IM Welcomes You Back to School

The Illustrative Mathematics team welcomes you back to school for the 2021–22 school year! Whether you’re going back to school in person, distance learning, or a combination of both, we’ve got you covered with practical tools and expert advice to help you make the best of going back to school. We will incorporate flexibility into our supports wherever possible to meet the varying needs of our IM community.

To help you transition into this school year, we’ve included useful information to help make the new year a success:

Getting Ready for 2021–2022: Back to School Blog Posts

This curated collection of back-to-school blog posts is organized around 5 thematic topics: building classroom community, problem-based learning, lesson planning, instructional routines, and access for all.


Updates to Curriculum Adaptation Packs and Section Planning Guides

We have updated the Curriculum Adaptation Packs and Section Planning Guides for IM K–5 Math v.I. Both are available in the IM Community Hub IM K–5 Math v.I Resource Library. At the onset of the pandemic, IM created and designed Curriculum Adaptation Packs (CAPs) to be useful beyond the scope of the pandemic. In essence, we had been wanting to make more specific recommendations about maintaining access to grade-level content for students with a wide variety of entry points into the grade.

Therefore, we designed the Adaptation Packs to carefully insert the most necessary work from prior grades, precisely when it is needed, and make recommendations about the best choices for making time to accommodate those additional lessons. This is why the Adaptation Packs maintain approximately the same number of lessons, and make more explicit the role of optional lessons, and recommend very few changes to the required lessons.

Our goal was to empower teachers to implement the curriculum with maximal integrity by making the coherence and prioritization of major work more visible. We will continue to offer the Adaptation Packs as a resource, and work with our partners to incorporate their guidance into the materials where possible.

A few pointers:

  1. The updates we’re making to the Curriculum Adaptation Packs and Section Planning Guides are only for IM K–5 Math v1 (not to be confused with the packs and guides for IM K–5 Beta).
  2. We have no plans to update Section Planning Guides and Curriculum Adaptation Packs released in fall of 2020 for IM 6–8 Math and IM 9–12 Math, with the exception of updating the grade 6 adaptation packs to align with the changes made when grade 5 was updated from Beta to v.I.
  3. The Section Planning Guides are designed for use in extraordinary circumstances and the curriculum simply cannot be taught as intended, and prioritization must be more drastic. We hope they are not needed in 2021–22.


Now Available: IM K–5 Math™ Spanish Translated Materials

IM is committed to supporting the needs of all learners, and to this end we are creating Spanish translations of IM K–5 Math. This includes Spanish versions of the student workbooks, a special version of the Teacher Guides with prompts to students translated into Spanish, and a Spanish version of the materials for families. Units 1 and 2 are available now through our partners Kendall Hunt and LearnZillion, and the remaining units will be released throughout the year as they are completed. To view Spanish translated units, click here

Rock the Block with Block Schedule Guidance

Block Schedule Guidance for IM 6–8 Math and IM 9–12 Math, which provides tips on how to customize the IM curriculum to fit your block schedule, is now available in the IM Community Hub. To access the block schedule guidance, visit the resource library for IM 6–8 Math and IM 9–12 Math.

IM’s 10th Anniversary 

2021 marks 10 years that Illustrative Mathematics was founded on the campus of The University of Arizona, and our organization has grown tremendously over the past decade. IM reached an impressive milestone of being in 1,100 school districts, reaching 1 million students and 16,000 teachers, in the name of creating a world where all learners know, use, and enjoy mathematics. We’ve developed and nurtured our partnership model which has led to continuous growth, and internally we’ve grown as an organization by adding experts and staff members to our team. In reflecting back on our curriculum journey, we began with our IM 6–8 Math curriculum in 2017, and in our 10th year, we now have a complete, coherent, standards-aligned K–12 curriculum.

Although we have not been able to convene in person as much as we’d like to since the onset of the pandemic, we are a strong community—perhaps never more so than during these challenging times. Over the past year, we saw the very best of the IM community as we remained united in the face of once-in-a-century challenges in our lives and in classrooms. While much has changed over these last ten years, what endures is our never-ending commitment to improving mathematics education. Together, we will recognize our years of progress and how our team has helped create a top comprehensive, curriculum. Raise high!

IM K–5 Launch: Click to Watch OnDemand

IM K–5 Math™ is officially launched and available for the 2021–22 school year with a social media campaign and a virtual launch celebration, Experience IM K–5 Math: A Roundtable Discussion with the Authors. IM CEO and Founder, Bill McCallum, commemorated this special moment in an IM featured blog post, IM K–5 Math™: An End and a Beginning, where he traced monumental moments, starting in 2015 with the piloting of 6–8 math, and brought us to present day with the launch of IM K–5 Math. Click here to watch the on-demand virtual launch celebration.


Partner Happenings

The Kendall Hunt instance of IM K–5 Math now features a presentation slide deck for each lesson, in both Google Slides and Powerpoint formats. Check out the bottom of any lesson’s Preparation tab (example) or the Powerpoint zip files available in the Resources tab at the course or unit level. 

LearnZillion has designed this new webpage which showcases all the highly-anticipated IM K–5 changes coming to their platform for back-to-school 2021. Previously, access to this information required a login, but now this page is accessible to anyone. Click here to view LearnZillion’s summary of changes.

Check out this recent articleMathematical Discourse Promotes Educational Equity, which gives McGraw Hill’s take on why metacognition is a critical skill in K-5 math education. The article also outlines strategies on how to implement mathematical discourse into classrooms.

Featured Back to school blog posts

Getting Ready for 2021–22: Back to School Blog Posts
By the IM Team

Helping Elementary Students Cultivate a Strong Math Community
By Latoya Byrd and Jenna Laib

Planning Lessons for a Block Schedule
By Jennifer Wilson and Vanessa Cerrahoglu

The Power of Noticing and Wondering
By Greta Anderson

Using Instructional Routines to Inspire Deep Thinking
By Jenna Laib

Featured Tasks

IM 6–12 Math Featured Task Drink Mix on a Double Number Line 

IM K–5 Math Featured Task

Check out this month’s featured IM K–5 Math task here:
K.5.7.1 Fruit for Paletas

For additional tasks preview the entire IM K–12 Math curriculum here.