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Some say we’re geeky about math. We agree. We’ve had real success helping elementary students succeed in math. Now we’d love to support you on your journey to breakthrough math achievement. Through Navigator, you’ll not only have access to an elementary math implementation and coaching program with a proven track record of success, you’ll also receive ongoing professional development and one-on-one coaching to support you in your journey to create a powerful and long-lasting impact on math achievement at your school. And that’s something to geek out about.

A full partnership with Navigator gives schools:

  • Access to our complete elementary math program, including all  curricula, all assessments, and related resources
  • Access to and training on Math Stories, a conceptual math problem solving approach  
  • 15 months of coaching and implementation support for school teams
  • The option to adopt only Math Stories, while continuing to use your current math curriculum
  • The option to continue and expand participation in the program in future years, adding additional grades and program components

About Navigator

We’re an Achievement First open source program. Our goal is to partner with other district and charter schools to adopt and adapt our curriculum and instructional practices to help them support their students to breakthrough results in math. 

Explore the AF Math Program

If you would like to learn more about the AF math program, please read the Program Overview and Fundamentals of Instruction, which guide our approach to elementary math. You are also welcome to explore the full curriculum and related resources on the Open Source section of our website (see the drop-down menu under Our Approach). It takes just a few seconds to create a username and password, and from there you can go into the Instructional Model section where you will find access to all of AF's daily curriculum resources.

Connect with the Navigator Program

To learn more about Navigator, please join us on an upcoming 1 hour webinar:

• Oct 23, 5-6 pm EST
• Nov 2, 5-6 pm EST
• Nov 13, 5-6 pm EST
• Jan 10, 5-6 pm EST

Register here. You’ll meet our math coaches, watch short video clips of Math Stories in action and you’ll hear a program overview followed by dynamic Q&A. Principals, math leaders, math teachers and district leaders are all welcome.


Who is eligible to participate in Navigator?

District and charter schools in New York City, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Springfield, MA are eligible to apply for the program for the 17-18 school year. Our ideal candidates are schools with:
• School teams excited to take on this work.  This includes the principal, school-based math lead (generally a math coach, dean or assistant principal whose focus is math), and teachers in selected grades
• Classroom teachers in selected grades who have solid achievement
• A record of implementing new initiatives successfully
• A strong desire to dramatically increase student performance in math.
• That may be currently using a direct instruction approach to math instruction, but are eager to move to an approach that is inquiry-based and focused on students’ conceptual understanding.

What does Navigator view as the “recipe for success” in elementary math?

There is a set of core program components, leader and teacher practices, and leader and teacher mindsets that all need to work together to achieve breakthrough academic results.  Navigator will work with participants over 1-2 years to implement these elements.

Core program components:
• Daily Lesson Curriculum - extensive Unit Plans with accompanying Daily Lesson Plans and all student-facing materials; also includes daily lesson and cumulative review homework and weekly cumulative review for students
• Math Stories, a daily story problem routine
• Weekly Quizzes - weekly assessments aligned to Daily Lessons and cumulative review materials to gauge progress toward mastery
• Intervention - support in using Weekly Quiz data to intervene and support students

Leader and teacher practices
• Ongoing intellectual preparation of daily lessons
• Regular observation and feedback of teaching
• Weekly analysis of student data
• Looking at student work protocols to plan for response to data

Leader and teacher mindsets
• Growth mindset and hunger for feedback to improve skill and outcomes
• Belief that all children can achieve at the highest levels
• Strong desire to shift math instruction to a higher level of rigor
• Interest in shifting teacher practice to an inquiry-based structure that focused on student discussion and letting students grapple with concepts they are learning

Is it possible to adopt some, but not all of the components of the “recipe for success” and still participate in the program?

While we believe that to achieve transformative gains a school needs to implement all of the elements outlined above, we recognize that making this transition in one year may be too dramatic of a change for most schools. We strongly encourage and will give preference to schools that are looking to adopt all elements of the program, and will work with schools to determine whether the best pace for that adoption will be over the course of 1 or 2 years.

How will Navigator support my school in adopting your elementary math program?

Participants in the program will receive intensive professional development in the summer of 2017 to learn the core contents and the approach to the AF math program and will work 1:1 with a coach to plan for implementation at your school, including the change management necessary for a smooth transition. Once the school year begins, your coach will be there to support you from a half day to a full day per week as you conduct observations together, troubleshoot and plan for ongoing implementation. You will continue learning core teacher and leader practices and mindsets.

What is the time commitment to participate in the program and for whom?

The principal and math lead (math coach, assistant principal, dean) must participate in a 5-day intensive professional development session in June of 2017.

During the 2017-18 school year:

• Principals must set a weekly meeting with the math lead to support implementation
• Math leaders must commit to weekly observation and coaching of teachers involved in the program (this will often be done in conjunction with your weekly meeting with your coach)
• Math leaders across Navigator schools will meet virtually or in person every 6-8 weeks to share cohort data, dilemmas and to jointly problem solve

What commitments do I need to have in place to be able to participate in Navigator?

We offer the following options for participation in Year 1:
• Math Stories only (schools continue to use their existing math lesson curriculum)
• Math Stories plus K-1 lessons (with option to add weekly quizzes)
• Math Stories plus 2-4 lessons (with option to add weekly quizzes)
• Math Stories plus K-4 lessons (with option to add weekly quizzes)

If you are applying to adopt Math Stories only, the following requirements must be met:
• Plan to implement in at least K-2, 2-4 or 3-5
• Have at least four 20 min blocks per week available for Math Stories
• Commitment to learning or strengthening core teacher and leader practices of intellectual preparation for lessons and observation and feedback
• A building level leader (math coach, assistant principal) is on staff to lead implementation
• An enthusiastic team of teachers in participating grades
• A group of teachers and leaders who are not wedded to direct instruction. This may be how you are currently teaching math, but you and your teachers should be open and eager for learning a new approach to math instruction

If you are applying to adopt Math Stories and Math Lessons, you should meet all of the requirements listed above as well as:

• Plan to implement Math Lessons and Math Stories in at least K-1 or 2-4 or 3-4
• Have minimum minutes available in the schedule as follows: K-1: at least four 45 minute blocks per week (plus four 20 minute blocks per week for math stories); 2-4: at least four 55 minute blocks per week (plus four 20 minute blocks per week for math stories) available in the schedule
• Commitment to learning or strengthening all core teacher and leader practices listed in our Recipe for Success above

Do I need to change my math curriculum to be able to participate in Navigator?

If your school is planning to adopt only Math Stories in Year 1, you may continue to use your current math curriculum as long as it is not a program that is built around direct instruction, such as Saxon Math. If your school is planning to adopt our math lessons, these will become your daily curriculum.

Is there a cost to Navigator?

There is a fee for each school participating in the program on a sliding scale based on the size of the district or charter school. This fee will cover less than a quarter of the total cost of the program, the remainder of which is supported through philanthropy. Please inquire directly with our staff about the relevant costs for your school.