Empowering Algebra for All

Inclusive and equitable algebra strategies created for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Algebra 1: Balance the Equation Grand Challenge

About Empowering Algebra for All

Topics:

  • Exploring Identity to Create an Inclusive and Affirming Algebra Classroom
  • Building Systems that Support Student Agency in Algebra Class
  • Inspiring Our Students Through Social and Cultural Connections to Algebra

Overview:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has found -- and research shows -- that Algebra I consistently serves as a good indicator of whether or not students will graduate high school. Students who do not complete Algebra I are less likely to graduate from high school than students who do complete the course. More specifically, Algebra I has been positioned as a gatekeeper; a barrier to Black and Latinx students who have been traditionally marginalized in math. Because of this, The Gates Foundation has issued a Grand Challenge called Balance the Equation for organizations and school districts to reimagine what Algebra I could look like infused with inclusive and responsive practices for Black and Latinx students. Over 400 school districts and organizations answered the challenge and created proposals for Balance the Equation.  BetterLesson, in partnership with Desmos, was 1 of 15 organizations that received funding to create a phase one pilot for which we developed 13 instructional strategies included on this page.

To learn more about this project, view this video.

Featured Strategies

Use the CRMT-TM Lesson Analysis Tool to reflect on strengths and areas for improvement in how a math lesson promotes thinking and equity
Use the CRMT-TM Lesson Analysis Tool to reflect on strengths and areas for improvement in how a math lesson promotes thinking and equity
Integrate social justice into mathematics
Integrate social justice into mathematics
Small moves that help challenge societal beliefs about math and ability help create a culture of equity
Small moves that help challenge societal beliefs about math and ability help create a culture of equity

Outcomes

BetterLesson's coaching and workshops are focused on specific topics.
I can increase the inclusivity of my Algebra classes by supporting students in developing positive mathematical identities.
I can build systems that support students to access key Algebra concepts and exercise agency over their Algebra learning experiences.
I can integrate social and cultural contexts in my Algebra class in order to support students to feel personally connected to and invested in the content.

How BetterLesson Can Help

We provide personalized, continuous support to help teachers and instructional leaders make growth towards their professional goals.
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