District Educators, Families, and Community for The School District of Philadelphia

Learn about Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics (IM)

The instructional design of Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics supports K-12 learners in The School District of Philadelphia through dynamic, engaging instructional experiences. Students develop deep conceptual understanding aligned to the Common Core State Standards and research-based learning principles.

Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics (IM) Instructional Design

A problem-based instructional framework supports teachers in structuring lessons, so students are the ones doing the problem solving to learn the mathematics. The activities and routines give teachers opportunities to see what students know and what they can notice before having concepts and procedures explained to them.
Each unit starts with an invitation to the mathematics. The first few lessons provide an accessible entry point for all students and offer teachers the opportunity to observe students’ prior understandings.
Overall DNA of the instruction design of Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics: Invitation to the mathematics - Deep study of concepts and procedures - Consolidating and applying
Each lesson starts with a learning goal and a warm-up, followed by problem-based instructional activities facilitated by the teacher (including individual and small-group worktime), and concludes with a synthesis and cool-down to solidify and apply student learning.
DNA of the instructional design process at lesson level: Warm-up - Instructional activities - Synthesis and cool-down

Family Support

A change we’ve seen in recent years is that parents and families are more engaged than ever in trying to support their learners, so we’re developing resources to help them do just that, including family support videos, which give families the opportunity to see what's going on inside the math classroom—such as vocabulary and concepts—and take part in activities with their students to reinforce learning.

Equity and Access for Diverse Learners

In Illustrative Mathematics, students enjoy mathematics, make mathematical connections, and develop conceptual understanding. Inclusive instructional routines, representations, and digital tools are carefully utilized to provide access for all learners.

Inspire Math Videos

Students are really engaged by the new Inspire Math videos that Imagine Learning has created this past year. These videos expand on unit content and bring it to life for students, showcasing the math in a real-world, engaging context.

Student Spotlight Videos*

Peer modeled conversations are showcased in the Student Spotlight Lessons. These lessons are anchored by videos showing interactive discussions between groups of students, along with visuals of their individual approaches. These on-demand example conversations between peers can help foster engagement and collaboration. 

*Currently available for Grades 6–8 and Algebra 1 only.


Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics (IM) offers both formative and summative assessments. The program includes a number of options to measure understanding and progress of learning goals:

  • Teachers can provide timely feedback through assignable items and better inform instruction.
  • Students have tools that promote ownership and accountability for learning.
  • Assessments are available in print and digital formats for equity and access in all instructional models.

Embedded options for assessment are provided throughout each unit, section, and lesson.

District Educators, Families, and Community, want to learn more about Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics?

Take a guided tour today

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