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What do you know about Everyday Math in PS?


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My kids have been homeschooled but my youngest is going to PS because I need to work. I started to work in a daycare center that has an afterschool program and they will bus her to the daycare right from the PS. I put her in PS in the middle of last year and it has worked out well. She is still able to get all her homeschool work done as well as the PS work. She has come to work with me all summer and was able to sit and do her homeschool work while the rest of the daycare had nap time.

 

She was a bit bored with the PS work because she already knew everything they did for 1st grade. I just had a "meet the teacher" night at PS, and she has the same teacher for 2nd grade as she had for 1st. The teacher looped up to 2nd grade and we had the option of having her again which is ok with me. Hopefully we butted heads enough last year that I won't have too much trouble with her this year.

 

The math program is "Everyday Math". I'm not familiar with it but the name rings a bell as I believe I read some awful things about it, but can't remember WHAT I read, or WHERE I read it because PS wasn't on our radar at that time. So I'd like to know what to expect with this math program.

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Fuzzy math. I detest it. Expect your DD to not be able to compute on paper and only with a calculator. Expect that you will have to teach her the multiplication tables and how to do long division. It severely underplays teaching traditional algorithms and encourages using methods that involve so many steps that it is easy to make computational mistakes.

 

 

Can you tell I really don't like it?

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mostly it is not good. I've never heard of a school fully training teachers in all aspects of this program and I've never heard of teachers fully using it. If you implemented it correctly and fully it would take an inordinate amount of time. Not using it completely results in disaster. Generally, no one understands the algorithms presented and no solid foundation is developed.

 

So, keep afterschooling math to ensure your dd does not have gaps and fully understand mathematical concepts.

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Everyday math is the curriculum that drove us to pull our kids out of school and homeschool. (as scientists, we parents see the importance of a good math education first hand daily; what we observed in school was abysmal.)

 

Main problems are an overdependence on calculator use in young grades already, insufficient teaching of standard algorithms, not teaching certain basic procedures at all (long division is seen as a waste of classroom time - which will come back to haunt students when they have to divide polynomials in algebra because those can not be divided with a calculator), teaching of convoluted algorithms where the child has no understanding WHY it works (lattice multiplication for example) and just memorizes a procedure.

 

Run and hide. Or afterschool math with a conceptually strong program.

 

Numerous websites are devoted to the shortcomings of this program. You can start at http://everydaymathsucks.com/

A good summary is also here: http://www.schoc.org/id56.html

This is when educators who do not actually ever use math come up with a "novel" way of teaching material they do not really understand.

Edited by regentrude
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I don't think you'll find a lot of people with anything good to say about it here. When I looked at the textbook, it made my brain hurt. I mean, many of the things could have been interesting little activities. And there was actual math in there... But I could see just from flipping through it that nothing was ever followed up on, everything was just introduced and dropped. And there were calculator activities everywhere - in the first grade book.

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Ugh, I LOATHE everyday math. LOATHE. Everyday Math is the reason I told DD's teachers that we are a homework- free household and I refused to allow her to even look at schoolwork outside of school hours. The only things she was allowed to get out of her backpack were communication information ( poor trees) and library books.

Edited by fraidycat
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My dd did Singapore at home through second grade. Did Everyday Math for third and fourth in school. Came home and tested further back in math than she had before she went to school. Our experience is that it's completely ineffective. If you have time, I'd make afterschooling math a priority if that's what you're stuck with.

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My son went to public school for a few years and we were forced to endure Everyday Math. At first, not knowing anything about it, I was intrigued by the fact that the kids were taught a variety of algorithms for calculating answers. For my math phobic son, this seemed like a great idea. Suddenly he had 4 different way to solve a multiplication problem.

 

But, the problem with this suddenly became apparent to me when I realized that at no point were the methods explained. Just learn the algorithm and apply it! Cookbook math at its finest.

 

Even worse was the fact that kids couldn't choose the best, easiest for them to understand algorithm. Instead they had to learn all 4 methods and show they could produce answers with them.

 

To a mathphobic kid with difficulty learning one way to multiply who had to now master several ways was beyond his tolerance. he shut down completely.

 

That led me to investigate the program more completely. there is an excellent video on YouTube done by M J mcDerrmott. Watch it for an interesting overview of the program.

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We fully intend on keeping up with the CLE math (and all her other subjects listed in my siggy) that she has been doing. We are just finishing up our last Light Unit for 1st grade and then will start 2nd grade math at home. We homeschool year round.

