Purposeful Design Math

This well-designed math series deserves serious consideration. It features a solid scope and sequence; pacing similar to a Singapore approach math, and a well laid-out and colorful series of student texts with updated graphics and appearance. The program places an emphasis on skill development, mastery, cumulative review and formative assessment.; and offers an excellent balance between problem solving skills (the STAR methodology: Seek, Think, Act, and Review). It also integrates the interdisciplinary approach of STEM, as well as basic algorithms. It is not a student-directed series, so the teacher should be prepared for minimal teacher prep for each lesson (15 minutes or so) and teacher-student interaction (foundational at the K-3 level and selective at the 4-6 grade levels.). Biblical themes illustrate how math concepts are observable in creation and how man has applied these concepts. Scriptural references, allusions and passages are frequent throughout the student texts.

Manipulatives are used throughout the series but predominantly in the K-3 books. Instructions for making some of these manipulatives are found in the Teacher Guide while others are included in the blackline masters. There are, however, some traditional math manipulatives used at each level (Rainbow offers prepared packages containing these resources). The scope and sequence for this series is broad. Basic algorithms in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are covered thoroughly. Other topics include patterns, number theory, place value, fractions/decimals (introduced early), measurement, time, money, geometry, algebra (also introduced early), probability, statistics, and technology (i.e. calculator and computer activities).

The Teacher Guides are substantial (especially at the younger levels), essential, and spiral-bound. There are two to four pages of detailed lesson plans for each of the 176 daily lessons (170 lessons in the 6th grade) packed with useful information in a friendly, easy-to-use format that contains general information for each chapter. Each text includes 11-14 chapters. The Directed Instruction sequence is the heart of each lesson and while not scripted, it is very thorough. "Explain that . . . "; "Demonstrate the . . . "; "Ask students to think about . . ."; or "Direct students to (worksheets)." The instructions follow a general path from concrete/practical concepts to abstract explanation. Additional resources such as: blackline masters, overhead transparencies, drills, chapter reviews, cumulative reviews and chapter tests are accessible online as PDFs to be printed as you need them. Chapter assessments are available in a traditional test format as well as in an editable test bank. Blackline master resources include a total of 200 or so extra reproducible worksheets for practice, recovery or for enrichment. Answers to problems from either the Student Worktexts or Student Texts are found in the Teacher Guide itself (reduced pages with answers), while answers to the blackline masters are found on the next page of the masters.

The K-3 softbound Student Worktexts are colorful with well-illustrated worksheets (usually two per lesson) that include practice problems, word problems, and review, as well as occasional games and activities. The 4-6 grade hardcover Student Texts are also colorful but non-consumable. These have more reading and a consistent pattern: construct meaning (instruction), check understanding (short problem set), practice (more extensive problems), and apply (word problems) or review. There are Chapter Check-Ups as well as an end-of-the chapter Study Guide. Calculator use is taught from Grade 1, and problems occasionally instruct the student to use a calculator.

We have also assembled Manipulative Kits for each grade level. Items in these kits are mentioned in the teacher guides as suggestions for demonstrating concepts but are not required. There are other items mentioned in the teacher guides that are not included in our kits. They are items that may only be used a few times, or might be something you can skip or may already have at home. Some items are a little more expensive, so substitutions have been made where possible and others have been omitted. If you have purchased the manipulative kit for the previous level of this curriculum, Add-on Kits are available. These kits are just the additional items needed for the next grade level.

Teacher Edition E-books are available that provide all TE content plus the online forms and worksheets as pdf documents. Subscriptions are for one year.

~ Janice



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