Spiral or Scaffold? An Analysis of Everyday Mathematics and Investigations in Number, Data, and Space
This literature review is designed to investigate the similarities and differences in Investigations in Number, Data and Space and Everyday Mathematics and to analyze the ways in which the curricula support the learner and learning as it relates to the two, separate second-grade units or “content strands” on “How Many Tens? How Many Ones?” and “Place Value, Money, and Time.” It will also discuss the ways in which each curriculum either supports or inhibits learner equity in the elementary classroom and how to effectively employ one spiraled curriculum (Everyday Mathematics) through the strengths of the scaffolded curriculum (Investigations in Number, Data and Space). Both curricula engage students and support an environment of active learning in mathematics. However, questions reviewed in this essay include: How does the implementation of either of these units in Investigations in Number, Data and Space or Everyday Mathematics enable all students to retain and understand material? What role does the teacher play in relation to each curricular unit, in the learning of elementary math concepts and how does the curriculum support that teacher? What types of assessments does each curricular unit utilize and how do these contribute to learner equity or make the content in each unit accessible for students of varying ability levels? In what ways are these curricular units alike and different and which curriculum supports mastery learning of these second grade elementary mathematical concepts? Why is learner equity a driving force behind mastery learning? By looking at learners and learning, the role of the teacher, curriculum and instructional strategies and assessment, this essay will investigate the benefits and limitations of implementing units in Everyday Mathematics and Investigations in Number, Data and Space in second-grade elementary classrooms. The results of this essay will provide educators with an understanding of the similarities and differences in the two curricula. It will enable them to make an appropriate curricular choice for their student demographic as well as provide support to their instruction, curriculum, assessments, and learning environments, showing them ways to maximize learner equity in second-grade elementary mathematics instruction.