 

Fraidy Cat, how did that go over with the school that you wouldn't allow any homework to be done? I would LOVE to be PS homework free! The work was so easy for my daughter she would do it on the bus on the way home from school. It truly was a waste of time for her.

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Yeah, you'll have to afterschool math. You can ask your teacher about how she handles EM, and it's quite likely that she'll reassure you that she brings in other stuff too. The trouble then is that nothing is systematic or taught in a way that reinforces the material--it's just EM plus whatever worksheets seem like a good idea. Relatively few elementary teachers love math and can invent a curriculum to fit around EM material on their own (I couldn't! So I use a good curriculum in the first place).

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Surprisingly her teachers were quite agreeable. I framed it as having time to be a kid and family time. Those three to four hours between getting home from school and going to bed were filled up with resting from a long day (she always came home grumpy and starving), snack, playing with her brother, chores, supper, family time, reading, bath and bed.

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Everyday math is the curriculum that drove us to pull our kids out of school and homeschool. (as scientists, we parents see the importance of a good math education first hand daily; what we observed in school was abysmal.)

 

Main problems are an overdependence on calculator use in young grades already, insufficient teaching of standard algorithms, not teaching certain basic procedures at all (long division is seen as a waste of classroom time - which will come back to haunt students when they have to divide polynomials in algebra because those can not be divided with a calculator), teaching of convoluted algorithms where the child has no understanding WHY it works (lattice multiplication for example) and just memorizes a procedure.

 

Run and hide. Or afterschool math with a conceptually strong program.

 

Numerous websites are devoted to the shortcomings of this program. You can start at http://everydaymathsucks.com/

A good summary is also here: http://www.schoc.org/id56.html

This is when educators who do not actually ever use math come up with a "novel" way of teaching material they do not really understand.

 

:iagree: EM should be banned IMO. I work at our local public high school and see the results of students coming up from elementary having used this. It's awful - there are no redeeming features to it.

 

Two of my boys hit it a little bit when they were still in ps. Middle son (who tests in the top 1% of students heading to college nationally) couldn't do fractions in his 8th grade testing. They'd only been taught them on calculators and he couldn't use one for the test. It took him 2 days to get ALL basic fraction work down (add, sub, mult, div). They couldn't have done this in school?

 

Youngest ended up being 2 YEARS behind in math after I pulled him out when he completed 4th grade. He caught up - and now is a leader in math in the high school - not because he's good at math - math isn't his gift (he tests average on national standardized tests). It's just that the others are really lacking in their knowledge.

 

FWIW, beware of ANY elementary math program that uses calculators. It's not necessary and can do more harm than good. MANY mid and higher level colleges are changing to "no calculator" use in math classes to try to make up for what programs like EM are doing to our students. Middle son (my top 1%er) is heading to the University of Rochester this fall and will be taking Calc there - no calculators allowed... Other incoming freshman are shuddering. Many older students admitted they had to learn math for the first time when they were in the class. They thought they knew it before, but they only really knew how to push buttons.

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I don't have time right this second for a full answer, but my oldest used this for 2 years and I have a math degree. This is NOT a good curriculum on many levels. If you google it you can find a bunch of articles about it and how districts are getting away from it or modifying it so much, it's basically a different curriculum.

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It is a curriculum that had a good idea but it went horribly, horribly wrong. I like (and use) an exploratory, hands on approach to math that works for kids who learn in all different ways. But EM went off the rails and really hurts math competency. I majored in math and while EM was not why we hs, not using EM anymore is a huge benefit of hs for sure.

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I can see this not going well for me lol.. Last year the teacher and I butted heads on reading and writing, this year I'm going to be protesting the math program. I don't want her learning the Everyday Math method and getting confused between this garbage and what she is already learning.

 

Pulling her out of school at this point really isn't an option. I need to work right now and I can't bring her to work with me once school is in session, which starts Monday.

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I'll be a voice of dissent. It's known as Chicago math here, and when implemented correctly and fully can be a great, comprehensive curriculum, unmatched for developing number sense skills. Unfortunately, it is not usually implemented correctly, usually by teachers who don't fully understand it. It should have stayed in the lab school at U of Chicago.

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I have never seen or used it.

 

But I know it was developed here in IL at U of C.

 

IL schools rank at the bottom of the nation.

 

'Nuff said.

 

ETA I read the post from a PP who said it is usually not taught properly to teachers and therefore not implemented correctly and I have heard this from others. Your best shot may be to work on traditional arithmetic skills in the evening with your child.

Edited by jelbe5
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I have never seen or used it.

