Everyday Math

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003
Everyday Math
157
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 4:45pm
Do any of you have experience with an elementary constructionist math program called Everyday math? My dd's school switched to this program as of this year. I did an online search and came up with some disturbing articles. I'd be interested in hearing from parents whose children have been in this program on how their kids have fared. Particularly if they've gone all the way through and then to college.


Edited 10/3/2003 5:03:39 PM ET by cyndi_lu_who

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 5:29pm
One of my best friends has been battling it in her school district for two years now. She hates it. I have no experience with it but can connect you to her if you'd like. The grassroots organization that has objections to it is called Parents for Better Math and they did get the school district to supplement the curriculum with some basic skills so the protesting did work somewhat.

You need to go to

www.mathematicallycorrect.com

And I don't think you will find anyone who has been through it and then on to college because it really hasn't been around long enough for that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 5:59pm
Thanks, if your friend wouldn't mind, I would like to connect with her to discuss ways to do battle here. Could you please ask her to email me at cyndiluwho@peoplepc.com? That address will only be good until the end of this month but I can give her my real address.

The mathematically correct site was one of the first I found. I have a lot of data to go through. I'm trying to figure the best way to attack this and trying to convince dh, who is adamantly against private schools that we need to move the girls to a private school until this is resolved.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 7:41pm
Kind of off topic with math, but on topic with whacko curriculums in elementary schools, I was shocked to find out they no longer spend any time on handwriting or spelling. Is this true? And what is this "inventive spelling" thing? If anyone's got any resources on combatting THAT I would appreciate it!
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 9:21pm
I believe that's called whole language. Drives me nuts. Our school still does spelling but my dd's written assignments often are not corrected for spelling. I hate it. Spelling should be corrected from the get go.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 10:14pm
I'll e-mail her right now. Her name is Kris. She should be able to help. She felt the same way you do right now.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 11:11pm
Well, Our school system has had this math for two years now and I actually like it and as someone who has studied math and particularly math teaching I will say I like the program. No it is not the rote memorization that we were taught but that is why so many of us.... particularly women... say we are not good at or hate math. I know you are out there I hears your girls saying it. This math program is set up to reach those students also. They cover an amazing range of topics and even start the students on advanced concepts early. This program actually is set up to give a more solid math foundation than what many of us had.... but because it is the way it was done when we were young we think that is the only way. In our school system they are not doing this program through the high school. What are your specific concerns? Courtney

ps.... don't think I am all warm fuzzy about our schools... my oldest is gifted mathematically so we have been digging and learning for 8 years now and some years even arguing! lol

Courtney

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day... there's a great big beautiful tom

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003
Fri, 10-03-2003 - 11:45pm
For starters, a lack of a foundation to build an understanding of deeper mathematics onto. Some of the algorithms taught are nonsense, like teaching the Eqyptian algorithm for multiplication. That does NOT facilitate an understanding of what you're actually doing nor does it facilitate learning of deeper concepts later. The more I dig, the more upset I am they've adopted this. I had heard that average and below average kids did well with this but the college bound crowd suffers and what I'm uncovering supports that. My understanding is that it's a program that was designed for kids who aren't good in math. From what I can see, I don't see how this program can result in more kids going on to math in college. I see less. It appears this program leaves kids ill prepared for higher level mathematics.

This presentation does a nice job of getting to the heart of some of my concerns.

http://www.lit.net/orschools/A_Review_of_Everyday_Math.pdf

While this program does generate interest by making math fun and games, interest won't get you anywhere if you don't have the foundation needed to build upon. On the bright side, they could have done worse. This program recieved a grade of C for 2nd grade and C- for 5th grade while others in the same arena have recieved D's and F's. Still, I'd like to think the program itself would be rated better than a C. That's a pretty low bar but what do you expect from a program that is dummying down mathematics.

Don't mistake introductions of higher topics for actually raising the bar. There are many simple topics in subjects like statistics and alegebra that you can teach to young children. We usually don't because they're not capable of understaning them and the old way of teaching math tried to get you to understand. This way puts the emphasis on doing things any way you can rather than doing in ways that allow further expansion later on. And you need to keep in mind that when you add in material like this and don't add extra time to teach it, you have to leave something else out to make time for the new stuff. If the kids were really learning their basics, I could see adding in statistics and algebra topics but I see no reason to at the expense of basics. IMO, this is short sighted to a fault. They may be trading interest in math today for mathmatical ability later on.





Edited 10/4/2003 12:10:30 AM ET by cyndi_lu_who

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 7:12am

We have that and so far we haven't been able to get it removed.

Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 8:19am
Interesting. I am doing some work for an engineering college. They did research which showed that 55% of the student population changed schools (and majors) because they were ill-prepared for an engineering program in terms of math. I found that quite interesting. I noticed you said that the program was designed for kids who didn't do well. Interesting. If you could keep us posted on what you find, I would like to know. I am always interested in what schools are doing -- I find most educational theory bunk. However, my son's school had a neat way of teaching kids to read and it worked. So not all of it is bunk -- but your math program sounds like it. Please keep us posted.

outside_the_box_mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 9:07am
Is anybody here old enough to remember ITA for teaching reading? It made a few-year run in our elementary schools in the 70's. Since I was a child, I don't remember what the ITA stands for, but remember that it used an invented phonetic alphabet that was to be taught in 1st grade, then in 2nd grade the child would be introduced to the ordinary alphabet and its often non-phonetic spelling. My parents were among those who fought it (apparently succesfully) on the theory that it was confusing to children to have to learn and then abandon an entire alphabet and spelling system.

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