” Further, in the narrative it states, “They use the definition of 'similar' and properties of similar figures to justify claims of similarity or non-similarity and to reason about similar figures (MP3)."
  • In Unit 6 Associations in Data, the narrative states: “[Students] return to the data on height and arm span gathered at the beginning of the unit, describe the association between the two, and fit a line to the data (MP4). The third section focuses on using two-way tables to analyze categorical data (MP4). Students use a two-way frequency table to create a relative frequency table to examine the percentages represented in each intersection of categories to look for any associations between the categories. Students also examine and create bar and segmented bar graphs to visualize any associations.”

Within a lesson, the MPs are identified within the teaching notes accompanying the lesson in general or before each of the activities. Teaching Notes often highlight when a Math Practice is particularly important for a concept or when a task may exemplify the identified Practice. For example:

  • MP8: In Unit 1 Lesson 14, the introduction states, “One Mathematical Practice that is particularly relevant for this lesson is MP8. Students will notice as they calculate angles that they are repeatedly using vertical and adjacent angles and that often they have a choice which method to apply. They will also notice that the angles made by parallel lines cut by a transversal are the same and this observation is the key structure in this lesson.”
  • MP5: The Unit 2 Lesson 2 introduction discusses developing the idea of dilations by providing tools for students: “As with previous geometry lessons, students should have access to geometry toolkits so they can make strategic choices about which tools to use (MP5).”
  • MP3: The Unit 4 Lesson 5 narrative accompanying Activity 1 states, “The goal of this Activity is for students to build fluency solving equations with variables on each side. Students describe each step in their solution process to a partner and justify how each of their changes maintains the equality of the two expressions (MP3).”
  • MP8: The Unit 5 Lesson 3 Warm-Up narrative states: “The purpose of this Warm-Up is for students to use repeated reasoning to write an algebraic expression to represent a rule of a function (MP8).”

The MPs are used to enrich the mathematical content and are not treated separately from the content in stand-alone lessons. MPs are used to enrich the mathematical content and are discussed within narratives as pertaining to the learning target or specific task at hand. The narratives are used to support deepening a teacher’s understanding of the standard itself as the teacher is provided direction regarding how the content is connected to the MP. For example:

  • MP6: In the Unit 1 Lesson 13 Overview, the connection of MP6 to 8.G.2 is explained: “One of the mathematical practices that takes center stage in this lesson is MP6. For congruent figures built out of several different parts (for example, a collection of circles), the distances between all pairs of points must be the same. It is not enough that the constituent parts (circles, for example) be congruent: they must also be in the same configuration, the same distance apart. This follows from the definition of congruence: rigid motions do not change distances between points, so if Figure 1 is congruent to Figure 2 then the distance between any pair of points in Figure 1 is equal to the distance between the corresponding pair of points in Figure 2.”
  • MP7: In Unit 9 Lesson 2, students extend their knowledge of transformations into the creation of a tessellation. The introduction to the second Activity states, “Students look for and make use of structure (MP7), both when they try to put copies of the shape together to build a tessellation and when they examine whether or not it is possible to construct a different tessellation.”

The MPs are not identified in the student materials; however, they are highlighted in the lesson in teaching notes provided with each Activity. For example, in the student task accompanying Unit 9 Lesson 2 Activity 2, the student-facing directions state (see previous bullet for teacher-facing information): “With your partner, choose one of the six shapes in the toolbar that you will both use. 1) Select the shape tool by clicking on it. Create copies of your shape by clicking in the work space. 2) When you have enough to work with, click on the Move tool (the arrow) to drag or turn them. 3) If you have trouble aligning the shapes, right click to turn on the grid.” After they have finished, the discussion prompts lead students to find structure in the patterns, “Compare your tessellation to your partner’s. How are they similar? How are they different?”

Indicator 2f

Materials carefully attend to the full meaning of each practice standard
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the instructional materials carefully attend to the full meaning of each practice standard.

Materials attend to the full meaning of each of the 8 MPs. The MPs are discussed in both the unit and lesson narratives, as appropriate, when they relate to the overall work. They are also explained within individual activities, when necessary. Each practice is addressed multiple times throughout the year. Over the course of the year, students have ample opportunity to engage with the full meaning of every MP. Examples include:

MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

  • In the Unit 1 Lesson 6 first Activity, students “make sense of problems by determining what information is necessary, and then ask for information they need to solve it. This may take several rounds of discussion if their first requests do not yield the information they need.” The following instructions are provided for the teacher: “Tell students they will continue to describe transformations using coordinates. Explain the Info Gap structure, and consider demonstrating the protocol if students are unfamiliar with it. Arrange students in groups of two. Provide access to graph paper. In each group, distribute a problem card to one student and a data card to the other student. They need to know which transformations were applied (i.e., translation, rotation, or reflection). They need to determine the order in which the transformations were applied. They need to remember what information is needed to describe a translation, rotation, or reflection.”
  • In Unit 5 Lesson 21 Activity 3, students engage in another Info Gap activity. One student is given a card that has a question related to volume equations of cylinders, cones, and spheres. The other student is given a card with all the information needed to answer the question. The student with the question asks the student with the data a series of questions that will give them the necessary information to solve the problem. It may take several rounds of discussion if their first requests do not yield the information they need, creating a situation in which students have to persevere to solve a problem.

MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

  • In Unit 5 Lesson 7 Activity 4, students compare properties of functions represented in different ways. Students are given a verbal description and a table to compare and decide whose family traveled farther over the same time intervals. The purpose of this activity is for students to continue building their skill interpreting and comparing functions.
  • In Unit 7, students reason abstractly and quantitatively to solve problems involving operations with exponents. For example, in the first Activity of Lesson 2, students are given three base ten blocks: a hundred block, a ten block, and a one block. They must answer several questions: “If each small square represents 102, then what does the medium rectangle represent? The large square?” Additional questions change the chosen square and power of 10. The visual element provides both an abstract and quantitative entry point to the problem as students are introduced to the Laws of Exponents.