 

But I know it was developed here in IL at U of C.

 

IL schools rank at the bottom of the nation.

 

'Nuff said.

 

ETA I read the post from a PP who said it is usually not taught properly to teachers and therefore not implemented correctly and I have heard this from others. Your best shot may be to work on traditional arithmetic skills in the evening with your child.

That is not exactly a fair criticism. Entrance into the Lab school is extremely competitive (or at least it used to be, requiring a minimum IQ of 130?). The classes are small and it had an extremely good reputation (in the past, I haven't kept up with it lately).

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I'll be a voice of dissent. It's known as Chicago math here, and when implemented correctly and fully can be a great, comprehensive curriculum, unmatched for developing number sense skills. Unfortunately, it is not usually implemented correctly, usually by teachers who don't fully understand it. It should have stayed in the lab school at U of Chicago.

 

I disagree. It is NOT a matter of wrong implementation and poor teacher training. The Everyday Math Teacher's Manual for example states explicitly:

The authors of Everyday Math do not believe it is worth the time and effort to develop highly efficient paper-and-pencil algorithms for all possible whole number, fractions and decimal division problems….It is simply counterproductive to invest hours of precious class time on such algorithms. The math payoff is not worth the cost, particularly because quotients can be found quickly and accurately with a calculator.

It is not "poorly implemented" - the curriculum manual specifically instructs teachers not to waste time on the pencil-and-paper skills. Which means that those educators are completely unaware of the necessity to possess theses skills for success in algebra and beyond. No way of implementing such a program can possibly be successful.

(And the phrase "all possible number, fractions and decimal division problems" shows also that these authors must not have realized that there really is only one kind of division problem, it's all.the.same)

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I disagree. It is NOT a matter of wrong implementation and poor teacher training. The Everyday Math Teacher's Manual for example states explicitly:

It is not "poorly implemented" - the curriculum manual specifically instructs teachers not to waste time on the pencil-and-paper skills. Which means that those educators are completely unaware of the necessity to possess theses skills for success in algebra and beyond. No way of implementing such a program can possibly be successful.

(And the phrase "all possible number, fractions and decimal division problems" shows also that these authors must not have realized that there really is only one kind of division problem, it's all.the.same)

 

:iagree: My neighbor's gifted DS would also agree. He was in tears nearly everyday when he started Algebra. He had always been taught with EM. He had NO clue what he was doing. He was extremely ticked off when I taught him long division. He had been using partial quotient and repeated subtraction his whole life. I showed him 2 different problems and he understood how to do it. Math computations that used to take him 5 minutes to complete literally took him seconds.

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It is horrible. My kids are back in PS this year. My son's been back for a week and already I despise the math. I have asked for a teacher conference already to talk about it. My DS was doing MM and is in 5th grade. He did well with MM4 and we had started a little of MM5 this summer. He is bright, good at math, but not gifted and does not enjoy working extra or more than necessary. Even he is appalled at the level his peers are at. He is at least 2 grade levels ahead of them and has had to endure a week of homework and class discussions where he is drawing balls on a chart to picture 6x8=48. He was told he *had* to use a calculator to divide 5250 by 5. He is bored and angry and cannot believe what is being taught to him.

 

My 3rd graders, on the other hand, are not good in math. They have always struggled with every curriculum and I think they have some LDs. They had only completed half of MM2 when they began school and they are not behind. But it still really isn't good news for them because they are getting more confused than ever already about the things they used to know how to do! It is a spiral program on steroids. Their homework sheet of 1 page tonight had about 6 different concepts on it of 2-3 problems each. I sent them to school because I was hoping the school could help me figure out what sort of learning issue they have and maybe a teacher experienced w/ kids who struggle could help, but I am already regretting it.

 

I don't understand why it is so popular with school systems. I haven't seen the textbook for 3rd grade, but I looked through the 5th grade book and I see a lot of discussion of number theory, but very little instruction.

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I hate EM.

They use it here in 3-5.

I afterschool my kids in math every day and all summer.

It seems very scatter-shot. Kids learn several ways of doing multiplication (and all of them work, of course, and I appreciate that they're trying to show HOW the math works) but there are so many systems they're trying to learn, I don't think they ever learn one to mastery.

Drives me bats.

I'm so glad they won't be using it in 6th grade.

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I disagree. It is NOT a matter of wrong implementation and poor teacher training. The Everyday Math Teacher's Manual for example states explicitly:

It is not "poorly implemented" - the curriculum manual specifically instructs teachers not to waste time on the pencil-and-paper skills. Which means that those educators are completely unaware of the necessity to possess theses skills for success in algebra and beyond. No way of implementing such a program can possibly be successful.

