Origo Education’s award-winning Stepping Stones 2.0 K-6 math program (with a separate program for pre-K) is versatile, easy-to-use, and nicely differentiated for varied learning and teaching strategies. It is available in English and Spanish with versions aligned with Common Core Standards or the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Its unique system of scaffolding lesson-to-lesson and circling back on important concepts not only reinforces learning but enhances student higher order thinking skills. Teaching materials include an abundance of resources, professional development, videos, and help. Lesson plans are delivered via a granular combination of rigorous critical thinking activities, real-world problems, and interactive digital games that make implementing the program easy and flexible for any type of classroom and fully supportive of a schoolwide goal of college and career readiness.
How to use Stepping Stones
- Teachers, schools, or districts sign up for an account that will provide access to all teacher materials. These are organized by grade, module, and lesson plan with lots of options to maximize or minimize lessons. Teachers also get a complete list of all student resources (available in both print and digital) and associated teacher notes.
- Each lesson plan includes a playlist of activities (worksheets, videos, games, journals, PDFs, and more) that walk teachers through exactly how to present the lesson. These can be edited by deleting activities and/or adding more from the Stepping Stones resource list. Playlists are also collaborative; for example, all teachers in a grade level team can edit and work off the same list.
- Each lesson provides differentiation suggestions for Extra Help, Extra Practice, and Extra Challenge.
- Teacher materials can be annotated with sticky notes, allowing educators to track progress with tweaks for the next year.
- Lesson materials can be casted (using a Cast This button in the lower left corner) to student digital devices and/or the class screen so students can easily track progress, play games in small or individual groups, and grab screenshots to save in personal portfolios.
Instructions include cross-curricular connections that link math to other subjects like social studies, science, and language arts. Online resources including virtual manipulatives, interactive tools, and games allow students to practice skills through meaningful and engaging activities.
Multiple representations of content ensure instruction addresses differences in student learning styles.
Embedded videos provide teachers with professional development and pedagogy needed to effectively address standards in classroom instruction (such as Steps in Action videos and the YouTube channel Origo One which provides a series of one-minute math lessons to help teachers teach challenging math issues).
Materials are organized sequentially, as a scope and sequence, by general topic, and by grade level. Topics are scaffolded, building within a grade level, or can be chosen individually to differentiate for student needs.
An all-encompassing K-6 Scope and Sequence lets teachers see what topics are taught in which grades. These buttons are interactive, too, letting a grade-level teacher click on prior years to see how/what was introduced in earlier grades, say for fractions or money.
One last item: The program is platform-agnostic, so runs just as well on tablets as smartphones. This makes planning and prep easily accomplished outside the classroom — even during children’s soccer practice!
Teacher materials are digital only, but can be printed through the Resources tab. I’ve found many schools are transitioning away from paper to all-digital, so this may not bother you.
Teachers who are unfamiliar with digital resources may find this program more difficult to navigate than a print book with a traditional table of contents and glossary–until they get used to it.
Overall, Stepping Stones 2.0 is one of the easiest-to-understand, most comprehensive math programs I’ve seen. With differentiation tools, a blended mix of print and digital materials, enrichments for fast-moving students, reinforcement of important topics, built-in professional development, easily-understood materials, built-in note-taking, collaboration, and lesson plan playlists, all stakeholders in math education will appreciate this well-organized, almost intuitive program.
Enjoy these screen grabs of Stepping Stones materials:
More math resources:
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.