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11 Jul 2005 - 22:06
how Everyday Math came to my cousinís town The 2nd grade teachers had a grant and were very excited. I think the teachers were turned on by the program. So they started introducing it in the 1st grade. Nobody else liked it. I hated it, and many parents complained. Teachers in the upper grades didnít like it, either. The district was always having these huge teacher-board meetings to convince the other teachers that they had to adopt it, too. Eventually, when the grade school kids got to high school, the high school teachers were in horror because the kids coming in couldnít calculate. They complained that the Chicago Math students had to spend all this time guesstimating and figuring out what the answer was to one small step inside a complex problem. [Everyday Math was developed by the University of Chicago. Everyone in my cousinís town in MA called it ĎChicago Math.í] The students were too slow; they were hung up on the basics. This war went on for a decade. I donít know how it came out. I do know that for at least the first couple of years after Chicago Math came in they were not getting lots of kids proficient on the state tests. Iíll ask my friend who teaches at the high school whether theyíre still using the books. She had 3 kids who went through the system, and she hated Chicago Math.
why do kids like math?
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But... but... everything is easier for mathematically talented kids, You can do anything with those kids. It's the Unwashed Middle you need to be careful with. -- CarolynJohnston - 12 Jul 2005
Exactly. Because these curriculums seem to me to be much closer to an enrichment exercise more than anything else. Enrichment is great when you understand the basic core principles. From what I can tell (on the Illinois Loop site) most of the feeder schools into New Trier (Chicago north suburban high school) have adopted either Everyday Math or Trailblazers. A couple of districts have backed down when parents got active, but I think there is only two. Also, the ISATs (IL standardized tests) are starting to reflect these curriculums. When I showed a teacher friend of mine the post where Caterine wrote out a problem from the last page of Saxon, Singapore, and then Trailblazers, she was a little bit defensive. (This was the post that showed the Saxon and Singapore ones as simple math problems. The Trailblazer's problem was this written essay that even included how the student felt about the problem.) I thought it was pretty funny until me friend told me that those problems are actually appearing on the tests and so they are stuck having to teach it lest they get lower scores for their school. -- SusanS - 12 Jul 2005
I thought it was pretty funny until me friend told me that those problems are actually appearing on the tests and so they are stuck having to teach it lest they get lower scores for their school. What tests do these 'problems' appear on? Are these official TRAILBLAZERS tests? -- CatherineJohnson - 12 Jul 2005
Those compare and contrast posts are powerful, aren't they? -- CarolynJohnston - 12 Jul 2005
I should add that Carolyn has added a CompareAndContrast topic thread in the topic threads box. This means all of us can pull up every single one of the Compare and Contrast threads at a moment's notice. You can do it on your teacher's classroom computer! (Just a suggestion.) I'm also trying to make sure they're all logged into the index as well. -- CatherineJohnson - 12 Jul 2005
Susan What's happening with the IL tests. Can we get an article or a link? -- CatherineJohnson - 12 Jul 2005
Here's the whole thread of CompareAndContrastPosts Here's the one on the last page in grade-5 Singapore Math, Saxon Math & Trailblazers -- CatherineJohnson - 12 Jul 2005
Come to think of it, I think there is a place somewhere on the net that has examples. I'll go snoop around. I remember because one of the 3rd grade problems was this huge perimeter one where they had to do several steps before they could even figure out the sides and then add for the perimeter. I remember thinking that this seemed rather advanced for a third grader. You'll remember in the Saxon placement test there is a 4th or 5th grade level question where they use a simple rectangle. I imagine it might be googled under ISAT example questions or something like that. Maybe I got it off the state ed website. Anyway, I'll see if I can dig it up later today. -- SusanS - 12 Jul 2005
Looking over them they don't look as bad as they did a few years ago. Maybe I'm just better at grade school math. Here's the link, or address. http://electron-net.eztest.eppg.com/ISBE/ Okay, that's where the sample tests are. Okay, now that I'm a linking fool, here is Illinois Loop's take on them: http://www.illinoisloop.org/test.html I haven't looked any of this over yet, but it should be interesting -- SusanS - 12 Jul 2005
Susan, this is very cool! Thank you! -- CarolynJohnston - 12 Jul 2005
Catherine, I just saw your question about the questions being from Trailblazers. I don't know specifically, that was just my friend's reaction when she saw the Compare and Contrast post. I didn't see one like that on the examples I linked to, but I'll ask her about it again. Maybe it came up in some teacher meeting or something. I'll try to find out. She seemed to be letting me know that teachers are once again between a rock and a hard place on these issues. Also, didn't I read somewhere that Trailblazers spiraling was "less steep" than EM? What does that mean? That they hang around longer on a subject? Just for that, and since I'm on a linking roll, I leave you with the Education Jargon Generator: http://www.sciencegeek.net/lingo.html -- SusanS - 12 Jul 2005
Also, didn't I read somewhere that Trailblazers spiraling was "less steep" than EM? What does that mean? That they hang around longer on a subject? I haven't read that, but my cousin's story is a nightmare. Just from skimming TRAILBLAZER I would say, for sure, there's not a huge amount of steep spiraling. (spiralling?) TRAILBLAZERS seems like that old saying about history being one damn thing after another. -- CatherineJohnson - 13 Jul 2005
Joanne Cobasko, of SOCCM, sent me a pro-EVERYDAY MATH web site! http://www.everydaymath.org/frame4.htm The guy who runs it actually managed to corral the 'Everyday Math' domain name. I find that odd. -- CatherineJohnson - 13 Jul 2005
The spiraling aspect of EM and a good critique of EM besides is Bas Braams piece found at NYCHOLD at http://www.nychold.com/em-spiral.html. Also some testimony that includes criticism of EM among other things, at: http://www.math.nyu.edu/mfdd/braams/links/testim-031105.html -- BarryGarelick - 13 Jul 2005
That registered nurse in Connecticut on the everydaymath.org site, who 'expresses her feelings' about Everyday Math, reveals how she is now having fun with math because of Everyday Math. That's one thing that really concerns me about New Math -- adults getting their educational needs mixed up with those of their kids. -- CarolynJohnston - 13 Jul 2005
Carolyn--good point. I think we're seeing that over and over again. Though my cousin sure was not having fun. -- CatherineJohnson - 13 Jul 2005
I'll bet that parent who is having fun with math has not been using Everyday Math very long and her child is probably in the lowest grades. See how much fun she has when she finds out how they teach the kids to multiply!!! -- AnneDwyer - 13 Jul 2005
I'll bet that parent who is having fun with math has not been using Everyday Math very long and her child is probably in the lowest grades. I think that's right, isn't it? I'm going to check. This is something I've been wondering about, because my very smart, math-friendly friends who like TRAILBLAZERS have kids in 2nd grade....... -- CatherineJohnson - 13 Jul 2005
http://www.everydaymath.org/hart.htm Yup. Her son is in 2nd grade (it appears). The mom says she started the year not liking EVERYDAY MATH, and is now having fun with it, at the end of the year. -- CatherineJohnson - 13 Jul 2005