MathLinks: Core (Grades 6, 7, 8)

Is MathLinks: Core (2nd ed.) available now?

YES! The full program launched in Summer 2023.

How can I pilot MathLinks: Core (2nd Ed.)?

Pilot Information and pilot request for are available here. The program is a consumable product. For free, we offer one class set (up to 40 students) of one unit per teacher for those who are planning to adopt new materials. One-semester and full-year pilots are also available for a fee.

How does MathLinks: Core (2nd ed.) different for the 1st version?

MathLinks: Core (2nd ed.) has the same dedication as the 1st Edition to providing accessible mathematics content to a broad range of learners, with a strong focus on developing conceptual understanding, while building in meaningful problem-solving and skills practice. But there has been a significant facelift. Some features of interest:
  • All grade-level standards are addressed in full in 10 units that can be completed in about 100 class hours. This is possible by focusing on and revisiting the  Big ideas of each grade.
  • Each unit begins with an Opening Problem to create interest and a “need to know.” Many are revisited after one or more lessons of instruction are completed.
  • Slide decks and lesson notes help guide instructions for critical topics.
  • The Teacher Portal contains a wide variety of resources for review, enrichment, tasks, and projects Click here for more details about the differences in the programs. 

How does MathLinks: Core (2nd ed.) differentiate for different levels of learners?

100% of the MathLinks lessons can typically be completed in about 100 class hours. This allows teachers tie to scaffold and differentiate. The “low floor-high ceiling” design of lessons allows teachers to differentiate within lessons. Components such as Essential Skills and Skill Boosters provide resources for students who need to catch up. Nonroutine Problems provide enrichment for advanced learners. Tasks and Projects benefits all learners. 

What kind of assessments are included in MathLinks: Core (2nd ed.)?

A variety of formative (assessment for learning) and summative (assessment of learning( assessment options are included in MathLinks. Some of the Formative assessments are pre-assessments, journals, a monitor your progress feature, and packet reflections. Some summative assessment options are quizzes, tests, projects, and tasks. Many assessment components are available in .pdf and .doc formats to make customization easy.

What electronic resources are available to students?

A digital format of Student Packets is available on web or to download onto a device. Students may use a pen or text box to respond to questions and return work to teachers via screen shots.
Students may also view Student Resource Guides on the website.

Are the MathLinks: Core packets editable?

No. Only the Assessments and Skill Boosters are editable.

Was MathLinks: Grade 6, 7, and 8 adopted by the state of California?

Yes and no. MathLinks: Grade 8 was adopted by the CA Board of Education in 2014. At that time, Grade 6 and Grade 7 were not complete, so they were not submitted. However, they follow the same design principles and attention to detail as the Grade 8 program. Alignments to confirm they meet adoption criteria are available upon request.

What kind of Professional Development is needed to implement MathLinks: Core with fidelity?

Due to the unique format and non-routine approaches, professional development is highly recommended, though not mandatory. We find that educators who attend regular professional development led by MathLinks authors report that they appreciate the time digging deeper into mathematics content and pedagogy, they benefit from collaborating with peers, and they feel better equipped to teach MathLinks lessons with fidelity.

MathLinks: Essentials

How does MathLinks: Essentials differ from MathLinks: Core?

MathLinks: Essentials addresses much of the major work of grades 5-8 without being a comprehensive course. This program consists of 6 modules. Each module has 3 consumable or digital student packets, and each packet takes about 10 typical class periods.

Can we purchase MathLinks: Essentials packets individually?

Yes. All Student Packets are sold separately to allow flexible design.

How is MathLinks: Essentials being used?

MathLinks: Essentials has been used in summer programs, intervention classes, and as supplemental materials in a wide variety of classrooms, including special education. Currently, many districts are using this program to help students catch up due to lost instructional time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can MathLinks: Essentials be used for distance learning?

Yes. Starting in August 2020, a digital format will allow students to work remotely. Slide decks and lesson notes will help teachers guide lessons.

How does MathLinks: Essentials scaffold for different levels of learners?

The “low floor-high ceiling” design of lessons allows teachers to differentiate instruction within lessons. For example, students may use a model to build a pattern and graph inputs and outputs, but questions that push student thinking about concepts related to slope-intercept form of a line are also included.

How does MathLinks: Essentials meet the needs of struggling learners?

The same design principles used in MathLinks: Core, based on the work of experts such as Julie Sliva Spitzer, were incorporated into this program. Conceptual approaches are used to create meaning out of what students are seeing and structured workspace helps students stay focused.

How does MathLinks: Essentials address the needs of English Learners?

As with MathLinks: Core, the same design principles, based on the SIOP model and other research-based work, were incorporated into the program. These include attention to lesson preparation, building background, comprehensible input, instructional strategies, student interaction, and review. For example, every lesson includes a clear content objective, vocabulary activity, and vocabulary list.

What kind of assessments are included with MathLinks: Essentials?

Two forms of a Quiz are provided for each packet, as well as a Problem Bank that can be used for assessment or extra practice.

Are the packets editable?

No. But the Quizzes, Problem Bank, and Skill Boosters (short skill review routines) are editable.

What Professional Development is needed to implement MathLinks: Essentials with fidelity?

Short videos that explain the program components and some of the routines are available on the secure website for teachers. But some professional development is recommended due to the unique format and non-routine approaches. We find that educators who attend professional development led by MathLinks authors report that they appreciate the time digging deeper into mathematics content and pedagogy, they benefit from collaborating with peers, and they feel better equipped to teach MathLinks lessons with fidelity.

What level of intervention is targeted with MathLinks: Essentials?

Generally speaking, MathLinks: Essentials is geared more toward the RTI Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels because it is well-suited to be used in a typical-sized or reduced sized classroom setting. It can be used for a more personalized Tier 3 situation if desired.


MathLinks: Essentials is typically used to create summer courses, second-period intervention courses, and to supplement both regular education and special education courses.

Can MathLinks: Essentials be used as a core program?

Carefully chosen combinations of MathLinks: Essentials packets will address the major work of the middle grades (number, proportional reasoning, expressions and equations, and functions). While this will not address all of the content standards for any particular grade, this may be an appropriate plan to address the need to catch students up during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, as desired, educators may supplement MathLinks: Essentials with more geometry and statistics from MathLinks: Core to round out a full course.

Are MathLinks: Essentials packets appropriate for High School Students?

MathLinks: Essentials packets are commonly used for high school intervention and summer programs, particularly for students who struggle with, or are not ready for, a 9th grade mathematics course, whether in regular education or special education classes.

MathLinks: Skill Boosters

What are MathLinks: Skill Boosters?

Skill Boosters are short sets of problems aimed to increase basic concepts and skills knowledge that many middle school and high school students are lacking. Skill Boosters are typically recommended as a short daily routine to help students fill these gaps.

What topics do Skill Boosters cover?

Whole numbers, fraction concepts, fraction addition and subtraction, fraction multiplication and division, decimal and percent concepts, integer concepts and operations, and equation solving.

How are Skill Boosters being used in the classroom?

Skill Boosters are used for students who are more than one year behind their current grade level. They provide a daily practice routine to fill in holes in content.

What is included with a Skill Boosters purchase?

Skill Boosters are included with both the Core and Essentials programs in the online teacher portals, or may be purchased separately in a print format. Each topic has an outline of content being covered, weekly problem sets (five weeks of problems with four problems for four days each week), pre and post assessments, answer keys, and a resource guide that provides students with definitions and examples.