About These Materials

These materials were created by Illustrative Mathematics in collaboration with Open Up Resources. They were piloted and revised in the 2016–2017 school year and again in 2019.

In 2020, Illustrative Mathematics created a 2-year version of IM 6–8 Math, IM 6–8 Math Accelerated. To compress 3 years of content into 2, Illustrative Mathematics:

  • Removed some activities that primarily reviewed concepts from prior grades and units; therefore accelerated students should either have a strong foundation from K–5 or a plan for catching up on unfinished learning outside of class.
  • Removed some activities that provided additional practice or repetition of concepts in class; therefore accelerated students should either be likely to grasp math concepts the first time they are presented, or be able to take advantage of practice problems and work independently to check their understanding and practice until they understand.
  • Moved some important work with mathematical modeling into optional lessons which might be assigned as projects outside of class; therefore accelerated students should be interested and motivated to work on challenging mathematics outside of class.

The activities, practice problems, and assessment items within the accelerated courses consist mainly of materials from IM 6–8 Math. Due to how lessons and units are rearranged, some items happen at a different place in the course sequence. For example, instead of keeping the work with scaled copies in the first unit of IM 6–8 Math grade 7 separate from the work with dilations and similarity in the second unit of IM 6–8 Math grade 8, these units are merged together to form the second unit of IM 6–8 Math Accelerated grade 7. Teacher Notes are included throughout the courses to help teachers make sense of these changes and adjust lessons and activities accordingly.

Each course contains nine units. Each of the first eight are anchored by a few big ideas in grade-level mathematics. Units contain between 12 and 27 lesson plans. Each unit has a diagnostic assessment for the beginning of the unit (Check Your Readiness) and an end-of-unit assessment. Longer units also have a mid-unit assessment. The last unit in each course is structured differently, and contains optional lessons that help students apply and tie together big ideas from the year.

The time estimates in these materials refer to instructional time. Each lesson plan is designed to fit within a class period that is at least 45 minutes long. Some lessons contain optional activities that provide additional scaffolding or practice for teachers to use at their discretion.

There are two ways students can interact with these materials. Students can work solely with printed workbooks or pdfs. Alternatively, if all students have access to an appropriate device, students can look at the task statements on that device and write their responses in a notebook or the print companion for the digital materials. It is recommended that if students are to access the materials this way, they keep the notebook carefully organized so that they can go back to their work later.

Teachers can access the teacher materials either in print or in a browser. A classroom with a digital projector is recommended.

Many activities are written in a card sort, matching, or info gap format that requires teachers to provide students with a set of cards or slips of paper that have been photocopied and cut up ahead of time. Teachers might stock up on two sizes of resealable plastic bags: sandwich size and gallon size. For a given activity, one set of cards can go in each small bag, and then the small bags for one class can be placed in a large bag. If these are labeled and stored in an organized manner, it can facilitate preparing ahead of time and re-using card sets between classes. Additionally, if possible, it is often helpful to print the slips for different parts of an activity on different color paper. This helps facilitate quickly sorting the cards between classes.