Learn How Bi-Coastal Partners, RAFT and NJCTL, are Bringing Proven Teaching Methods to the Nation’s Educators

Resource Area For Teaching, headquartered in Silicon Valley, and New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), have joined forces to benefit STEM teaching for educators and students.

January 21, 2014


Middle school student engaged in hands-on learning activity

Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) and The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) are collaborating to bring complementary resources together to support educators who use Progressive Math Initiative (PMI®) and Progressive Science Initiative (PSI®). Now the time and effort to find corresponding standards-based, easy to use, hands-on learning resources which reinforce science and math concepts is just a click away.

This pairing of teaching materials from RAFT and CTL provides educators who use either PSI® or PMI® with easy access to RAFT Idea Sheets, experience guides linked to core curriculum topics. RAFT Idea Sheets correspond to curriculum standards like Common Core. And, just this week, RAFT completed the successful alignment of three hundred science-related Idea Sheets to the Next Generation Science Standards.

PSI® is a program designed to support high levels of student achievement in physics, chemistry, and biology and was developed over 10 years by teachers. This program has led to high levels of Advanced Placement (AP) participation and passing rates. In 2012, six of the top twelve New Jersey schools for Advanced Placement Physics B participation were schools that use PSI®.

Using the same research-based, successful approaches as PSI®, PMI® was developed by teachers to support all of K-12 mathematics.  Developed first to support the teaching of Algebra, these courses now also lead to AP (Advanced Placement) Calculus.

 “RAFT Idea Sheets,” said, Melissa Axelsson, Program Manager at NJCTL, “compliment the PMI® curriculum extremely well and give our materials those needed hands-on-learning to fully engage all learners.”

PMI® labs for K-8 are already linked to the corresponding RAFT Idea Sheets and Activity Kits. Examples of some RAFT Idea Sheets that already link back to PMI® labs include Add It Up, Area Antics, and Dive into Square Pools. Continued linkages to RAFT Idea Sheets will occur throughout 2014.

CTL has over 6,000 registered PMI®/PSI® teachers, mostly in New Jersey, with an expanding user base in Colorado and Vermont, and a smaller number of teachers in Argentina and the Gambia in West Africa.

To access these complementary resources and much more like presentations, unit plans, labs, materials, classwork, and homework visit www.njctl.org. Educators will need to register to view the assessments. RAFT Idea Sheets can be viewed and downloaded for free.

About RAFT: RAFT believes the best way to spark the love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers and creators is through hands-on learning. A nonprofit organization since 1994, RAFT serves 10,000 educators each year that teach over 825,000 students. Find out more about RAFT and how to get involved: www.raft.729solutions.com

About CTL: The Center for Teaching and Learning, founded by the New Jersey Education Association in 2006, launched the Progressive Science Initiative (PSI) and the Progressive Mathematics Initiative (PMI). CTL creates free, open-source materials to teach K-12 mathematics and science using interactive projectors and student polling devices. The material is available at www.njctl.org.

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