Paul Cuffee Lower School Tests the Waters with Eureka Math


From left to right: 4th grader, Marbelys S. demonstrates finding a location on a map using coordinates while book-buddies Gabe H. and Micah S. discover the origins of ordered pairs in their math workbook.

Paul Cuffee 4th graders have “found it” and next year Kindergarten through 5th grade will too!  Harkening back to the shout of discovery, “eureka!”, that Archimedes made when he realized how to measure “volume”, Paul Cuffee students are experiencing the same level of discovery as they embark on a new math curriculum, Eureka Math.  

Eureka Math, created by “Great Minds”, is a sequenced math curriculum covering K-12 that is designed to sync up with Common Core Standards.  Besides offering consistency and coherence and common vocabulary throughout grade levels, the program seeks to teach students not just how to solve one problem, but rather to understand the process behind the solution so they can use that process time and again to solve similar problems.

E.g. there are 4 “story units”:  Number, Geometry, Number and Geometry Measurement, and Fractions.  While kindergarteners may spend more time on “Numbers”, learning their numbers, learning how to count to 5, then 10, then 20 and so on, 5th graders may spend more time on fractions: reducing them, multiplying and dividing them.  

4th grade teachers, Mss. Barr, Fournier and Caldarelli have found that their “test units” featuring fractions are much more visually appealing and lead to greater participation on the students’ part than prior curricula.   “Tape diagrams” depicting an integer broken into thirds or fifths or other denominators enable students to visualize a fraction and make fraction operations and equivalents (e.g. 2/6 is the same as 1/3) more logical.  

Paul Cuffee teachers will receive professional development training in Eureka Math this August, and throughout the year.


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%