Zearn Math was built around EngageNY/Eureka Math as well as Illustrative Math for Middle School and as such aligns to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). We understand that Louisiana went through a rigorous review process of the CCSSM, culminating with the creation of the Louisiana Student Standards for Mathematics (LSSM). We respect and value the work Louisiana has done to ensure their students are receiving the best possible education, and we want to clearly articulate places where the Zearn Math curricular materials do not entirely align with the expectations of the LSSM in both instruction and assessment, of which there are two such instances: Grade 3 Mission 4 and Grade 6 Mission 8. Details of the misalignment and recommended teacher actions are below.
G3M4 - Zearn Math includes lessons and an assessment item that assess Common Core State Standard 3.MD.C.7d; however, this standard was removed from the G3 LSSM and instead placed in the G4 LSSM as 4.MD.D.8. As a result of this change, we recommend that teachers consider omitting or using for enrichment the following:
- Grade 3 Mission 4 End-of-Mission Assessment item 3a
- Grade 3 Mission 4 Lessons 13-16
G6M8 - Zearn Math includes lessons and an assessment item that assess Common Core State Standard 6.SP.B.5c, and, while this standard still appears in the LSSM, mean absolute deviation (MAD) has been removed from the LSSM. As a result of this change, we recommend that teachers consider omitting or using for enrichment the following:
- Grade 6 Mission 8 End-of-Mission Assessment item 3c
- Grade 6 Mission 8 Lessons 11-12
G8M3 - Zearn Math includes a single lesson–designed to be an extension of the learning of the Mission– aligned to Common Core State Standard A-REI.D.12, and, while this standard still appears in the LSSM [A1: A-REI.D.12], it is not intended for G8 learning. As a result of this change, we recommend that teachers consider omitting or using for enrichment the following:
- Grade 8 Mission 3 Lesson 15
It is also worth noting that:
G1 - Zearn Math’s G1M6 EOMA rubric includes a footnote concerning problem 2. It reads:
“Question 2 is outside the scope of the Common Core State Standards. Consider omitting or using for enrichment.”
However, this question is well within the scope of the Louisiana Student Standards for Mathematics as it aligns to LSSM 1.MD.D.5. Teachers should disregard the footnote inside the rubric and administer the assessment as is.
A special note concerning algorithms in Zearn Math
As students learn new concepts with Zearn Math, they progress from using concrete materials to pictorial representations to abstract symbols, and they move back and forth between each stage to ensure concepts are reinforced. Through this approach, all students build a deep and sustainable understanding of math as new, abstract concepts are introduced in tangible and concrete ways. This approach also supports students’ language development, as students make connections across representations and describe their thinking aloud during each phase of math learning.
By leaning into our Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract (CPA) approach to teaching and learning math, we are able to introduce algorithms earlier than when explicitly called for by the standards and do so in a way that makes explicit the connections between the algorithms and other methods. Our data suggests that allowing students to learn the algorithm side by side with more concrete strategies, such as the place value chart, yields deeper understanding and greater fluency. At the same time, we understand this may be of concern in Louisiana. As such, teachers may consider omitting, modifying, or using for enrichment the following:
- Grade 4 Mission 3 Lessons 9, 10, and 37
- Grade 5 Mission 3 End-of-Mission Assessment item 5