## Design Principles

### Developing Conceptual Understanding and Procedural Fluency

Each unit begins with a pre-assessment that helps teachers gauge what students know about both prerequisite and upcoming concepts and skills, so that teachers can gauge where students are and make adjustments accordingly. The initial lesson in a unit is designed to activate prior knowledge and provide an easy entry to point to new concepts, so that students at different levels of both mathematical and English language proficiency can engage productively in the work. As the unit progresses, students are systematically introduced to representations, contexts, concepts, language and notation. As their learning progresses, they make connections between different representations and strategies, consolidating their conceptual understanding, and see and understand more efficient methods of solving problems, supporting the shift towards procedural fluency. The distributed practice problems give students ongoing practice, which also supports developing procedural proficiency.

### Applying Mathematics

Students have opportunities to make connections to real-world contexts throughout the materials. Frequently, carefully-chosen anchor contexts are used to motivate new mathematical concepts, and students have many opportunities to make connections between contexts and the concepts they are learning. Additionally, most units include a real-world application lesson at the end. In some cases, students spend more time developing mathematical concepts before tackling more complex application problems, and the focus is on mathematical contexts. The first unit on geometry is an example of this.

### The Five Practices

Selected activities are structured using Five Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions (Smith & Stein, 2011), also described in Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM, 2014), and Intentional Talk: How to Structure and Lead Productive Mathematical Discussions (Kazemi & Hintz, 2014). These activities include a presentation of a task or problem (may be print or other media) where student approaches are anticipated ahead of time. Students first engage in independent think-time followed by partner or small-group work on the problem. The teacher circulates as students are working and notes groups using different approaches. Groups or individuals are selected in a specific, recommended sequence to share their approach with the class, and finally the teacher leads a whole-class discussion to make connections and highlight important ideas.