photo of teacherNegotiating the Fifth Grade Math Curriculum:
Compliance and Revision

Mary Hurley , Redwood Heights Elementary School
Oakland, California


Where do I teach?

What are my students learning?

Teaching Practice
What is my approach?

Student Work






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"Revision" Teaching the Curriculum Everyday Practices

District Mathematics Curriculum: The Oakland Unified School District uses Harcourt Mathematics throughout the K-5 grade levels. Mary Hurley is responsible for implementing both the fourth and fifth grade programs. The curriculum is regulated by a pacing guide developed by the district office of Curriculum and Development. Teachers must conform to the pacing guide. District benchmark assessments corresponding to the pacing guide are given every six weeks. Each school is required to post the results of these assessments in their lobby.

Hurley's Math Instruction: Although her math teaching is guided by the district curriculum, Hurley states that there are two central pieces to the mathematics teaching and learning that goes on in her classroom. One part is content as compiled in the fourth and fifth grade curriculum materials. The other is focused explicitly on learning. She aims to teach students both to think and to work as a community. She includes herself among the learners as well: "There's a lot of teacher learning going on. There is math learning for fourth and fifth grade kids, learning how to think and work productively as a community in small and large groups, and also teacher learning. I'm really working it as a teacher."

Collaborations: Each semester, Mary Hurley works as a cooperating teacher for preservice teachers in the Oakland area. The work represented on this site reflects a collaboration with a student teacher. In the case of mathematics instruction, the student teacher was largely responsible for the fourth grade math instruction. While it was often the case that fourth and fifth graders participated in math lessons together, the student teacher at times met with a smaller group of fourth graders and provided instruction separately.


Harcourt Mathematics - 5th Grade

Harcourt Mathematics - 4th Grade

California Content Standards

Oakland Unified School District Content Standards