MP4 Model with mathematics.

  • In Unit 2 Lesson 13, students model a real-world context with similar triangles to find the height of an unknown object. Students examine the length of shadows of different objects to find that a proportional relationship exists between the height of the object and the length of its shadow. Students use their knowledge of similar triangles and the hypothesis that the rays of sunlight making the shadows are parallel to justify the proportional relationship between the object and its shadow. Students then go outside and make their own measurements of different objects and the lengths of their shadows and use this technique to estimate the height of these objects.
  • In Unit 6 Lesson 8 Activity 2, students model and analyze data related to arm span and height measurements that were gathered in a previous lesson. The students create a scatter plot, identify and explain outliers, and explain whether the equation y = x is a good fit for the data. This activity is an opportunity for students to explore data and practice several strategies for comparing bivariate data.

MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically.

  • Throughout Unit 1 lesson plans suggest that each student have access to a geometry toolkit. These contain tracing paper, graph paper, colored pencils, scissors, ruler, protractor, and an index card to use as a straightedge or to mark right angles, giving students opportunities to select appropriate tools and use them strategically to solve problems. Lessons in this unit ensure the full depth of this MP by emphasizing choice. For example, the Lesson 1 Overview states: “To make strategic choices about when to use which tools (MP5), students need to have opportunities to make those choices. Apps and simulations should supplement rather than replace physical tools.” In the Lesson 14 Warm-Up, the narrative includes the following guidance for teachers: “Some students may wish to use protractors, either to double check work or to investigate the different angle measures. This is an appropriate use of technology (MP5), but ask these students what other methods they could use instead.”
  • In Unit 7 Lesson 10, students have opportunities to use digital tools and number lines, using them to think about how to rewrite expressions with exponents. In the second Activity, students are given a table showing how fast light waves or electricity can travel through different materials and a number line applet labeled 0, 1 x 108, 2 x 108, ...9 x 108, 1 x 109 with a magnifier that will expand the space between any two consecutive numbers. The students must convert the given speeds to a usable format and plot them on the given number line(s) as precisely as possible.

MP7 Look for and make use of structure.

  • In Unit 7 Lesson 3, students look for patterns when 10 is raised to a power. The students write powers of 10 in expanded form and simplify expressions. The structure of the activity allows students to develop an understanding of powers raised to powers. In Lesson 6, students analyze the structure of exponents to make sense of expressions with multiple bases.
  • Prior to the Unit 2 Lesson 11 second Activity, students have already generated a rule to determine whether or not a point with coordinates (x,y) lies on a certain line when the line represents a proportional relationship. In this activity, students find a rule to determine if a point (x,y) lies on a line that does not pass through (0,0). Students use the structure of a line and properties of similar triangles to investigate rules relating pairs of coordinates on a line.

MP8 Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

  • In Unit 3 Lesson 8, students write equations of lines using y = mx + b. In this lesson and the ones that lead up to this, students develop their understanding based on repeated reasoning about equations of lines. In a previous lesson, students wrote an equation of a line by making generalizations from repeated calculations using their understanding of similar triangles and slope. Additionally, they have written an equation of a linear relationship by reasoning about initial values and rates of change and have graphed the equation as a line in the plane. In this lesson, they develop the idea that any line in the plane can be considered a vertical translation of a line through the origin.
  • In the Unit 7 Lesson 1 second Activity, students explore the idea that repeated division by two is equivalent to repeated multiplication by ½. This allows students to make sense of negative exponents later in Lesson 3, where students look for patterns when bases of 10 are raised to a power in the given chart. Finally, in Lesson 5, students use repeated reasoning to recognize that negative powers of 10 represent repeated multiplication of 1/10.

Indicator 2g

Emphasis on Mathematical Reasoning: Materials support the Standards' emphasis on mathematical reasoning by:
0/0

Indicator 2g.i

Materials prompt students to construct viable arguments and analyze the arguments of others concerning key grade-level mathematics detailed in the content standards.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the instructional materials prompt students to construct viable arguments and/or analyze the arguments of others concerning key grade-level mathematics.

Student materials consistently prompt students to both construct viable arguments and analyze the arguments of others. Students are consistently asked to explain their reasoning and compare their strategies for solving in small group and whole class settings.

  • In the Unit 2 Lesson 6 Cool-Down, students analyze and correct a series of transformations and a dilation intended to provide a similar figure. In the Unit 2 Lesson 7 first Activity, students analyze two figures that are claimed to be similar. Students justify or deny the claim; they are building reasoning as to what characteristics are found in polygons that are not similar.
  • In the Unit 5 Lesson 4 first Activity, students are asked, “For each function: What is the output when the input is 1? What does this tell you about the situation? Label the corresponding point on the graph. Find two more input-output pairs. What do they tell you about the situation? Label the corresponding points on the graph.” Questions such as these are present throughout the lessons, providing students the opportunity to construct viable arguments in both verbal and written form.

Indicator 2g.ii

Materials assist teachers in engaging students in constructing viable arguments and analyzing the arguments of others concerning key grade-level mathematics detailed in the content standards.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the instructional materials assist teachers in engaging students to construct viable arguments and analyze the arguments of others concerning key grade-level mathematics.

Teacher materials assist teachers in engaging students in both constructing viable arguments and analyzing the arguments of others throughout the program. Many of the activities are designed for students to work with partners or small groups where they collaborate, explaining their reasoning to each other.

