Dear Parents and/or Guardians,
We would like to update you on the progress of the Junior High Math Program for the 2014-2015 school year.
First of all, we welcomed Mrs. Sarah Cacciatore as our new Curriculum Director the first week in July. Since that time the administrative team and Junior High math teachers have been very busy. If you were present at the July Board of Education meeting, you were able to hear first hand of the adjustments that will be made to the math curriculum for the upcoming school year. Those documents are available for viewing by visiting the BoardBook link on the school website.
As with any curriculum change, modifications and adjustments are made to improve student learning as implementation evolves. This year is no exception. The math department constantly seeks to improve their instructional practices to increase student learning.
After completing a full year of sole CPM implementation, we intended to determine areas to focus additional instructional minutes in order to address the foundational principals students need to be successful as they transition into their high school experience. For example, a teacher may determine that students need some foundational support in place value before beginning a unit on proportions. This time set aside to support foundational skills will only increase student learning when beginning new content. This is only one example of the work we have been completing this summer.
Mrs. Cacciatore and the administrative team support the use of the best resources available. This means we will be looking to supplement the CPM text with additional resources to meet the specific needs of Oak Grove students. These resources will be reflected in the newly developed Scope & Sequence documents the math teachers have worked on this summer. Some of you may be familiar with a curriculum map from other districts, a scope and sequence is similar. It is a document that reflects the specific learning targets students will be expected to learn in a given unit, the length of time dedicated to those skills, instructional strategies the teachers will utilize, resources shared and assessments given.
We have been working diligently this summer to prepare a Scope and Sequence for math grades 6, 7, and 8 for the entire year. These Scope and Sequence documents will be posted to the website prior to the start of the school year under the curriculum page of the Oak Grove website. In addition, you will be able to see the gradual release model that the teachers will be using to guide their daily instruction.
Specifically, during the board presentation in July and follow up work with the Junior High math team, the structure of a daily class was discussed using the Gradual Release Model. Below are the specific adjustments that will be in place for the upcoming school year:
- Formal Opening - Class Starter
- Introduction to Lesson
- Teacher Circulation during Collaboration
- Formal Closing
For additional details of the class period, please see additional attachment. You will notice there is no time identified with each of the components. This is intentional to allow the teacher to assess the students’ needs on a daily basis and provide the appropriate amount of attention to the needs of the students on a given day. This flexibility in the model allows teachers to provide more or less direct instruction based on the students’ needs, students’ understanding, and the skills being covered within a class period. However, we do know there will be more direct instructional minutes than previously provided.
As an administrative team, we have had the opportunity to meet with some parents of Junior High students to discuss more specifically the changes for the Junior High math program for the upcoming year. These conversations have been helpful and informative.
Mrs. Cacciatore and Mr. Karolewicz are more than willing meet with any parent interested in learning more about the changes. Please email us or contact us at
We are excited by the enthusiasm shown by the Junior High math teachers as they have worked with us to improve the student learning experience for the 2014-2015 school year. As always, it is our objective to enhance an already quality program at Oak Grove!
Dr. Lonny Lemon, Sarah Cacciatore, and Dave Karolewicz