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Math Instruction

SpringBoard Math is designed to lead students, lesson by lesson and course by course, to conceptual understanding and fluency in procedural skills.

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SpringBoard Mathematics is a core curriculum for all students in grades 6–12. It’s a complete instructional program, aligned to college readiness standards, that gives you everything you need to get your students ready for college-level work.

The core components of SpringBoard Math are our instructional materials: a Student Edition and Teacher Edition, in print and digital form, for each course. These offer activities, assessments, and a wide range of tools and resources that support teachers while giving them the flexibility to teach their way.

Instructional Design

SpringBoard is based on the “Understanding by Design” model, which asserts that beginning instruction with the end in mind is the best way to engage students, make them active learners, and ensure their academic success.

The curriculum is built around embedded assessments that are mapped to AP and college readiness standards. Students are given clear learning targets at the beginning of every lesson in each activity so they understand why the skills they’re developing matter.

A Balance of Directed, Guided, and Investigative Learning

SpringBoard Math activities feature three different lesson designs, so that concepts are presented using the most effective method:

  • Directed lessons include examples and practice. These are used to teach foundational mathematics principles.
  • Guided lessons are used for concepts that need a combination of direct instruction and discovery learning.
  • Investigative lessons let students explore and discover mathematics concepts in context.

How It Works in the Classroom

Every course is organized into six to seven coherent units that each address a mathematical concept. Every unit contains multiple activities, and each activity is made up of one or more focused, class-length lessons.

As in AP course frameworks, instruction is divided into four phases: Plan, Teach, Assess, and Adapt.

Phase 1: Plan

In the Teacher Edition, support for teachers as they plan their lessons is offered in every activity and lesson. Features include standards correlations, pacing and chunking suggestions, and lists of recommended materials. In addition, every unit begins with a section called "Planning the Unit," which gives teachers a complete resource for pacing and organizing lessons, materials, and assessments. This section includes:

  • AP/College Readiness callouts that list the specific AP and college readiness skills and knowledge that the unit teaches.
  • An overview of the unit’s Embedded Assessments that outlines the concepts and skills on each assessment.
  • An instruction and pacing guide that shows how activities connect to and support each embedded assessment.

Following the Planning the Unit section are the Unit Opener pages, including these sections and features:

  • Unit Overview introduces the unit and the concepts and skills it teaches.
  • Key Terms lay out academic vocabulary and math terms.
  • Essential Questions: These open-ended questions guide students toward understanding the unit.
  • Unpacking the Embedded Assessment: This collaborative exercise kicks off each unit so students know the skills they’re working toward.
  • Getting Ready: These items offer a pre-assessment to gauge student readiness for the unit.

Phase 2: Teach

As students complete the unit activities, their learning is supported by features such as:

  • Learning Targets: List of the standards addressed by the lesson, translated into student-friendly language.
  • Learning Strategies: List of the approaches to learning that are appropriate to the activity.
  • Academic Vocabulary: Definitions and examples of key vocabulary used across disciplines.
  • Math Terms: Definitions and examples of domain- or subject-specific key vocabulary.
  • Connect To: Cross-curricular and AP connections that give math a meaningful, real-world context.
  • Math Tips: Guidance for students at point of use.
  • Mathematical practice and process standards callouts within the lessons that remind students to apply the standards as they respond to problems and applications.
  • Lesson Practice, Activity Practice, and Additional Unit Practice: Opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate understanding.

Support for teachers as they guide students through the activities includes:

  • Bell-Ringer Activity: Opens each lesson to set the stage and connect the lesson to previously learned concepts.
  • Guidance and suggested teaching techniques for specific activities and content, developed by practicing teachers.
  • Differentiating Instruction: Callouts that give teachers suggestions for adapting activities for English language learners and other student populations.
  • Teacher to Teacher: Callouts with insights from expert SpringBoard teachers.
  • Developing Math Language: Ideas for making terms accessible to all students.

Phase 3: Assess

Every unit is built around performance-based embedded assessments designed to measure student mastery of skills and knowledge. The program offers many other opportunities for students and teachers to assess progress, including:

  • Check Your Understanding: Quick formative assessments.
  • Short-Cycle Assessments: Available on SpringBoard Digital, three items at the end of each lesson provide yet another opportunity for formative assessment.
  • End-of-Unit Assessment: Available on SpringBoard Digital, this section provides a summative assessment of key standards and essential learnings of the unit.

Phase 4: Adapt

In this phase, the teacher may adjust instruction in response to the work the students produce. Support for teachers includes:

  • Suggestions for additional assignments and activities to give students more practice or to extend learning for students who are ready to go further.
  • Teacher Assessment Builder: Available on SpringBoard Digital, allows teachers to create custom additional practice.
  • Mini-Lessons to review foundational concepts at point of use within a lesson.
  • Getting Ready Practice pages on SpringBoard Digital can be used for differentiation throughout the unit as needed.