  • The Unit 3 Lesson 5 Warm-Up provides guiding questions in the Activity Synthesis to help students practice MP3. This strategy is used repeatedly throughout the teacher materials. “To involve more students in the conversation, consider asking: Who can restate ____’s reasoning in a different way? Did anyone solve the problem the same way but would explain it differently? Did anyone solve the problem in a different way? Does anyone want to add on to _____’s strategy? Do you agree or disagree? Why?”
  • The Unit 6 Lesson 10 second Activity provides guidance to the teacher during the observation of small groups using data displays to find a bivariate association. “As students work, identify groups that use the different segmented bar graphs to explain why there is an association between the color of the eraser and flaws…Select previously identified groups to share their explanation for noticing an association.”
  • In Unit 3 Lesson 11 Activity 2, students explore vertical and horizontal lines in the coordinate plane. Teachers are prompted to: “...pause their work after question 2 and discuss which equation makes sense and why.”
  • In the Unit 1 Lesson 11 Overview of the first Activity, teachers are supported to facilitate a discussion to promote student debate so teachers can identify reasons and construct arguments as well as how they critique/analyze responses from others. The teacher guidance also provides ways to help students analyze/critique other’s arguments if it does not occur naturally by providing the teacher examples of what to say/suggest to promote more discourse: “For each pair of shapes, poll the class. Count how many students decided each pair was the same or not the same. Then for each pair of shapes, select at least one student to defend their reasoning.” Sample responses are provided for the teacher.

Indicator 2g.iii

Materials explicitly attend to the specialized language of mathematics.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations that the materials attend to the specialized language of mathematics.

The materials provide explicit instruction in how to communicate mathematical thinking using words, diagrams, and symbols. The materials use precise and accurate terminology and definitions when describing mathematics and support students in using them.

  • In the teacher materials, the Grade 8 Glossary is located in the Course Guide. Lesson-specific vocabulary is listed, defined, and linked to the Glossary in the About This Lesson tab.
  • Both the unit and the lesson narratives contain specific guidance for the teacher as to best methods to support students to communicate mathematically. Within the lesson narratives, new terms are in bold print and explained as related to the context of the material.
  • Unit 1 develops the concept of Rigid Transformations. In the initial lessons, students use their own words to describe moving one figure to another. As the unit progresses, the students build their understanding of transformations and start naming these movements with the proper terminology (translations, reflections, rotations).
  • Unit 6 Lessons 1 through 6 develop the concept of scatter plots and the related language. In Lessons 1 through 3, students are introduced to the definition of scatter plot, and then explore data represented by a scatter plot and the meaning of a specific point on a graph. In Lesson 4, the terms outlier and line of best fit are introduced, and in Lesson 5, students learn to explain trends in scatter plots followed by the slope of the line of best fit in Lesson 6. Each lesson builds on the initial definition of scatter plot until students work with all aspects of them, understand the concept, and use the related language effectively.

No examples of incorrect use of vocabulary, symbols, or numbers were found within the materials.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

Criterion 3a - 3e

Use and design facilitate student learning: Materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
8/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for being well-designed and taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The instructional materials distinguish between problems and exercises, have exercises that are given in intentional sequences, have a variety in what students are asked to produce, and include manipulatives that are faithful representations of the mathematical objects they represent.

Indicator 3a

The underlying design of the materials distinguishes between problems and exercises. In essence, the difference is that in solving problems, students learn new mathematics, whereas in working exercises, students apply what they have already learned to build mastery. Each problem or exercise has a purpose.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation that the underlying design of the materials distinguishes between lesson problems and student exercises for each lesson. It is clear when the students are solving problems to learn and when they are applying their skills to build mastery.

Lessons include Warm-Up, Activities, and an Activity Synthesis. Practice Problems are in a separate section of the instructional materials, distinguishing between problems students complete and exercises in the lessons. Warm-Ups serve either to connect prior learning or prime students for learning new material in the lesson. Students learn and practice new mathematics in lesson Activities. In the Activity Synthesis, students have opportunities to build on their understanding of the new concept. Each Activity lesson ends with a Cool-Down in which students have opportunities to apply what they have learned from the activities in the lesson and either provide preliminary practice or an introduction to skills they may need in the next lesson.

Practice problems are found consistently in the Practice Problem sets that accompany each lesson. These sets of problems include problems that support students in developing mastery of the current lesson and unit concepts, in addition to review of material from previous units. When the practice problems contain content from previous lessons, students apply their skills and understandings in different ways that deepen understanding or application (e.g., increased expectations for fluency, more abstract application, or a non-routine problem).

Indicator 3b

Design of assignments is not haphazard: exercises are given in intentional sequences.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for not being haphazard; exercises are given in intentional sequences.

Overall, clusters of lessons within units and activities within lessons are intentionally sequenced so students develop understanding leading to content mastery. The structure of a lesson provides students with the opportunity to activate prior learning, build procedural skill and fluency, and engage with multiple activities that are sequenced from concrete to abstract or increase in complexity. Lessons close with a Cool-Down which is typically 1-2 activities aligned to the daily lesson objective. Unit sequences consistently follow the progressions outlined in the CCSSM Standards to support students' conceptual and skill development.

Indicator 3c

There is variety in what students are asked to produce. For example, students are asked to produce answers and solutions, but also, in a grade-appropriate way, arguments and explanations, diagrams, mathematical models, etc.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for having variety in what students are asked to produce.

