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Professional Development

Aim for Algebra Institute: Implement Standards-Aligned Curriculum for Student Success

Learn research-affirmed instructional techniques designed for student success in mathematics and that support implementation of the standards-aligned Aim for Algebra curriculum. Our on-site institute is tailored to your needs.

Contact Us About This Service

What You Will Learn

  • Incorporate effective questioning strategies as you implement conceptually based mathematics lessons
  • Orchestrate discourse to build understanding of math concepts essential for success in algebra
  • Participate in lessons to model effective implementation of the Aim for Algebra curriculum

Who Will Benefit

  • Teachers of algebra, algebra intervention, and algebra readiness courses
  • Teachers of after-school, extended day, and summer school algebra classes
  • Teacher of high school exit exam preparation classes
  • District/site personnel responsible for mathematics curriculum and programs

Service Details

Aim for Algebra professional development institutes are held on your site with flexible dates for school or district teams.

The on-site institutes take place over three days: an initial two-day implementation seminar and a one-day follow-up later in the year.

Participants are taught research-affirmed strategies to effectively implement the Aim for Algebra curriculum — a coherent set of materials, conceptual in nature, rather than a collection of individual worksheets on isolated topics.

Aim for Algebra, published by WestEd, has a modular format for easy implementation, flexible programming, and individualized student placement. Institute participants will learn about the following 12 content-specific modules, which can be accessed as a complete set, or individually, or as replacement materials, allowing teachers to provide students a variety of experiences in regular, intervention, or readiness algebra classes:

  • Signed Number Operations
  • Number Theory for Algebra
  • Exponents
  • Variables and Expressions
  • Rational Numbers
  • Equations and Formulas
  • Ratios and Proportions
  • Patterns
  • Coordinate Plane
  • Proportional Reasoning
  • Inequalities
  • Data and Probability

Each module includes a lesson-by-lesson facilitator guide, student materials, pre/post tests, answer keys, and appropriate manipulatives.

What Makes This Service Unique

Our professional development providers were part of the development of Aim for Algebra and are experts in its successful implementation, as well as in the instructional strategies to achieve success.

In the Aim for Algebra curriculum, WestEd researchers have identified and addressed specific areas that most often become barriers to learning algebra. Aim for Algebra lessons are based on cognitive research and learning theory that optimizes understanding and retention, and enables students to bridge the conceptual gaps created by traditional algebra curricula.

Aim for Algebra lessons and activities help students understand underlying algebraic concepts in a deep way, organize their thinking, work with multiple representations, and learn incrementally. The following seven principles guided the development of the curriculum and are discussed in detail during the institute:

Reflects connections to algebra with targeted curriculum

  • Creates connections between prerequisite concepts and algebra, so students recognize what they will know and be able to do as they master the concepts and skills
  • Uses algebraic expressions and models, and carefully deconstructs the ideas to help students in their mathematical comprehension

Establishes conceptually based foundations for learning

  • Uses links from prior knowledge of arithmetic operations to help students understand algebraic procedures

Embeds instruction and develops organizational skills

  • Designs instruction to be interactive to help students stay focused and engaged in ongoing instruction

Provides guidance for organizing, displaying, and explaining the mathematics sequences and scaffolds ideas purposefully

  • Uses careful scaffolding of essential ideas to increase access
  • Provides sequencing of established, quality tasks that is essential to the program’s proven success with students, rather than isolated exercises

Uses mathematically precise language and concrete models

  • Uses appropriate, precise mathematical vocabulary and terminology, helping students make connections to core texts and mandated tests
  • Encourages use of manipulatives to create models, use multiple representations, and produce written responses

Embeds formative assessment

  • Uses multiple checks for understanding through guided practice and error analysis
  • Includes pre- and post-assessments with items from mandated tests
  • Provides detailed lesson plans for facilitators that indicate higher-order thinking questions, assessments, and homework

Supports differentiated learning

  • Allows for flexible implementation due to modular format
  • Applicable for diverse student populations


The on-site institutes cost $15,000 per site, for up to 35 participants. The institutes can be extended as needed or desired for an additional cost.

On-site coaching and technical assistance services are also available.

As noted above, participants will be taught research-affirmed strategies to effectively implement the Aim for Algebra curriculum. The curriculum itself can be purchased through WestEd by contacting Kimberly Viviani at or 650.381.6429.

Learn More

To learn more, contact Kimberly Viviani at or 650.381.6429.