How Changing Math Books Impacts the Classroom

Colorful pencils in a holder with books, an apple, glasses, and an alarm clock on a desk, with a blurred student in the background.

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My school is changing the math textbook series that we use for daily instruction from Eureka Math to IM Math (Illustrative Math). I have noticed that we change math books every 5 to 7 years.

Switching from one math textbook series to another, such as from Eureka Math to IM Math, can impact students, but the extent of that impact will depend on several factors. Here are some considerations:

Teaching to the Standards:

If a teacher has always crafted their lesson plans to conform to the educational standards of their state, then changing books should not be as challenging. The teachers will need to revise their lesson plans in light of the new curriculum by determining where in the new book each standard is covered, then analyzing whether or not there have been any changes to how the standards are presented, and finally revising their lesson plans accordingly. If lesson plans are created online, then all that is required to complete this task is searching, editing, cutting, and pasting the relevant information.

Teachers may already use supplemental material with their math lessons that will not need to change because they are still correctly aligned withthe standards being taught.

Curriculum and Approach:

Different math textbook series can have a variety of pedagogical approaches and curriculum designs to choose from. Students might encounter different ways in which concepts are presented, practiced, and assessed if the curriculum and methodology of IM Math are significantly different from those of Eureka Math. This can have an effect on the students’ understanding of the material as well as their engagement with it.

Learning Style Compatibility:

Students have different learning styles and preferences. Some people may find new methods or formats challenging to work with, while others may find specific approaches more effective and engaging. The impact of the change will be directly proportional to the degree to which the new curriculum accommodates the various learning preferences of the students.

Teacher Training and Familiarity:

The success of the overall implementation of the curriculum is directly reliant on the teachers. Students have a better chance of profiting from the switch to the new IM Math curriculum if their teachers have received adequate training and are already familiar with it. It is essential to provide sufficient training and support for teachers in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Assessment and Evaluation:

It’s possible that the new curriculum will come with its very own tests and evaluation procedures built right in. It’s possible that students will need some time to adjust to the new testing formats and requirements. At least in the beginning, this may have an effect on their performance as well as their confidence.

Parent and Guardian Involvement:

Changes to the curriculum may also have an effect on the ways in which parents and guardians can support the education of their children at home. If the new curriculum uses different strategies or ideas, the parents may need to adjust how involved they are in their children’s education.  I get excited when new textbooks include online practice and games that are precisely aligned with each lesson.  I have found that students often excel when this type of technology goes along with the lesson because they become more engaged and motivated to learn. 

Long-Term Impacts:

The switch will likely have an effect that lasts beyond the current academic year.  The new curriculum could positively impact students’ readiness for higher-level mathematics classes if it is designed to construct a solid foundation for future mathematical concepts.

Adjustment Period:

There is typically a period of adjustment required for both students and teachers whenever there is a change in the educational materials being used. While it may not take long for some students to get used to the new information, others may need more time to feel completely at ease with it.


In the short term, changing textbooks creates more work for teachers. However, if the new book aligns with improved technology and teaching strategies, it’s likely worth the effort in the long run.

In the end, whether or not the transition from Eureka Math to IM Math matters will be determined by how smoothly the new curriculum is implemented, how effectively teachers are prepared, and how adaptable and resilient the students are in their approach to embracing the changes. The provision of sufficient support, resources, and communication to all relevant parties should enable educational institutions to facilitate a seamless transition.