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Building Math Now Aligned with Common Core State and TEKS Standards

January 07, 2012

With the growing demand for curricula that meet the new math standards adopted by over 40 states, the National Center for Technology Literacy®'s Building Math middle school curriculum is now aligned with Common Core Standards for Mathematics and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Standards. Curriculum publisher Walch Education worked with the Museum of Science's NCTL to update the popular science, engineering, and math series to align with the Common Core math standards and the TEKS in math and science.

The three-book series was developed by the NCTL and Tufts University in 2007 with support from the GE Foundation's Math Excellence Program. Building Math provides innovative practices to help students develop algebraic thinking and data analysis skills by integrating engineering with math to solve real-world challenges on imaginary adventures.

Recommended for enrichment or as a replacement unit, each title has a theme. In Everest Trek, students design a well-insulated coat, a bridge to cross a crevasse, and a zip-line transporter to scale and descend the world's tallest peak. In Stranded, students design a shelter, a water collector, and a canoe loading plan to survive on a South Pacific island. Amazon Mission involves students in designing a carrier to insulate medicine, a water filter, and a plan to stop the spread of an influenza virus. The series includes a reproducible teacher book with student handouts and teacher support materials, a poster of the design process, and a DVD of classroom implementation.

"We're working hard to help teachers, schools, and states make the transition to the new standards, and acquaint their students with STEM topics," said Jill Rosenblum, Walch Education vice president of education. "Every state and district has its unique needs. These new versions of the Building Math series support both Common Core content and concepts, with attention to the problem-solving, reasoning, teamwork, and justification skills that are part of the Common Core."

Reaching over 2,800 teachers and almost 140,000 students in 47 states, the curriculum won the Association of Educational Publishers' 2008 Distinguished Curriculum Award. Bayer Corporation's Compendium of Best Practice K-12 STEM Education Programs highlights Building Math as one of five Promising Programs and the 2009 National Academy of Engineering-National Research Council report Engineering in K-12 Education said the units use "contextual learning to make the study of math more interesting, practical, and engaging."

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