Wednesday, May 29, 2013
What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) report: Saxon Math "potentially positive effects"
An updated What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) report provide new information about the effectiveness of Saxon Math a
Saxon Math was found to have potentially positive effects on mathematics achievement for elementary school students.
Saxon Math, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is a core curriculum for students in grades K–5. A distinguishing feature of the curriculum is its use of an incremental approach for instruction and assessment. This approach limits the amount of new math content delivered to students each day and allows time for daily practice. New concepts are introduced gradually and integrated with previously introduced content so that concepts are developed, reviewed, and practiced over time rather than being taught during discrete periods of time, such as in chapters or units. Instruction is built around math conversations that engage students in learning, as well as continuous practice with hands-on activities, manipulatives, and paper-pencil methods. The program includes frequent, cumulative assessments used to direct targeted remediation and support to struggling students. Starting in grade 3, the focus shifts from teacher-directed instruction to a more student-directed, independent learning approach, though math conversations continue to be used to introduce new concepts.
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) identified two studies of Saxon Math that both fall within the scope of the Elementary School Math topic area and meet WWC evidence standards. One study meets standards without reservations and the other study meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. Together these studies included more than 8,060 students in grades 1–5 from 452 schools in 11 states. The WWC considers the extent of evidence for Saxon Math on the math performance of elementary school students to be medium to large for the mathematics achievement domain, the only outcome domain examined for studies reviewed under the Elementary School Mathematics topic area.