Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Introducing EMBARC.Online

I’d like to introduce you to EMBARC.Online.

EMBARC stands for Eureka Math Bay Area Regional Consortium.

Our vision is:
  • To build a collaborative community of Eureka Math users
  • To provide a common website to support all users of the Eureka Math curriculum
Two years ago (2013-2014 school year), teachers in my district began using using bits and pieces of the EngageNY math modules. The following year nearly two-thirds of our teachers used EngageNY as their sole math curriculum while the Math Curriculum Adoption Committee spent the year deciding on a curriculum to adopt. As it turns out we adopted EngageNY, although we officially use the Eureka Math branding. (I could not be more proud of the teachers who specifically made the decision to adopt an ambitious curriculum that, while great for students, is challenging for adults.)

During our time dabbling in using this wonderful curriculum, it became very clear to me - as the TK-5 Mathematics Instructional Coach - that our teachers were going to need a lot of support in order to fully understand and implement it. Thus began a steady stream of emails from me to my teacher community, sharing the “latest and greatest” web URLs, links, and resources.

I had every intention to be helpful. Indeed, I thought each new resource I shared was worthy of being used by the classroom teacher. Unfortunately, the teachers were drowning in the sea of “helpfulness” that was spewing from my email. The problem was that teachers had no time to read through the latest resource I shared, understand how it relates to the Eureka Math content being taught, and then assimilate it into the already lengthy lesson. After all, teachers were already complaining that the 60 minute Eureka Math lesson takes 90 minutes or more to complete...and now I was asking teachers to consider including this latest and greatest supplemental resource?

This is where EMBARC comes in.
Rather than sending teachers out to a variety of third-party locations (Illustrative Mathematics, Inside Mathematics, Zearn, Three-Act lessons, to name a few), we will curate the best of the web and organize it on Great supplemental resources will be placed right at the topic or lesson where they will be most useful. 

Are you a 5th grade teacher doing Module 5 Lesson 18 tomorrow? Navigate there and you will find great resources to choose from to supplement, augment, or totally re-write the lesson. The teacher can access the exact support she needs at the exact moment she needs it.

Curating outside content into the curriculum is the first way that EMBARC distinguishes itself from other EngageNY/Eureka Math website. Nearly all EngageNY/Eureka Math websites have the core materials as PDFs ready for download and that’s about it. For additional resources, teachers are usually sent to external links to fend for themselves. EMBARC curates to make things easier on the teacher. We bring the resources in for the teacher, rather than sending the teacher outside to other sites.

A collaborative community
A second, more profound distinction is the collaborative community on EMBARC. Every module has a “Faculty Lounge”, in which our users can share ideas: new resources, shared Pinterest link, ideas for pacing.

Our EMBARC editors will find the best ideas shared in the Faculty Lounge and integrate them through the rest of the module. Teachers learn so much around the lunch table! We re-create that experience in the Faculty Lounges on EMBARC.

Now what?Join the community! Take part in a community of Eureka Math users who support each other, share ideas, and collaborate.

EMBARC is entirely free to use. No account is necessary. However, you will need to create a free account in order to contribute to the discussion in the faculty lounges.

The more people who join in on the conversation, the more we support each other, the better we will be for our students.