Math Splash Conferences Offer Deep Dive Into Engaging Mathematics Instruction

Events across the state will provide in-depth look at model math units on new learning standards

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Educators and parents have the opportunity this summer to dive deeper into engaging model math units during a series of Math Splash Conference events designed to make challenging math skills and concepts come alive for students. The two-day conferences will allow participants to immerse themselves in the state’s new math curriculum models and gain valuable instructional skills and insights.

“A strong foundation in math is critical as our standards build upon previously learned concepts so that math topics are linked to one another over the school year and across grades,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Our new math models provide lesson planning and assessments that teachers can use to build this strong foundation of understanding for students.”

A statewide team of educators designed the models to help teachers develop lesson plans that meet the new internationally benchmarked Illinois Learning Standards in math. These standards emphasize critical thinking, problem solving, and depth of knowledge to ensure that students are mastering the appropriate math concepts they need to succeed in the next grade level through high school graduation and beyond.

The Math Splash Conferences will cover math content from kindergarten through grade 12 and are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • July 7-8 – Carbondale High School, 1501 E. Walnut St., in Carbondale
  • July 9-10 – Byron Middle School, 325 N. Colfax St., in Byron
  • July 28-29 – Effingham High School, 1301 W. Grove, in Effingham

Illinois districts began piloting the model math units, which are the first of their kind, in response to 2012 legislation that required the agency to work with math experts and statewide education organizations to develop middle and high school mathematics curriculum models.

Text Box: To register for one of the three Math Splash Conferences, go to school districts piloted the math models during the 2014-15 school year. Districts may choose to adopt or adapt the models as they develop their full curricula.

Math Splash events will feature breakout sessions led by experts and practical ideas from classroom teachers. Each conference will include a three-hour curriculum development lab, facilitated by model math unit writers, to help participants develop challenging lesson plans for their grade level that are aligned to the new standards. Representatives from schools that have piloted the math models will also discuss their experiences.

The Mathematics Model Curriculum Project team developed a total of 88 units, 72 lessons, and 516 assessments for kindergarten through eighth grade and integrated math high school courses. The units and assessments are all aligned to the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams.

Educators may access the models on ISBE’s website at