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Math Pathways & Pitfalls

Math Pathways & Pitfalls at WestEd provides professional development for teachers and intervention lessons for students in grades K-8.

This professional development addresses the need for improving instruction of key mathematical standards and academic language, regardless of the core instructional materials being used. For sample lessons and additional information, visit

The K-8 intervention curriculum includes four books and targets whole number concepts, place value, operations, fractions, decimals, percents, ratios, and proportions. These topics are interwoven with algebra readiness.

Each book includes:

Math Pathways & Pitfalls also offers the following professional development services for deepening teacher effectiveness and adding value to any adopted mathematics curriculum:

Research Findings

Two randomized trial efficacy studies and explanatory descriptive studies have documented the impact of Math Pathways & Pitfalls and help explain why it is effective with diverse learners. The Math Pathways & Pitfalls materials and research are based upon work supported by the Stuart Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.*

One experimental study demonstrated that one year (only 15 lesson-hours) of Math Pathways & Pitfalls is effective across grade levels for students and teachers in rural, suburban, and urban schools.

Another randomized trial study found that two years (30 lesson-hours) of Math Pathways & Pitfalls significantly increased standardized mathematics test scores, mathematical language assessment scores, and English learner achievement.

A classroom observation study suggests that Math Pathways & Pitfalls teaching practices transfer to lessons in the adopted curriculum.

Combined, these studies indicate that a relatively small “dose” of Math Pathways & Pitfalls may have a powerful effect on mathematical learning and pedagogical practices. Learn about the research and download reports.

*The Math Pathways & Pitfalls materials and research are based upon work supported in part by the Stuart Foundation; the National Science Foundation under Grant ESI-9911374; and the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305K050050. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of these agencies.