(And the phrase "all possible number, fractions and decimal division problems" shows also that these authors must not have realized that there really is only one kind of division problem, it's all.the.same)

 

As usual, :iagree:with you. Those of us who see and use higher math know that truly knowing the basics is incredibly important. Kids don't get it with EM. They start calculator problems in 1st grade. They learn to push buttons, but they don't ever know WHY they are doing what they are doing.

 

Granted, kids with an IQ of 130+ can usually adapt to ANY math program and do well, but it certainly doesn't mean what they are using is a GOOD math program. Like my middle son, they'll pick up on what they missed quickly later on, but I certainly don't think they need to pick up on anything as nothing should have been missed in the first place.

 

Then, for the more average kid, they get terribly confused and come to the natural conclusion that they are "horrible" at math once they reach high school. They thought they were "good" at math in elementary. It's not the kids. It's EM (and similar math programs).

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Everyday math is the curriculum that drove us to pull our kids out of school and homeschool. (as scientists, we parents see the importance of a good math education first hand daily; what we observed in school was abysmal.)

 

Main problems are an overdependence on calculator use in young grades already, insufficient teaching of standard algorithms, not teaching certain basic procedures at all (long division is seen as a waste of classroom time - which will come back to haunt students when they have to divide polynomials in algebra because those can not be divided with a calculator), teaching of convoluted algorithms where the child has no understanding WHY it works (lattice multiplication for example) and just memorizes a procedure.

 

Run and hide. Or afterschool math with a conceptually strong program.

 

Numerous websites are devoted to the shortcomings of this program. You can start at http://everydaymathsucks.com/

A good summary is also here: http://www.schoc.org/id56.html

This is when educators who do not actually ever use math come up with a "novel" way of teaching material they do not really understand.

 

A local friend was complaining about having to teach her son on her own because the school was only teaching lattice multiplication. Would they be using Everyday Math here then, or are there other programs that do that?

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I have an 11 year old (would be 6th in ps) who can do very little to no math. She can't add, subtract, multiply, or divide well. She can't work with fractions, decimals, or percents at all. When i put her in the cyber school last year i had planned to supplement with MM2, but she fought it. Now that we're HSing, she's using MM exclusively, and she is struggling with 2nd grade.

 

Ds used it in K-1. He learned nothing. Last year i started him on MM1 and we're still working on it.

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:iagree: My neighbor's gifted DS would also agree. He was in tears nearly everyday when he started Algebra. He had always been taught with EM. He had NO clue what he was doing. He was extremely ticked off when I taught him long division. He had been using partial quotient and repeated subtraction his whole life. I showed him 2 different problems and he understood how to do it. Math computations that used to take him 5 minutes to complete literally took him seconds.

 

My three kids have been mostly in ps that uses EM. One has gone through without any bumps and is a strong math student. He did fine with the program and had good teachers who filled in gaps.

 

The other two hit hurdles at exactly the same point (fourth grade). My oldest muddled through middle school math and wound up repeating algebra--from then on it's been good. I pulled ds out and homeschooled for 5th grade. What I quickly discovered is even though she'd been getting very good grades, she hadn't mastered some important basics (like a lot of math facts) and was totally lost in multiplication and division. For the sake of continuity I did use EM but I did a ton of supplementing in areas where she needed work. She's back in middle school and is doing extremely well, but I don't think that would have been the case if we hadn't done catch up at home.

 

I should mention that as soon as I saw the lattice math come home I stressed that they should never use it unless required in the problem. They also had teachers who taught them long division as an option.

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As usual, :iagree:with you. Those of us who see and use higher math know that truly knowing the basics is incredibly important. Kids don't get it with EM. They start calculator problems in 1st grade. They learn to push buttons, but they don't ever know WHY they are doing what they are doing.

 

Granted, kids with an IQ of 130+ can usually adapt to ANY math program and do well, but it certainly doesn't mean what they are using is a GOOD math program. Like my middle son, they'll pick up on what they missed quickly later on, but I certainly don't think they need to pick up on anything as nothing should have been missed in the first place.

 

Then, for the more average kid, they get terribly confused and come to the natural conclusion that they are "horrible" at math once they reach high school. They thought they were "good" at math in elementary. It's not the kids. It's EM (and similar math programs).

 

Early calculator use was never stressed when my kids went through and I thought the teachers did more explaining why than my teachers did when I was in school. Where 2 of my 3 my kids hit brick walls was with the non-mastery aspects of the program.

