Components that Support the Range of Learners

Every classroom includes a range of learners–students who struggle with or excel in certain areas of mathematics, students with particular learning needs, and students who are English language learners, to name only a few. Because the field-testing of Investigations “involved documentation of thousands of hours in classrooms, observations of students, input from teachers, and analysis of students work,” (p. 7 of any unit) the curriculum reflects the needs of real students and teachers. It includes a variety of features to help teachers support all of the learners in her/his classroom.

Differentiation in This Unit. Located in the front of every unit, this page (pdf) lists the Sessions that have intervention and extension suggestions, and those that offer support for working with English language learners. It also specifies vocabulary that English language and other learners need in order to take part in many of the unit’s activities, and suggests ways to familiarize students with it. (Also see Spanish Components.)

Differentiation: Supporting the Range of Learners. Included in nearly every Session, this feature (pdf) provides suggestions for intervention or extension activities related to the activity at hand. When applicable, ideas for working with English language learners are also included. This section always follows the Ongoing Assessment: Observing Students at Work questions, which help teachers assess which students may need an intervention or be ready for an extension.

Working with the Range of Learners: Classroom Cases. Located in Implementing Investigations at Grade X, these teacher-written cases present situations from Investigations classrooms and invite readers to grapple with what it means to support the range of learners. The cases focus on one of three themes–community, accommodations, or language and representation–and end with questions to consider and discuss. (Download an example at K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)

The Differentiation and Intervention Guide for Investigations. These Guides, available for Grades 1-5, provide four pages of support per Investigation, as well as additional blackline masters. (Learn more and download samples at each grade.)

Other Resources

  • The Student Math Handbook. This resource, which compiles game directions and illustrates the math words and ideas at each grade, offers: a reference for students who are struggling with an idea; a resource for students who want to further explore a particular idea; a glossary of sorts, for students who need support connecting language and vocabulary to the ideas they name; and a way to assign games, and variations of them, to students who need more practice or are ready for more challenge.
  • Practice Pages. In addition to homework pages, each Session (Grades 1-5) includes one Practice Page, to use as needed. Most present practice of current content or review of past content; one per Investigation provides an enrichment opportunity. (Learn more about Practice and Review.)
  • Assessment Teacher Notes. Every assessment includes a Teacher Note that helps teachers analyze student work and determine where students are in terms of meeting the unit benchmark(s). They often suggest activities that might benefit students who are not yet meeting the benchmark.
  • Dialogue Boxes. These classroom scenarios, based on actual teacher-student interactions, offer examples of how students typically express their mathematical ideas, what issues and confusions arise in their thinking, and how some teachers have chosen to guide particular class discussions. (Read a Grade 2 example (pdf).)
  • Teacher Note: Racial and Linguistic Diversity in the Classroom. Located in Implementing Investigations at Grade X, this Teacher Note discusses the meaning of equity in today’s math classroom.