The instructional materials prompt students to produce products in a plethora of ways. Students not only produce answers and solutions within Activities and Practice Problems, but also in class, group and partner discussions. Students have opportunities to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of their peers in the instructional materials. Students use a digital platform and paper-pencil to conduct and present their work. Materials consistently call for student solutions that represent the language and intent of the standards. Students use representations such as tables, number lines, double number lines, tape diagrams, and graphs (MP4), as well as strategically choose tools to complete their work (MP5). Lesson activities and tasks are varied within and across lessons.

Indicator 3d

Manipulatives are faithful representations of the mathematical objects they represent and when appropriate are connected to written methods.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for having manipulatives that are faithful representations of the mathematical objects they represent and, when appropriate, are connected to written methods.

The series includes a variety of virtual manipulatives and integrates hands-on activities that allow the use of physical manipulatives. For example:

  • Manipulatives and other mathematical representations are consistently aligned to the expectations and concepts in the standards. The majority of manipulatives used are commonly accessible measurement and geometry tools.
  • The curriculum also provides digital applets for manipulating geometric shapes, such as GeoGebra applets, tailored to the lesson content and tasks. When physical, pictorial, or virtual manipulatives are used, they are aligned to the mathematical concepts they represent.
    • In Unit 4 Lesson 2, hanger diagrams are used to represent and support the conceptual development of balance as it relates to equality in the virtual applet practice.
  • Examples of manipulatives for Grade 8 include:
    • Tangram kits (or digital Tangram applets)
    • Geometry toolkits containing tracing paper, graph paper, colored pencils, scissors, and an index card to use as a straightedge or to mark right angles.
    • GeoGebra applets are used for both investigating the characteristics of shapes and area/perimeter as well as exploring coordinate and isometric grids.

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or online) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The visual design in LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 is not distracting or chaotic and supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

  • The digital lesson materials for teachers follow a consistent format for each lesson. Teaching notes including supports for English Language Learners and Supports for Students with Disabilities, are placed within the activity they support and are specific to that activity. Unit overviews follow a consistent format. The format of course overviews, units, and individual lessons are also consistent across the Grade 8 materials.
  • Student-facing printable materials also follow a consistent format. Tasks within a lesson are numbered to match the teacher-facing guidance. The print and visuals on the materials are clear without any distracting visuals or overabundance of text features. Lesson materials for students have additional features like the “Are you ready for more?” sections and Lesson Summary sections. Teachers can assign lessons and activities to students through the platform, enabling students to access digital manipulatives, practice problems, unit assessments, and lesson visuals.
  • Student practice problem pages frequently include enough space for students to write their answers and demonstrate their thinking. However, there are times when tasks do not fit completely on one page. This does not cut off any visuals in the problem sets, but often the beginning of a question or set of questions starts at the bottom of one page and continues to the next, which might be distracting for some students.

Criterion 3f - 3l

Teacher Planning and Learning for Success with CCSS: Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
8/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for supporting teacher learning and understanding of the Standards. The instructional materials: support planning and providing learning experiences with quality questions; contain ample and useful notations and suggestions on how to present the content; contain full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced mathematics concepts; and contain explanations of the grade-level mathematics in the context of the overall mathematics curriculum.

Indicator 3f

Materials support teachers in planning and providing effective learning experiences by providing quality questions to help guide students' mathematical development.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for supporting teachers in planning and providing effective learning experiences by providing quality questions to help guide students’ mathematical development.

Each section of each lesson contains an opening and closing narrative for the teacher. Included in these narratives are the objectives of the lesson, as well as suggested questions for discussion and guiding questions designed to increase classroom discourse and ensure understanding of the concepts. For example, in Unit 1 Lesson 5, the following question is included, “What are some advantages to knowing the coordinates of points when you are doing transformations?” The narratives, as well as the questions for discussion, support the teachers in planning and implementing lessons effectively.

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for providing teacher supports with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Also, where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

  • Each lesson includes the Learning Goals written in both teacher and student language, learning targets written in student language, a list of Print-Formatted Word/PDF documents that can be downloaded, CCSSM Standards that are either being “built upon” or “addressed” in the lesson, and any instructional routines to be implemented. Within the technology, there are expandable links to standards and instructional routines.
  • Lessons include detailed guidance for teachers for the Warm-Up, Activities, and the Lesson Synthesis.
  • Each lesson activity contains an overview and Launch narrative, guidance for teachers and student- facing materials, anticipated misconceptions, “Are you Ready for More?” and an activity synthesis. Included within these narratives are guiding questions and additional supports for students.
  • The teacher materials that correspond to the student lessons provide annotations and suggestions on how to present the content. A “Launch” section follows which explains how to set up the activity and what to tell students. After the activity is complete there is often an “Anticipated Misconceptions” in the teaching notes, which describes how students may incorrectly interpret or misunderstand concepts and includes suggestions for addressing those misunderstandings.
  • The materials are available in both print and digital forms. The digital format has an embed GeoGebra applet. Guidance is provided to both the teacher and the student on how to use the Geometry Toolkit and applet. For example, in Unit 1 Lesson 3, teachers and students are provided with these directions on how to perform a translation: “Translate triangle ABC so that A goes to A′. a.) Select the Vector tool. b.) Click on the original point A and then the new point A′. You should see a vector. c.) Select the Translate by Vector tool. d.) Click on the figure to translate, and then click on the vector.

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition (in print or clearly distinguished/accessible as a teacher's edition in digital materials) that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced mathematics concepts in the lessons so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for the LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations for the teacher edition containing full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced mathematics concepts in the lessons so that teachers can improve their own knowledge.

The narratives provided for each unit include information about the mathematical connections of concepts being taught. Previous and future grade levels are also referenced to show the progression of the mathematics over time. Important vocabulary is included when it relates to the “big picture” of the unit.

