The RightStart™ Mathematics curriculum was developed as part of Dr. Joan A. Cotter's doctoral dissertation and was originally developed for a classroom environment. The curriculum uses the Common Core State Standards as a base minimum. Sample lessons, table of contents, and objectives are available below.

This unique hands-on program de-emphasizes counting, uses visualization of quantities, and provides strategies (visual pictures) for learning the facts. Understanding and problem solving are emphasized throughout the curriculum.

The primary learning tool is the AL Abacus, a specially designed two-sided abacus that is both kinesthetic and visual. The AL Abacus is grouped in fives and tens for quick recognition of quantities. Children develop visual strategies as they use this manipulative. The back side of the AL Abacus teaches place value to the thousands.

Practice is provided with math card games, minimizing review worksheets and eliminating stressful flash cards. These games provide interesting and varied repetition that is needed for the automatic responses to the facts. More importantly, these games provide an application for new information and create hours of fun learning math facts and concepts.

We provide professional development for teachers as well as informational parent meetings.


We introduced Right Start Math into our school six years ago after all our teachers attended a workshop Dr. Cotter was doing in Orlando. In retrospect, we should probably have transitioned with only the primary…
– Dixie Thompson, Hampden DuBose Academy, Zellwood, FL

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