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Building Math for Common Core

Walch Aligns Popular Math Series to Common Core Standards
Innovative materials use algebraic thinking and analysis to solve real-world engineering problems

Contact: Al Noyes, 207-523-2534

PORTLAND, Me. (October 20, 2011) – Walch Education, the leading developer of tailored supplemental and basal educational materials, has updated a popular science, engineering and math series to align with the Common Core State Standards.

Like others in the educational materials industry, Walch made the investment, along with other common core products it has released, in response to widespread demand for new and updated materials to support teachers and schools in meeting the new standards that over 40 states have adopted.

“We’re working very 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’s vice president of education. “Common doesn’t mean the same. Every state and every district has its unique needs, and we’re in the business of customizing. 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.”

Walch worked with the National Center for Technology Literacy at the Museum of Science in Boston to review, update, refine, and align the materials. Museum staff were part of the original team that developed the Building Math series, first published in 2007.

The Building Math series uses algebraic thinking and data analysis to solve engineering problems in real-world settings and is meant as a supplement in middle school classrooms. In Amazon Mission, one of the three books, students help a native village surmount malaria and confront the environmental hazards of gold-mining. The series was developed through a grant from the GE Foundation. Tufts University and the Museum of Science approached Walch to develop and publish the series.

“It was a good match,” said Peter Wong, director of middle school curriculum development at the Museum and an engineering professor at Tufts University. “Walch is a quick and flexible organization. They can print on demand, and can deliver materials effectively. They are not committed to a single math program or math approach, and that flexibility was key to supporting our unique approach.”

Wong said the Common Core State Standards in Math are now grade specific (rather than grade span) and have more specific learning progressions. “Now the challenge is for educators and curriculum developers to teach and use instructional materials that allow students to learn along the path,” Wong said.

He said the Museum and the Center are pushing to “make engineering an equal to science” in the current national focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. “The technology and engineering need to be more fully integrated. It’s important in a democratic society for people to have an understanding of the implications of that technology, of how technology is developed, and of the engineering design process. We want to eliminate the divide in technological literacy.”

More information about the Building Math series can be found at http://walch.com/BuildMath. For more about Walch’s commitment to Common Core resources for teachers and schools, visit: http://walch.com/CCore.

About Walch Education

Walch Education develops and produces purpose-built instructional materials and applications for teachers and school districts. Walch works directly with school districts to create resources that are deeply aligned to the standards, local and state curricula, and districts’ requirements, and acts as a virtual extension of the districts’ curriculum departments to deliver tailored materials that aren’t available from traditional textbook publishers. Materials are delivered as printed text and work books, online, on CD, and now for the iPad and iTouch, as well as iTunesU. For more about Walch Education, visit www.walch.com.