Symphony Math v7Available Now!

gameboardVersion 7 of Symphony Math continues to reflect the best practices in mathematics instruction and cognitive development research. In the 2014 NCTM publication “Principles to Action”, a key Teaching Practice describes the goal of Symphony Math perfectly: “Effective teaching of mathematics engages students in making connections among mathematical representations to deepen understanding of mathematics concepts and procedures and as tools for problem solving.” (NCTM, 2014)Here is a quick summary of the new features in the latest update to Symphony Math that promote the key findings of NCTM and other leading experts in math instruction:


Expanded Scope & Sequence

In Symphony Math v7, each Stage of the program has been re-designed to more closely reflect the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. We’ve taken the best research used in the formation of these standards, and combined that with our extensive experience with mathematics curriculum development. The result: a scope and sequence that builds a solid foundation in the most important ideas in mathematics.

Stage Concept
1 The Number Sequence
2 More/Less/Same
3 Add & Subtract to 5
4 Ten as a Unit
5 Comparing Numbers
6 Add & Subtract to 20
7 Tens
8 Add & Subtract with 10s
9 Hundreds
10 Add & Subtract with 100s
11 Foundations for Multiplication
12 Regrouping with 2- and 3-digits
13 Multiplication & Division
14 Introduction to Fractions
15 Multiply & Divide to 100
16 Multiply & Divide with 1/10/100
17 Add & Subtract Unit Fractions
18 Non-Unit Fractions
19 Decimals
20 Improper Fractions

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New Representations

Symphony Math v7 not only includes an improved Scope and Sequence, but also adds new virtual manipulatives to help students connect the BIG IDEAS in mathematics. Each Stage of Symphony Math uses multiple representations, and students actively create and use different models to demonstrate their understanding of each mathematical concept.

Number Bars

Symphony Math is known for the use of number bars as the primary means of representing magnitude. In the first stage of Symphony Math, students work on the Number Sequence. Here they construct a ‘reverse staircase’ that represents counting down from the number 7 to the number 2.


Students can connect their understanding of magnitude to Parts-to-Whole, and begin to understand Addition.


Symphony Math v7 doesn’t encourage mastery – it demands it. Students actively construct number sentences using different types of manipulatives and symbols. Here, the student is solving a basic addition story problem using Symphony Bars.


Dot Cards

But at the same time, the number sequence can be represented through models that show groups of discrete objects. Dot cards contain a number of dots in each card. At first, students count the dots in each card. But eventually students are able to ‘subitize’, or look at cards and instantly tell ‘how many’ the card represents. Here the student must fill in the missing cards in the number sequence 2 through 7.


And just like the other areas of the program, students will work with multiple models, and multiple Ways of Knowing. Here, the student sees the number sentence, and has to create a model that reflects the number sentence.


Number Lines

As students begin to become more comfortable with numbers, the Number Line is introduced. The Number Line is a very common model in math, and both students and teachers have used this representation for many years. The Number Line is used throughout the entire Scope and Sequence in Symphony Math v7.


And just as students used Symphony Bars and Dot Cards, they use Number Lines to construct number sentences.


Fraction Bars

The new Fraction Bar in Symphony Math is a simple model that can be divided into equal parts and filled. In this task the student must create a given fraction (2/5) by using the bar model. They create the equal parts, and shade them to create this representation.


Here, the student sees two squares that are partially filled, and must create the whole that will result from the sum of their parts. Later students will use only symbols, and then word problems, to demonstrate their mastery of the addition with fractions.


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An Entire Fluency Program Built-In!

As students master concepts, like parts-to-whole, they activate ‘Mastery Rounds’. Mastery Rounds contain groups of basic facts that students work towards mastery. Mastery Rounds in Symphony Math v7 aren’t tied to the ‘Thinking Rounds’, and so students can continue to work on their basic facts fluency as they graduate to other concepts in the program.


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No Installation

Symphony Math v7 will available online via most major web browsers. No installation is required, and Chromebooks and iPads (via an app) will be fully supported.
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New Dashboard and Reports

Symphony Math is a THREE-STEP program that helps students connect the Big Ideas in mathematics. The new online Dashboard will reflect all three steps, and provide instant data and links to important materials. In addition to summaries of Screener and Benchmarker data, teachers can instantly access Extra Practice Materials and recent Award certificates directly from the Dashboard.


Instruction reports will reflect the new Dashboard changes by providing a summary of Screener, Benchmarker and Instruction data at the top of each report. Instruction reports are also being revised to reflect the CCSS standards that are the basis for each Stage.


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Expanded Offline Materials

Symphony Math Extra Practice materials are meant to be conversation pieces, used in small groups or in teacher-student discussions where a misconception or particular need can be practiced away from the online program. Symphony Math v7 will contain more than 1,200 pages of Extra Practice worksheets that cover every skill in the program, and use all of the available models for each skill.

A primary goal of Symphony Math is to encourage student thinking and problem-solving. Students should be able to take the concepts and tools learned within the program and apply them to new situations. ‘Symphony Extensions’ are new offline materials that help encourage transfer of learned skills. A mixture of Symphony-like tasks and novel tasks will help teachers ensure that students have full understanding of each Stage’s concepts, and can apply them outside of the program.