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Dr. Knapp's favorite math curricula

School is here or just around the corner! Do you need a math curriculum that gives students enjoyment of math? Is your math instruction frustrating and boring? Teachers and homeschool parents often seek engaging hands-on math curricula to adopt or to supplement their current textbooks. Here are my favorite picks for elementary, middle, and high school.

First, why are they my favorite? All three curricula focus on problem solving and building understanding of the math. Basic skills are learned as the students problem solve. Games/activities are included in lessons and as homework. Hands-on lessons utilize manipulatives that can often be improvised with common materials like rubber bands and building toys. Finally, calculators and technology are used as tools for learning, but not to replace knowledge of basic facts.

How are these curricula different than standard math textbooks? Real world contexts inspire the lessons versus lists of exercises to solve and practice. Concepts are introduced as group tasks which can be done with students of various ages and ability levels or parents as partners. Lessons are not designed for students as independent learners; rather, discussion and collaboration undergirds mathematical understanding. These curricula are not for auto-pilot teachers, but for teachers that love to see the light bulb come on (for the students and the teacher)!

Elementary-Investigations in Number, Data, and Space-lots of games!

Middle-Connected Mathematics Project (CMP)- Fun activities!

High-Core Plus-Free accompanying technology tools!

Choosing earlier editions on Amazon and Ebay is a way to save. Happy math teaching!

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