Curriculum Corner: Medina Adopts New Math Curriculum, Bridges
Students across the District are learning math at the highest levels with our new elementary math curriculum, Bridges, from the Math Learning Center. This curriculum was selected because it follows the Ohio Standards in Mathematics, is a comprehensive math curriculum and has a high level of rigor. It is one of the few elementary math programs that achieved the highest ratings by EdReport, an independent, non-profit organization that provides comprehensive reviews of math curriculum.
The Bridges curriculum focuses on developing students’ deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel problems. Bridges blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration. Teachers are excited because they feel this program taps into the intelligence and strengths of all students by presenting material that is as linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich as it is mathematically powerful.
“I like that the program is hands-on, said third grade Waite Elementary teacher, Mary Jo Morgan. “Kids work on concrete concepts before moving to more abstract ways of thinking. This gives students a good base to build on their skills. I also like that not all skills are expected to be mastered right away. Students have time to work through concepts and show mastery throughout the year.”
Students are also enjoying this new program. Fourth grade Garfield teacher Katie Bober said, “My kids are really loving the program. Bridges requires students to think differently about math. Allowing students to be creative and show their work in multiple ways, increases student understanding, confidence, and success. My students love to participate in and lead class discussions. My students also love the partner work that is built into the program. ”
As with any new curriculum, there is always a period of adjustment. But, as fourth grade Heritage Elementary teacher Kayla Rodriguez mentioned, “You know good things are happening when you and your coworkers run to each other after every powerful teaching and learning moment.”
Teachers are aware of the ever-changing world that our students will enter as they graduate. Our curriculum was chosen with that in mind. “As the workforce is changing, we need to prepare students for jobs that don't yet exist. While we don't know what those jobs are, we do know that most will have to use their mathematical knowledge to solve problems that calculators and computers can't solve,” said Morgan.
Katie Bober agrees. “When I think about math, I believe Bridges is the way math should have always been taught. It just makes sense. By spiraling concepts, allowing problem-solving creativity, and providing students with authentic, collaborative experiences, students are able to feel confident and successful in a variety of ways.”
Medina City Schools is very excited to be able to offer this rigorous curriculum to students. Other Ohio districts that have adopted Bridges include Hudson, Olmsted Falls, Kent, and Westerville.