Math Teaching Textbooks - A guide for 6-12th teachers
Updated: Mar 12
DISCLAIMER: I have not been offered nor have I received any compensation for this post or the recommendations I share. None of the links are affiliate links. This is truly my own opinion.
I’m going to come right out and say that I’m passionate about students who struggle with math. I’m passionate about resources that make math accessible for all students. I’m talking Black and Brown students who have been historically underserved. I’m talking ELLs and students with IEPs in math. So this guide is written for them. Written from the perspective of a teacher who taught high school math intervention in South Central Los Angeles, East San Jose, and Denver and had students who had failed math every year since 5th grade. These math textbooks are the best of the best in my opinion!
If you’re looking for an accelerated math curriculum or something for your honors class, this is not your guide. I’ll save you the time.
But if you’re a 6-12th grade math or SPED teacher with students who struggle, this math teaching textbook guide was made for you!
I have math textbook recommendations for middle school, high school, and my favorite Teachers Pay Teachers curricula as well. Feel free to click the link to jump to that section or read through them all.
Textbook Adoption Resources
In my work as a district math coach and TOSA I led our district through a textbook pilot and adoption for 13 high schools. I wanted to share just a few resources to help you with your textbook adoption:
1. Get familiar with EdReports, a non-profit organization that assesses all levels of math and ELA books for focus, coherence, and rigor.
2. Create a plan. I love the resources from EdElements for this.
3. Hire a contractor to either help you, or run a pilot and adoption for you. Contact me today and see if we’d be a good fit for me to take this off your plate or guide you through it, behind the scenes.
Recommendation #1: EdGems Math
About: I have gotten to know this textbook Author and team very well over the last few years and it’s seriously the most amazing published math textbook out there.
Why I love it: The collaborative “teacher gems” are every teachers dream. They are collaborative and super engaging and they are created for every section within every unit of the entire curriculum. You'll never have to purchase another TpT resource again! There are also linked digital activities on sites like Desmos, Estimation180, and other similar websites so you never have spend your precious time researching and searching, it's already done for you for every unit. Plus their online tech assessment piece is the perfect prep for state testing.
Grade/Content: 6, 7, 8, and Algebra 1.
If you reach out and talk to Eric or Dori, tell them you heard about EdGems through Juliana Tapper! I receive no compensation for this, I would just love for them to know.
Recommendation #2: MathLinks
About: This is a very cost effective option. You'll be able to order a student consumable for a very fair price and everything is just ready to go! The program includes notes pages, practice pages, homework, and fun activities like mazes to use with students. They have slide decks as well with wonderful 3 act math tasks built in to some sections and links to digital activities on sites like Desmos.
Why I love it: The activities provided are engaging and the lesson slides invite participation and conceptual thinking! **They also have a “math links essentials” course which is great for intervention classes!**
Grade/Content: 6, 7, and 8.
If you reach out and talk to Mark, tell them you heard about MathLinks through Juliana Tapper! I receive no compensation for this, I would just love for them to know.
Recommendation: EdGems Math
About: I know.. I recommended them earlier, but when I say this is the best textbook out there, I really mean it.
Why I love it: The scope & sequence is actually reasonable for a school year and like I mentioned in the middle school section, the teacher gems alone are worth every penny to purchase this curriculum. To have done for you collaborative activities for every single section of a curriculum is just the absolute best.
I haven’t seen anything I love and feel comfortable recommending here. See ideas in the Teachers Pay Teachers section.
Algebra 2 & beyond
The students I work with and teachers I support in my client work are typically Algebra 1 and below so I do not have recommendations for these subject areas. However, see ideas in the Teachers Pay Teachers section..
Teachers Pay Teachers
Over the last 2 years I’ve gotten more involved in the TpT world and even created my own store. I’ve gotten to personally know some of the major math TpT textbook authors personally and been able to look around their curricula.
Recommendation #1: Lindsay Bowden
About: I have personally gotten very close to Lindsay. She happens to live in the town my husband grew up in and our daughters are just a few months apart so we instantly hit it off when I connected with her on instagram. In addition to actual math teaching experience she has a masters in curriculum design so her stuff is cohesive and well planned!
Why I love it: Her scope & sequence is reasonable. Her activities are AMAZING! She has great digital activities with her curriculum like mazes and pixel art along with printable activities like scavenger hunts and task cards.
Grade/Content: Algebra 1 and Geometry
Recommendation #2: All Things Algebra
About: At my third high school, we had no math textbook. We pieced things together from here and there and one of the resources I loved was All Things Algebra.
Why I love it: The guided notes are not overwhelming for students who struggle and I could pretty just print and go with no edits required. I like how she sequences things and her activities are really fun.
Grade/Content: I have personally only used bits and pieces from her Algebra 1 and Geometry curricula, but she has 6,7,8, pre-algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2.
Hope you found these resources and recommendations helpful! If you were hoping to see some more PBL or exploratory curricula in these recommendations you can learn more about my opinion on problem based math curricula and resources over in this blog post, Low & No Coast Math PBL Resources.
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