Lesson narratives provide specific information about the mathematical content within the lesson and are presented in adult language. These narratives contextualize the mathematics of the lesson to build teacher understanding, and give guidance on what to expect from students and important vocabulary.

The Course Information and Scope and Sequence, Unit 3: Linear Relationships states, “A proportional relationship between two quantities represented by a and b is associated with two constants of proportionality: a/b and b/a. Throughout the unit, the convention is if a and b are represented by columns in a table and the column for a is to the left of the column for b, then b/a is the constant of proportionality for the relationship represented by the table.”

Indicator 3i

Materials contain a teacher's edition (in print or clearly distinguished/accessible as a teacher's edition in digital materials) that explains the role of the specific grade-level mathematics in the context of the overall mathematics curriculum for kindergarten through grade twelve.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet expectations for explaining the role of the specific grade-level mathematics in the context of the overall mathematics curriculum.

The Course Guide fully explains how mathematical concepts are built from previous grade-level and lesson material. For example, the Unit 4 Overview states the following regarding linear equations and linear systems: “In this unit, students build on their Grades 6 and 7 work with equivalent expressions and equations with one occurrence of one variable, learning algebraic methods to solve linear equations with multiple occurrences of one variable.”

There are limited explanations given for how the grade-level concepts fit into future grade-level work. For example, the Unit 3 narrative for linear relationships states: “A proportional relationship is a collection of equivalent ratios. In high school—after their study of ratios, rates, and proportional relationships—students discard the term ‘unit rate’, referring to a to b, a:b, and a/b as ‘ratios’.”

Indicator 3j

Materials provide a list of lessons in the teacher's edition (in print or clearly distinguished/accessible as a teacher's edition in digital materials), cross-referencing the standards covered and providing an estimated instructional time for each lesson, chapter and unit (i.e., pacing guide).
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 provide a list of concepts that cross-references the standards addressed and provides an estimated instructional time for each unit and lesson.

  • The Course Guide provides pacing information. A table covering the 36 weeks of instruction shows the unit that is taught each week, as well as the total number of days the unit should take to complete. In each lesson, the time an activity will take is included in the lesson's narrative. The Course Guide states, “Each lesson plan is designed to fit within a 45–50 minute period.”
  • The Course Guide includes a table that shows which standard each lesson covers and another table to show where a standard is found in the materials.

Indicator 3k

Materials contain strategies for informing parents or caregivers about the mathematics program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for the LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 contain strategies for informing parents or caregivers about the mathematics program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Family Materials for each Unit include an explanation to family and caregivers on what their student will be learning over the course of the week. The Family Materials provide an overview of what the student will be learning in accessible language. For example, in Unit 8, the second week begins with: “This week your student will work with the Pythagorean Theorem, which describes the relationship between the sides of any right triangle. A right triangle is any triangle with a right angle.” In addition to the explanation of the current concepts and big ideas from the unit, there are diagrams and problems/tasks for families to discuss and solve.

Indicator 3l

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for the LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 contain explanations of the program's instructional approaches and identification of the research-based strategies.

The materials draw on research to explain and contextualize instructional routines and lesson activities. The Course Guide includes specific links to research, for example:

  • “Selected activities are structured using Five Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions (Smith & Stein, 2011), also described in Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM, 2014), and Intentional Talk: How to Structure and Lead Productive Mathematical Discussions (Kazemi & Hintz, 2014).”
  • The Design Principles: “Some of the instructional routines, known as Mathematical Language Routines (MLR), were developed by the Stanford University UL/SCALE team.”

In the Course Guide, all of the “Instructional Routines” are fully explained.

  • Algebra Talks found in the Warm-Ups set a routine for collecting different strategies. “Algebra Talks build algebraic thinking by encouraging students to think about the numbers and variables in an expression and rely on what they know about structure, patterns, and properties of operations to mentally solve a problem. Algebra Talks promote seeing structure in expressions and thinking about how changing one number affects others in an equation. While participating in these activities, students need to be precise in their word choice and use of language (MP6).”
  • Think-Pair-Share routines found in the Lesson Activities provide structure for engaging students in collaboration. “This is a teaching routine useful in many contexts whose purpose is to give all students enough time to think about a prompt and form a response before they are expected to try to verbalize their thinking. First they have an opportunity to share their thinking in a low-stakes way with one partner, so that when they share with the class they can feel calm and confident, as well as say something meaningful that might advance everyone’s understanding. Additionally, the teacher has an opportunity to eavesdrop on the partner conversations so that she can purposefully select students to share with the class.”

Criterion 3m - 3q

Assessment: Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
9/10
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for offering teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the standards. The instructional materials provide strategies for gathering information about students' prior knowledge, opportunities for identifying and addressing common student errors and misconceptions, ongoing review and practice with feedback, and assessments with standards clearly denoted.

Indicator 3m

Materials provide strategies for gathering information about students' prior knowledge within and across grade levels.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for providing strategies for gathering information about students' prior knowledge within and across grade levels.

  • Prior grade-level standards are indicated in the instructional materials. The lesson Warm-Up is designed to engage students' thinking about the upcoming lesson and/or to revisit previous grades' concepts or skills.
  • Prior knowledge is gathered about students through the pre-unit assessments. In these assessments, prerequisite skills necessary for understanding the topics in the unit are assessed. Commentary for each question as to why the question is relevant to the topics in the unit and exactly which standards are assessed is provided for the teacher. For example, the Unit 4 Pre-Unit Assessment Problem 1 states: “The distributive property will prove to be an important tool in solving linear equations. 6.EE.A.3”

Indicator 3n

Materials provide strategies for teachers to identify and address common student errors and misconceptions.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for providing strategies for teachers to identify and address common student errors and misconceptions.

