Using the Bridges curriculum, students of all learning styles explore, test, and justify their mathematical reasoning.

Our math curriculum, Bridges, was recently adopted by Portland Public Schools and was developed with initial support from the National Science Foundation. Bridges emphasizes the need for a deeper understanding of math before engaging more abstract concepts and achieves this by offering year-long lesson plans in which major mathematical concepts spiral throughout the curriculum, allowing students to revisit topics numerous times in a variety of contexts.

Bridges features a combination of whole-group, small-group, and independent activities. Lessons incorporate increasingly complex visual models - seeing, touching, working with manipulatives, and sketching ideas - to create pictures in the mind's eye that help learners invent, understand, and remember mathematical ideas. By encouraging students to explore, test, and justify their reasoning, the curriculum facilitates the development of mathematical thinking for students of all learning styles. The program allows students to build skills through each grade level with common models, teaching strategies, and objectives, with a major focus on problem-solving in each strand.

In conjunction with the Bridges curriculum, students regularly participate in integrated, complex assignments in which they apply the concepts and skills they have learned to more open-ended, hands-on, and creative tasks.  These activities may range from creating 3-dimensional models of a garden, to attempting to create the longest paper chain possible using only one piece of construction paper.  Each of these is designed to illicit and support creative problem solving, perseverance, abstract reasoning, modeling with mathematics, attending to precision, and developing an understanding of mathematics and their uses in the real world.