November 23, 2021 Immanuel Lutheran School

08.27.2021 Principal's Corner

Immanuel evaluates it's curriculum on a cycle in which each year a different subject is reviewed. We review research and best practices and then assess our curriculum and instructional methods in terms of what we do well and areas where we could improve. Last year we reviewed math, and this year we adopted a new math series, Big Ideas Math.

Saxon Math, our previous series, had several strengths that we wanted to make sure carried over to any new series we might select--components such as ongoing review, spiraling curriculum, fact mastery, and comprehension of math properties. Big Ideas includes all of these.

There were several factors taken into consideration when we decided to move away from Saxon Math to Big Ideas Math:

  • The curricular standards are covered more thoroughly with Big Ideas.
  • Big Ideas was better aligned with the content and processing standards recommended by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
  • There is a better emphasis on critical thinking.
  • Saxon is going out of print. When a series goes out of print it is difficult to obtain replacements as time goes on.
  • There are more resources for student support, online tools, and parent communication.
  • Other schools already using Big Ideas provided positive feedback about improved MAP scores and better resources to help teachers differentiate to meet individual student needs.

We are still waiting on the arrival of some of the materials that were ordered at the beginning of July. Our customer representative at Big Ideas has explained that this is due to a global disruption to supply chains caused by the pandemic, hence a national paper shortage and a transportation backlog. Thankfully, Big Ideas provides many online resources, and our teachers are able to print lesson material in-house for our students to use in the meantime. This allows them to teach without any instructional delays while we wait for the rest of our materials to arrive.

If you are interested in being involved in the curriculum review process, please contact me at We are reviewing social studies this year and would love your input.