  • Lesson Activities include teaching notes that identify where students may make a mistake or struggle. There is a rationale that explains why the mistake could have been made, suggestions for teachers to make instructional adjustments for students, as well as steps teachers can take to help clear up the misconceptions. For example, in Unit 1 Lesson 10, the teaching notes give the following guidance: “Students may struggle to see the 180∘ rotation using center M. This may be because they do not understand that M is the center of rotation or because they struggle with visualizing a 180∘ rotation.”

Indicator 3o

Materials provide opportunities for ongoing review and practice, with feedback, for students in learning both concepts and skills.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for providing opportunities for ongoing review and practice, with feedback, for students in learning both concepts and skills.

The lesson structure consisting of a Warm-Up, Activities, Lesson Synthesis, and Cool-Down provide students with opportunities to connect prior knowledge to new learning, engage with content, and synthesize their learning. Throughout the lesson, students have opportunities to work independently with partners and in groups where review, practice, and feedback are embedded into the instructional routine. In addition, Practice Problems for each lesson activity reinforce learning concepts and skills and enable them to engage with the content and receive timely feedback. In addition, discussion prompts provide opportunities for students to engage in timely discussion on the mathematics of the lesson.

Indicator 3p

Materials offer ongoing formative and summative assessments:
0/0

Indicator 3p.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized.

Assessments are located on each unit page and can be accessed at any time. For each unit there is a Pre-Unit Assessment and an End-Unit Assessment. Assessments begin with guidance for teachers on each problem followed by the student-facing problem, solution(s), and the standard targeted. Units 1, 3, and 5 also include a Mid-Unit Assessment.

Indicator 3p.ii

Assessments include aligned rubrics and scoring guidelines that provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 partially meet the expectation for assessments including aligned rubrics and scoring guidelines that provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

Assessments include an answer key, and when applicable, a rubric consisting of three to four tiers, ranging from Tier 1 (work is complete, acceptable errors) to Tiers 3 and 4 (significant errors, conceptual mistakes).

Assessments include multiple choice, multiple response, short answer, restricted constructed response and extended response. Restricted constructed response and extended response items have rubrics that can be used to evaluate the level of student responses. The restricted constructed response includes a 3-tier rubric, and the extended constructed response includes a 4-tier rubric. For these types of questions the teacher materials provide guidance as to what is needed for each tier as well as some example responses.

Although detailed rubrics are present on the answer key of the assessments, there are no specific suggestions for follow-up, if needed, on assessments.

Indicator 3q

Materials encourage students to monitor their own progress.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 include opportunities for students to monitor their own progress.

For every unit, there is a My Reflections section in the unit downloads for students to complete, lesson by lesson. My Reflections provide students an opportunity to express their own thinking and understanding on the lesson content and include ample space for students to record their thinking. For example: The Unit 8 Lesson 7 Reflection prompt says: "I can explain why the Pythagorean Theorem is true."

Criterion 3r - 3y

Differentiated instruction: Materials support teachers in differentiating instruction for diverse learners within and across grades.
12/12
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectations for supporting teachers in differentiating instruction for diverse learners within and across grades. The instructional materials provide a balanced portrayal of various demographic and personal characteristics. The instructional materials also consistently provide: strategies to help teachers sequence or scaffold lessons; strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners; tasks with multiple entry-points; support, accommodations, and modifications for English Language Learners and other special populations; and opportunities for advanced students to investigate mathematics content at greater depth.

Indicator 3r

Materials provide strategies to help teachers sequence or scaffold lessons so that the content is accessible to all learners.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for providing strategies to help teachers sequence or scaffold lessons so that the content is accessible to all learners.

  • Each lesson is designed with a Warm-Up that reviews prior knowledge and/or prepares all students for the activities that follow. The Cool-Down following lesson activities solidifies the concepts of the lesson.
  • Within a lesson, narratives provide explicit instructional supports for the teacher, including the Activity Launch, Anticipated Misconceptions, and Lesson Synthesis sections. This information assists teachers in making the content accessible to all learners.
  • Lesson narratives often include guidance on where to focus questions in Activities or in the Lesson Synthesis portions.
  • Optional activities are often included that can be used for additional practice or support before moving on to the next activity or lesson.

Indicator 3s

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners.

Lessons are designed to introduce concepts from concrete to abstract, thus building understanding for all students. Progression of the lessons also builds off existing knowledge, making the transition to new material more effective. Time is also provided for students to think through problems and situations independently before engaging in conversation with a partner or small group.

  • Mathematical Language Routines to support a range of learners to be successful are provided for the teacher throughout lessons to maximize output and cultivate conversation. For example:
    • MLR1: Stronger and Clearer Each Time, in which “students think or write individually about a response, use a structured pairing strategy to have multiple opportunities to refine and clarify the response through conversation, and then finally revise their original written response.”
    • MLR4: Information Gap, which “allows teachers to facilitate meaningful interactions by giving partners or team members different pieces of necessary information that must be used together to solve a problem or play a game...[S]tudents need to orally (and/or visually) share their ideas and information in order to bridge the gap.”
    • MLR6: Three Reads, in order to "ensure that students know what they are being asked to do, and to create an opportunity for students to reflect on the ways mathematical questions are presented,… [moreover, support] negotiating information in a text with a partner in mathematical conversation.”
  • Teaching notes appear frequently in lessons to provide additional guidance for teachers on how to adapt lessons for all learners. These teaching notes call out specific needs addressed in a recommended strategy that are relevant to the given task and include supports for Conceptual Processing, Expressive & Receptive Language, Visual-Spatial Processing, Executive Functioning, Memory, Social-Emotional Functioning, and Fine-motor Skills. For each support there are multiple strategies teachers can employ; for example, Conceptual Processing includes strategies to Eliminate Barriers, Processing Time, Peer Tutors, Assistive Technology, Visual Aids, Graphic Organizers, and Brain Breaks.

