Middletown Public Schools roll out new curriculum to help students understand math, regardless of how they learn

New math curriculum for Middletown students
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 8:15 PM EDT
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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WFSB) - The Middletown Public School system this year is introducing a specialized way of teaching math to students.

The goal is to help students at all grade levels understand the concepts and reinforce common core learning.

It is not the traditional way of learning. The school showed Channel 3 how it works with a math problem.

“What this shows us is that there are three different ways that we got this. Three different people. Now imagine if you have a classroom full of 20 different kids. There are so many ways to come to this one simple problem, so what we are trying to do is explain that to our classroom. We allowed them to think,” said Yvonne Daniels, Educator, Middletown Public Schools.

Middletown schools began rolling out what is known as the illustrative mathematics curriculum over the past few years for 6th to 12th graders. 

Now all students in Middletown will use it.

“We want them to become patient problem solvers and we are trying to get rid of fragile fluency,” said Richard Cordaway, PreK-12 Math Curriculum Director.

The Middletown school system says that teaching students’ math in a more fluid way will encourage them to stay engaged.

One more thing they are doing to help students in math is something called ‘detracking,‘ which is the placing of students with similar abilities and academic achievement in the same classes.

This is where all math students learn math at the same level in their freshman and sophomore years.

“With detracting we allow everyone to go on the same path on 9th and 10th grade and then in 11th grade we open up the door and allow you to go on the path that best fits you,” said Daniels.

Families in Middletown who are just hearing about these changes spoke with Channel 3 and are welcoming them.

“It’s good so this way they learn easier because it’s not as complicated and it’s very good for the students,” said Georgia Hylton.

Some students of Beman Middle School, like Layali Chambers, say they love school and are hoping to tackle math.

“I hope the teachers help me get through it,” said Layali.

The district will be hosting a family night soon to further explain illustrative learning to parents and guardians.

For more resources regarding these changes, CLICK HERE.