Everybody can be good at math. I’m a former middle school math teacher and know that many people feel like they’re not good at math. But if it’s taught well, everybody can be good at math. 

As a partner with Baltimore City Public Schools and as Maryland’s largest and oldest charter school operator, Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is committed to using the most innovative and research-based educational strategies to ensure that each of our almost 3,000 students thrive. 

Tackling the Need to a Unified Math Curriculum

Knowing that many students lagged in math following the pandemic and remote learning, we decided to tackle the issue among our six network schools. Like our counterparts across Baltimore City and the country, we needed to be better at teaching math.

While all BCP schools have long used Direct Instruction to teach reading—a proven, research-based program—our schools were using different math curriculums.

In 2022, we convened a BCP-wide committee of math experts and educators and administrators to review the different math curricula, evaluate their efficacy, research other programs, and recommend a unified math curriculum to roll-out to our schools. We also took a “field trip” to a school in Anne Arundel County using Reveal Mathematics, the program by McGraw Hill that we have chosen to use moving forward. At the school, we saw it in action and spoke to teachers about it.

This coming fall for 2024-2025, we will be introducing Reveal Mathematics at City Springs Elementary / Middle School, Frederick Elementary School, and Pimlico Elementary / Middle School. Govans Elementary School and Wolfe Street Academy plan to adopt it in 2025-2026, as they will be in their final contract year of their math curriculum, My Math, the McGraw Hill program Reveal Mathematics is replacing. [Each BCP school has autonomy over its budget and some curriculum choices.] A major factor in our decision was Wolfe Street and Govans’ strong growth and achievement with the program that Reveal Mathematics is replacing. 

Hampstead Hill Academy, which has exceptional math scores, plans to follow the other schools’ success with Reveal Mathematics closely to determine if they will adopt it. BCP principals meet regularly to collaborate and share successes and challenges, and the new math curriculum will be discussed regularly at their meeting this coming year.

In 2024-2025, City Schools will also be rolling out the Reveal Mathematics program to 30 schools, with the goal of having it in every City school by 2027. Read more about Baltimore City’s 5-year plan to improve math scores. 

Baltimore Curriculum Project’s Decision for a Unified Math Curriculum

Our first-ever BCP-wide Math Committee evaluated the different programs we were using to clarify what we needed and what was lacking in our current programs. Yes, we want our students to do well on math standardized tests like the MCAP—and many of our students do. Hampstead Hill leads the state in middle school math growth scores. Wolfe Street had strong scores, and Govans and City Springs held steady. But not all our students are doing as well as they could on the math portion of the MCAP.

When we dove into the MCAP data, we discovered that many students were not providing answers when required to explain how they arrived at a mathematical answer. This year, our teachers helped students be more comfortable with written responses describing their answers.

One of the “wants” our Math Committee identified was using a program that had cumulative review, an essential method to learning and retaining math skills. In math, concepts build on each other—it’s a cumulative subject. Once you understand multiplication, for example, you can understand how to multiply fractions or find percentages.

Regular cumulative review helps students practice, recall, and refresh math concepts and skills previously learned. If you teach geometry in November of one year, and you don’t hit geometry again until November of the next year, students forget a lot, and then you spend time  reteaching.

Kids get in trouble in math when their learning is based on exposure instead of mastery. They need to practice what they’ve already learned. Teachers can also use cumulative review to address any misperceptions or weak skills.Reveal Mathematics has good cumulative review in that it provides a review of skills taught the previous year as well as skill taught earlier in the current year. 

Reveal also has provided thoughtful sequencing of its units, ensuring that priority skills are taught in a timely manner.In some of the programs we have used and reviewed, BCP teachers and coaches had to re-order many of the units. For example, in one program used in some schools, teaching fractions came too late in the third-grade year to really be taught and mastered prior to the state test. McGraw Hill worked on ordering the units in a way that makes sense instructionally and gives students the skills they need in a timely manner.

Addressing the Need for Parent Support and Student Mathematics Data

Reveal Mathematics has impressive support for multi-language learners. All of the materials are in English and Spanish and all of the digital material has a translation feature for 128 other languages, an important feature as BCP schools have an increasing number of multiple-language learners and families. 

We’re excited about the amount of data the program generates. Everything is in digital and in print, so teachers can choose what they want to use. We are encouraging our teachers to use the digital version because it allows them to analyze in real-time where students have strong skills and where they need more support.

Reveal Mathematics includes a program for independent student work, which also connects to each student’s customized data. Students are able to target their learning zones when working independently. The program allows us to differentiate and zero in on what each student needs. The data helps teachers create small groups to work on customized needs.

BCP’s challenge this coming year will be to analyze which parts of the program we are using daily and weekly and which ones the students most enjoy. 

Teacher Training and Support for Teaching Mathematics

Teacher training will be key, and having a unified math curriculum across our network of charter schools makes training more effective.

Like we do with Direct Instruction, we will have institutional learning on Reveal Mathematics that our instructional coaches will learn and share with the teachers at their schools. We’re introducing Reveal Mathematics at our New Teacher Institute, and for our first three schools to launch it this fall, we will be doing special training prior to the start of school. BCP does regular professional development throughout the year, and we will include Reveal Mathematics in it.

We’re giving a lot of support to our new math program by increasing staffing at several schools. City Springs has hired more math coaching support. Pimlico hired two intervention teachers who will also coach. Frederick has added a full-time math coach, and Govans has a consultant who coaches math.

We’re excited to roll out Reveal Mathematics and see how it helps our students be more successful and master the mathematical skills they need for success in school, college, and life.

Read about BCP’s use of Direction Instruction and the science of reading.

Thank you to our Math Committee members!

Emily Abell, City Springs

Jen Boebinger, Wolfe Street Academy

Maura Farrall, Pimlico

Ashley Green, Wolfe Street Academy

Stacey Hicks, City Springs

Holly Hornbeck, City Springs

Tulani Lilly, Pimlico

Amy Lynch, Pimlico

Monique Marrow, Govans

Tamika Mickles, Frederick

Karl Nebbia, Govans

Ribekah Oroke, City Springs

Brandon Pratta, Hampstead Hill Academy

Briana Richardson, Wolfe Street Academy

Patrice Riggins, Consultant, City Springs And Pimlico

Randi Saulter, Implementation Manager, National Institute for Direct Instruction

Keith Tabor, Pimlico

Charmaine Turner, Frederick


About the Baltimore Curriculum Project

Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is the largest operator of local neighborhood, public charter schools in Maryland. We create safe, supportive learning environments for children PK-8 by providing innovative, research-based educational strategies, intensive teacher training and extensive support for administration and staff. We support our local neighborhood needs by tailoring our resources and support through community partnerships.

As one of the longest-running charter operators in Maryland, our schools are regularly recognized as some of the most highly acclaimed neighborhood charter schools in the state. 

Pimlico Elementary / Middle School

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Baltimore, MD 21224
Fax: 410-675-7030

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