Indicator 3t

Materials embed tasks with multiple entry-points that can be solved using a variety of solution strategies or representations.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation that materials embed tasks with multiple entry­ points that can be solved using a variety of solution strategies or representations.

The problem-based curriculum design engages students with rigorous tasks multiple times each lesson. The Warm-Up, Activities, and Cool-Down all provide opportunity for students to apply mathematics from multiple entry points.

Specific examples of strategies found in the materials include “Notice and Wonder” sections as well as “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” The lesson and task narratives provided for teachers offer possible solution paths and presentation strategies from various levels. For example:

  • In Unit 3 Lesson 1 Activity 2, students are asked to write equations representing the speed of various insects on a number line. Teachers are encouraged to monitor for students using various strategies to write the equations, i.e., using unit rates or proportions, and choose some of these students to share during discussion.
  • In Unit 3 Lesson 3 Activity 1 students have the task of creating data tables and graphs for various situations. Teachers are given sample responses, as well as guidance in helping students scale the axes on the graphs. Teachers are also encouraged to “identify students using different scales for their graphs that show clearly the requested information to share during the discussion.”

Indicator 3u

Materials suggest support, accommodations, and modifications for English Language Learners and other special populations that will support their regular and active participation in learning mathematics (e.g., modifying vocabulary words within word problems).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation that the materials include support, accommodations, and modifications for English Language Learners and other special populations that will support their regular and active participation in learning mathematics.

The ELL Design is highlighted in the Course Guide and embodies the Understanding Language/SCALE Framework from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and consists of four principles: Support Sense-Making, Optimize Outputs, Cultivate Conversation, and Maximize Meta-Awareness. In addition, there are eight Mathematical Language Routines (MLR) that were included “because they are the most effective and practical for simultaneously learning mathematical practices, content, and language.” "A Mathematical Language Routine refers to a structured but adaptable format for amplifying, accessing, and developing students’ language.”

In addition, “ELL Enhanced Lessons” are identified in the Unit Overview. These lessons highlight specific strategies for students who have a language barrier which affects their ability to participate in a given task. Throughout lessons, the use of one of a variety of instructional routines designed to assist students in developing full understanding of math concepts and terminology. These Mathematical Language Routines include:

  • MLR2, Collect and Display, in which “the teacher listens for, and scribes, the student output using written words, diagrams and pictures; this collected output can be organized, revoiced, or explicitly connected to other language in a display for all students to use.”
  • MLR5, Co-Craft Questions and Problems, which “[allows] students to get inside of a context before feeling pressure to produce answers, and to create space for students to produce the language of mathematical questions themselves.”
  • MLR7, Compare and Connect, which “[fosters] students’ meta-awareness as they identify, compare, and contrast different mathematical approaches, representations, and language.”

In addition, lesson narratives include strategies designed to assist other special populations of students in completing specific tasks. Examples of these supports for students with disabilities include:

  • Social-Emotional Functioning: Peer Tutors. Pair students with their previously identified peer tutors.
  • Conceptual Processing: Eliminate Barriers. Assist students in seeing the connections between new problems and prior work. Students may benefit from a review of different representations to activate prior knowledge.
  • Conceptual Processing: Processing Time. Check in with individual students as needed to assess for comprehension during each step of the activity.
  • Executive Functioning: Graphic Organizers. Provide a t-chart for students to record what they notice and wonder prior to being expected to share these ideas with others.
  • Memory: Processing Time. Provide students with a number line that includes rational numbers.
  • Visual-Spatial Processing: Visual Aids. Provide handouts of the representations for students to draw on or highlight.

Indicator 3v

Materials provide opportunities for advanced students to investigate mathematics content at greater depth.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation that the materials provide opportunities for advanced students to investigate mathematics content at greater depth.

All students complete the same lessons and activities; however, there are some optional lessons and activities that a teacher may choose to implement with students. In addition, Unit 9 Putting It All Together is an optional unit. Lessons in this unit tend to be multi-day, complex applications of the mathematics covered over the year.

“Are you ready for more?” is included in some lessons to provide students additional interactions with the key concepts of the lesson. Some of these tasks would be considered investigations at greater depth, while others are additional practice.

It should be noted that there is no clear guidance for the teacher on how to specifically engage advanced students in going deeper.

Indicator 3w

Materials provide a balanced portrayal of various demographic and personal characteristics.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 meet the expectation for providing a balanced portrayal of various demographic and personal characteristics.

  • The lessons contain a variety of tasks that interest students of various demographic and personal characteristics. All names and wording are chosen with diversity in mind, and the materials do not contain gender biases.
  • The Grade 8 materials include a set number of names used throughout the problems and samples (e.g., Elena, Tyler, Lin, Noah, Diego, Kiran, Mia, Priya, Han, Jada, Andre, Clare). These names are presented repeatedly and in a way that does not appear to stereotype characters by gender, race, or ethnicity.
  • Characters are often presented in pairs with different solution strategies. There does not appear to be a pattern in one character using more/less sophisticated strategies.
  • When multiple characters are involved in a scenario they are often doing similar tasks or jobs in ways that do not express gender, race, or ethnic bias. For example, in Unit 3 Lesson 4 Activity 1, students analyze a variety of situations in which Elena babysits, Clare and Han have summer jobs, and Tyler starts a lemonade stand. The students’ tasks are not gendered stereotypes.

