Magazine article District Administration

The Link between Math and Language Skills: Everyday Mathematics 4 Improves State Test Scores at a Spanish Immersion School in Michigan

Magazine article District Administration

The Link between Math and Language Skills: Everyday Mathematics 4 Improves State Test Scores at a Spanish Immersion School in Michigan

Article excerpt

In 2016-17, one fifth-grade class of English-speaking students at a Spanish immersion school in Michigan received higher marks on a state assessment after using Everyday Mathematics 4 (EM4) from McGraw-Hill Education for one year.

Their math scores increased by 14 percent on the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP, with 52 percent of students who used EM4 scoring in the advanced range, as opposed to only 17 percent of students statewide who did.

Meanwhile, 70 percent of EM4 users scored at or above proficiency in math, while only 35 percent of students statewide scored in this category.

These scores may show that EM4 improved student math skills, but since these students are enrolled in a school that teaches core academic subjects in Spanish, their improvements also demonstrate how language and math skills are linked.

Strong fit

EM4 pays careful attention to the development of the specialized language of mathematics, and includes Academic Language Development notes in lessons to support teachers. Every lesson contains suggestions specific to the content of the lesson for supporting beginning English language learners, and most lessons have expanded lesson-specific suggestions and activities for English language learners available online. In short, EM4's emphasis on research-based teaching and learning strategies, combined with an emphasis on differentiation and language support, makes EM4 a strong fit for an immersion school.

Importance of language

Language is essential to all aspects of learning, says Ed Lamprich, V. …

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