If you haven’t heard of Marilyn Burns, well, you should. She’s a leading researcher and practitioner in teaching mathematics, and she has created a series of math interventions aimed at offering additional instruction to students who have fallen behind. The interventions are focused on numbers and operations, providing reteaching and remediation in mathematical computation, problem solving, and number sense. Her materials can really make a difference.
The Marilyn Burns math intervention series, Do the Math,® supports students and teachers in three critical ways:
- The instruction is focused on whole numbers and fractions to rebuild the foundation for further, more complicated algebraic learning.
- The lessons are designed around research-based, instructional practices.
- The embedded professional development allows teachers to learn more while also implementing the intervention program.
It is worth mentioning that there are two different programs as part of the Marilyn Burns math interventions:
Do the Math (for grades 1-6) and Do the Math Now!® (for grades 6 and up). The elementary version is divided into 13 modules focused on basic mathematical operations and fractions. The secondary version, Do the Math Now, is designed as additional, year-long instruction for students who have exhibited significant weaknesses with operations and number sense.
The elementary version of the Marilyn Burns math interventions has been found to be incredibly effective in remediating struggling math students by:
•Rebuilding mathematical fluency. This approach is focused on whole numbers and fractions by returning students to some of the most basic mathematical concepts to rebuild and strengthen their foundation. Students lacking these basic computational and number-sense skills are less likely to become proficient in more advanced concepts. So Do the Math Now! helps to clear up misconceptions and rebuild the basic math skills of these struggling students.
•Enabling student and teacher flexibility. The program is designed for a variety of grade levels and a wide range of abilities. This flexibility allows teachers to meet the true needs of an individual student by using quality intervention materials.
•Employing research-based methodologies. The intervention program is built around the concepts of eight research based principles: explicit instruction, scaffolded content, multiple strategies, student interaction, gradual release, meaningful practice, vocabulary and language, and assessment and differentiation. These principles guide teachers on the implementation and effective use of the Marilyn Burns math program to best meet the needs of all learners.
•Providing accessible assessment tools. The Do the Math Now! intervention program has a variety of assessment tools available to teachers in order to provide ongoing feedback and progress monitoring. There is also an additional, web-based assessment component (Progress Space) that can be customized to suit student needs. The information provided from the Progress Space reports allows teachers to carefully monitor student achievement.
Marilyn Burns, founder of Math Solutions®, has been a teacher/researcher/author for more than 40 years. Her professional development sessions and mathematics resources are considered best practice in education. Inducted to the 2010 Educational Publishing Hall of Fame, Burns and her website should be favorites for math teachers everywhere.
Need fresh ideas, inspiration, or innovative ways to help your math students? Check out our Math Literacy Guide, with authentic tips and suggestions from teachers in the field.