Why Extra Support Materials for Algebra 1?
Students who struggle in Algebra 1 are more likely to struggle in subsequent math courses and experience more adverse outcomes. The Extra Support Materials are designed to help students who, for many possible reasons, need more support than it is possible to provide in their Algebra 1 course. Often, extra time is built into these students’ schedules for mathematics, but their teachers struggle with how to use this time effectively. These materials review or establishes skills, understandings, and mathematical connections to put students in a better position to be successful in Algebra 1.
Students who need extra preparation to succeed in Algebra 1 often also need support to develop positive beliefs about mathematics. The Extra Support Materials . . .
give students opportunities to access grade-level mathematics in age-appropriate contexts. The Extra Support Materials do not delay Algebra 1 content, and invite students to reason mathematically and communicate their thinking at the same level of rigor as the Algebra 1 course.
provide students opportunities to be and feel successful. A small number of high-leverage instructional routines focus on number sense, precision of language, and mathematical reasoning that all students can access. These routines are repeated so that students can see their “thinking like a mathematician” skills improve.
focus on routines that build a positive classroom culture in which everyone is expected to share their thinking, all ideas are considered seriously, and there is collective responsibility for making sense of the ideas offered. This is not only good mathematical practice, it is also a way of showing students who have historically felt that they didn’t have good mathematical ideas that their thinking is valuable.
How Does It Work?
Each Extra Support lesson is associated with a lesson in the Algebra 1 course. The intention is that students experience each Extra Support lesson before its associated Algebra 1 lesson. The Extra Support lesson helps students learn or remember a skill or concept that is needed to access and find success with the associated Algebra 1 lesson.
What Is in an Extra Support Lesson?
The structure of the Extra Support lessons is similar to that of all the Illustrative Mathematics lessons. Each Extra Support lesson contains a warm-up focused on sense making or procedural fluency, followed by exactly two classroom activities. Loosely, the first activity is intended to help students remember a concept and any associated terms, procedures, or skills, and the second activity is intended to provide students an opportunity to practice. Digital tools are incorporated in the same way.
There are a few differences between the Extra Support lessons and other Illustrative Mathematics lessons. Remember that the purpose of the Extra Support lessons is not to teach brand new material, but to refresh students’ memories and give them a chance to engage with prerequisite topics.
Extra Support lessons do not contain student lesson summaries or cool-downs. (The teacher can use the second, practice activity to formatively assess students’ comfort with the topic of the lesson.)
Extra Support lessons do not contain “Are You Ready for More?” extensions.
The Extra Support materials do not contain assessments.
The Extra Support materials do not contain student learning targets.
How Could the Extra Support Materials Fit into Existing School Schedules?
The Extra Support materials are designed for schools who provide some students extra time in their class schedule for math in order to be successful in Algebra 1. It is recommended that students engage with both their Algebra 1 course and the Extra Support materials concurrently. Here are some ways the Extra Support materials might fit with existing structures. If students who need extra support are enrolled in . . .
Algebra 1 over two years, the Extra Support lessons can be alternated with the Algebra 1 lessons.
A double period or double block of Algebra 1, the Extra Support lesson can comprise the first half, and the Algebra 1 lesson the second half. This model can be used whether students are scheduled for consecutive blocks during the day or at different times of the day, and can be used whether students have the same teacher or a different teacher for the two blocks.