I just wrote a post in which I shared some student reflections after their first year of IMP Meaningful Math Algebra. I have written several posts reflecting about the differences of the curriculum. I have learned so much about how to facilitate "productive struggle" in the classroom. The new curriculum along with thing I learned from blogs, Twitter posts and professional development (esp AMSTI and It's About Time training) have all combined to help me to make improvements in my instruction and test results. Many teachers ask about how the "new curriculum" is going and it went GREAT. Even though we were told not to expect growth in the first year of teaching the curriculum we analyzed the data and WE SAW GROWTH. Woohoo!
We had 3 algebra teachers at Etowah High School - Sonya New, Gary Webb, and I - who implemented the curriculum 7 weeks into the school year. There are 5 units and we only had time to complete 4 of them. We did not cover the Pit and the Pendulum. In the state of Alabama the last 3 years 8th graders took the ACT Explore. After our students complete algebra they take the ACT Quality Core Algebra End-of-Course test. We looked at this year's 2015 9th graders (who had the IMP curriculum) and compared them to last year's 2014 9th graders (who were taught with a more "traditional" curriculum). It is a little difficult to explain but I will try so that you will see that the results are valid. Instead of just looking to see if the average scores on the EOC tests improved we compared students who came in with the same score on the 8th grade Explore and then compared each group of same-scoring Explore students from the 2 years. We averaged each group's Algebra EOC test results and compared them. Then we just did a +/- on whether or not the scores improved or declined for each category (i.e. students from each year who came to us with a 12 on the Explore). When we factored in all of our students we had a +1.94. All year long we have said that we think the curriculum is beneficial for all students but that it really seems to make a bigger difference for our non-honors students. Therefore we took out the honors students from each of the 2 years and then did the +/- for growth again. We showed total growth of +9.02 which we believe to be an average of about +1.13 per student. The EOC Algebra test scores range from the 130s to the 150s so we feel that the improvement is significant.
Now...I am definitely not a statistics major so there is room for error in the analysis of this data. However, we are very excited to have seen this growth in our first year! We know that we have so much room to improve - especially since we didn't have time to cover all 5 units.