Indicator 3x

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The materials offer multiple opportunities to implement grouping strategies to complete the tasks of a daily lesson. Explicit instructions are found in the activity narratives. Grouping strategies range from partner to small group. For example, the narrative in Unit 8 Lesson 4 states, “Arrange students in groups of two. Display the graph for all to see. Ask students to consider what the graph might represent.”

In addition, the Instructional Routines implemented in many lessons offer opportunities for students to interact with the mathematics with a partner or in a small group. These routines include: Take Turns Matching or Sorting, in which students engage in sorting and categories given sets of cards; Think-Pair-Share, where students think about and test ideas as well as exchange feedback before sharing their ideas with the class; and Gallery Walk and Group Presentations, in which students generate visual displays of a mathematical problem, and students from different groups interpret the work and find connections to their own work.

Indicator 3y

Materials encourage teachers to draw upon home language and culture to facilitate learning.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 encourage teachers to draw upon home language and culture to facilitate learning.

The Course Guide includes a section on Supporting English Language Learners from the Understanding Language/SCALE (UL/SCALE) at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. The first section, Promoting Language and Content Development, explains the purpose of the document, the goal, and introduces the framework. The Course Guide states: “The goal is to provide guidance to mathematics teachers for recognizing and supporting students’ language development processes in the context of mathematical sense making. UL/SCALE provides a framework for organizing strategies and special considerations to support students in learning mathematics practice, content, and language.” The section concludes acknowledging the importance of the framework: “Therefore, while the framework can and should be used to support all students learning mathematics, it is particularly well-suited to meet the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students who are simultaneously learning mathematics while acquiring English.”

Criterion 3aa - 3z

Effective technology use: Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.
0/0
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 integrate technology in ways that engage students in the Mathematical Practices. The digital materials are web-based and compatible with multiple internet browsers, and they include opportunities to assess students' mathematical understandings and knowledge of procedural skills. The instructional materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, and the materials offer opportunities for customized, local use. The instructional materials also include opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate.

Indicator 3aa

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based and compatible with multiple internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.). In addition, materials are "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform) and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 are web-based and compatible with multiple internet browsers.

  • The materials are platform-neutral and compatible with Chrome, ChromeOS, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.
  • Materials are compatible with various devices including iPads, laptops, Chromebooks, and other devices that connect to the internet with an applicable browser.
  • Common Cartridge and LTI integration allows for materials to be integrated into all major Learning Management Systems.

Indicator 3ab

Materials include opportunities to assess student mathematical understandings and knowledge of procedural skills using technology.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 include opportunities to assess student mathematical understandings and knowledge of procedural skills using technology.

Digital assessments and practice items can be assigned and scored. Teachers can view assessment data through reports. Materials can be assigned to small groups or individuals.

Indicator 3ac

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners. i. Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. ii. Materials can be easily customized for local use. For example, materials may provide a range of lessons to draw from on a topic.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students.

  • LearnZillion’s platform supports professional learning communities by being collaborative and allowing districts to customize the material.
  • Lessons have been broken into components; warm-ups, activities, cool-downs, and practice problems can all be assigned to small groups and individual students, depending on the needs of a particular teacher.
  • Common Cartridge and LTI integration allows for materials to be integrated into all major Learning Management Systems.

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 can be adapted for local use.

Assessments can be completed online. They are also available in PDF and editable Word documents.

Indicator 3ad

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 incorporate technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other.

  • Students and teachers have the opportunity to collaborate using the applets that are integrated into the lessons during activities.
  • The warm-ups, activities, cool-downs, and practice problems can be assigned to small groups to support student collaboration.

Indicator 3z

Materials integrate technology such as interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and/or dynamic mathematics software in ways that engage students in the Mathematical Practices.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math, Grade 8 integrate technology including interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and dynamic mathematics software in ways that engage students in the MPs.

Warm-ups, activities, cool-downs, and practice problems can be assigned to small groups or individuals. These sections consistently combine MPs and content.

Teachers and students have access to math tools and virtual manipulatives within a given activity or task, when appropriate. These applets are designed using GeoGebra, Desmos, and other independent designs. For example:

  • In Unit 6 Lesson 4, students use a Desmos applet to investigate lines of best fit within a scatterplot. (MP1)
  • In Unit 3 Lesson 7, students have opportunities to use the GeoGebra applet (in the event they are unable to conduct the experiment) to model and graph the results of water displacement to calculate volume. (MP4)

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Mon Aug 27 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2018

About Publishers Responses

All publishers are invited to provide an orientation to the educator-led team that will be reviewing their materials. The review teams also can ask publishers clarifying questions about their programs throughout the review process.

Once a review is complete, publishers have the opportunity to post a 1,500-word response to the educator report and a 1,500-word document that includes any background information or research on the instructional materials.

Educator-Led Review Teams

Each report found on EdReports.org represents hundreds of hours of work by educator reviewers. Working in teams of 4-5, reviewers use educator-developed review tools, evidence guides, and key documents to thoroughly examine their sets of materials.

After receiving over 25 hours of training on the EdReports.org review tool and process, teams meet weekly over the course of several months to share evidence, come to consensus on scoring, and write the evidence that ultimately is shared on the website.

All team members look at every grade and indicator, ensuring that the entire team considers the program in full. The team lead and calibrator also meet in cross-team PLCs to ensure that the tool is being applied consistently among review teams. Final reports are the result of multiple educators analyzing every page, calibrating all findings, and reaching a unified conclusion.

Math K-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

The K-8 review rubric identifies the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubric supports a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For math, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Focus and Coherence

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The K-8 Evidence Guides complement the rubric by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

X