I recently discovered http://utahmiddleschoolmath.org/, an amazing free resource for 7th and 8th grade teachers who are teaching the Common Core Standards. The website’s description is as follows, “Within this site you will find textbook materials written specifically for the Utah Core Standards for both 7th [and 8th grades,] will find a foundational text for each chapter describing the mathematics students will be learning, a student workbook that has daily classroom activities and homework sets, and a teacher edition of the student workbook that has answers to problems sets and lesson suggestions. During the coming year, while these materials are being pilot tested, we will create supplementary materials, including videos, a “help-desk”, glossaries, and an online adaptive assessment.”
The Utah Core Standards basically are the common core, with a little bit of tweaking here and there. If you teach 7th or 8th grade and your state has adopted the common core, you need to check this out! This is not a traditional textbook. Each unit begins by describing the core content standards, key vocabulary learned/used in the chapter, a chapter overview, and a description of how the unit is connected to both prior and future content. This is followed by a description of how each of the Mathematical Practice Standards is emphasized in each unit.
Each unit begins with a class activity, many of which would be excellent group tasks, especially if they were to be enlarged so that the group could work on one copy in the center of the table. Each class activity is followed by a homework assignment, similar to the work done in class.
At the end of each unit, and usually once or twice during the unit, there is a Self-Assessment, where students rate their comfort level with each skill/concept as Beginning Understanding, Developing Skill and Understanding, or Deep Understanding, Skill Mastery.
In addition to the workbook, there is also a textbook which provides more conceptual understanding. There is a teacher edition available for both the textbook and the workbook. You will need a password to access the teacher editions. The password can be obtained by sending an email to Maggie Cummings at email@example.com.