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Early calculator use was never stressed when my kids went through and I thought the teachers did more explaining why than my teachers did when I was in school. Where 2 of my 3 my kids hit brick walls was with the non-mastery aspects of the program.

 

That would at least be helpful. It's certainly not the case here. Here they stuck with the "party line" and I've had kids tell me they don't know how to do simple division AND their teachers told them they'd never need to know since they'd always have their calculator. (Ditto that with fractions.) When I teach polynomial division I have to START with long division. It takes up unnecessary time. The top kids can catch on fairly easily. The average and below kids really struggle. Most give up.

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Ok, like I posted previously, I am not a fan of EM and I majored in math. It is a fave subject for me for sure. That said, for all y'all dissing lattice multiplication, it works well for some kids. Kids like me. Mind you I "invented" division in 1st grade when shown some simple multiplication. But when it came to multiply double and triple digit numbers, the standard algorithm made no sense to me. So I would do it in my head and get yelled at for not showing my work. Or eve accused of cheating/copying. Some dad volunteering in the classroom when I was 9 saw me struggle with it and he was very interested that I could do a lot of it in my head. That said, I wasn't going to pass any speed tests multiplying 357 * 86 in my head. He said that he had trouble with it too and here was a way to pull it apart on paper. He showed me lattice multiplication but called it box multiplication. It worked so much better for me. He was an engineer professionally volunteering in his son's class here and there. Perhaps trying to be encouraging or perhaps honestly, he said that he had had the same issue and that the box is what worked for him. There is a time for stuff like that. Now I can use the standard algorithm but I find lattice/grid faster and can even visualize one and do it mentally if a 2 or 3 digit. I went on to major in math and honestly don't know if I would have without that guy's little boost.

 

While I am critical of EM, I am not that wild about how math used to be taught either. It's not like our high school grads of the 70s, 80s and 90s flooded our university math and science university programs after graduation and freshman in college then were taking a fair number of remedial math classes. It left a lot of kids behind in math. We have a culture that looks down on math if anyhing. It was and still is perfectly acceptable for an adult to make a joke about how awful they are at math. Um, no one would get up and laugh at themselves about being illiterate. But can't do math? Ha ha!

Edited by kijipt
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We have a culture that looks down on math if anyhing. It was and still is perfectly acceptable for an adult to make a joke about how awful they are at math. Um, no one would get up and laugh at themselves about being illiterate. But can't do math? Ha ha!

 

:iagree:

This is something that always boggles my mind: how can people be proud of ignorance?

But it goes with the general cultural climate of disdain towards education... when college is considered "elitist" (and 'elite" is a bad word), then I am very concerned about this country.

 

On a related note: I never understand when people excuse their lack of math and science knowledge (high school level, not specialized) by "being an English person" or, conversely, their insufficient command of English language by "being a math/science/engineering person" and are OK with that. (I noticed this just recently when the internet quizzes on science or grammar made the round.)

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A local friend was complaining about having to teach her son on her own because the school was only teaching lattice multiplication. Would they be using Everyday Math here then, or are there other programs that do that?

 

Very probably EM. I know Lex/Rich 5 uses it.

 

I wouldn't mind Lattice Mult taught as an additional thing, but I had a student in my cc course last year who said she didn't know the traditional algorithm for multiplication at all. She didn't last long. :(

 

I have a friend who's taught at the university here and she's seen some students coming in who are much better in math than in prior years, so I think it is possible that it's working well for some students. The problem is that the poorer students are doing worse than before and don't get anything resembling a basic foundation in arithmetic.

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I'll be a voice of dissent. It's known as Chicago math here, and when implemented correctly and fully can be a great, comprehensive curriculum, unmatched for developing number sense skills. Unfortunately, it is not usually implemented correctly, usually by teachers who don't fully understand it. It should have stayed in the lab school at U of Chicago.

 

If it is difficult to implement correctly, then I have doubts as to how great a program it is. AT the very least they need more controls before unleashing it on our unsuspecting students.

 

Because it sounds like, implemented incorrectly, it is worse than what they were using before.

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Very probably EM. I know Lex/Rich 5 uses it.

 

I wouldn't mind Lattice Mult taught as an additional thing, but I had a student in my cc course last year who said she didn't know the traditional algorithm for multiplication at all. She didn't last long. :(

 

I have a friend who's taught at the university here and she's seen some students coming in who are much better in math than in prior years, so I think it is possible that it's working well for some students. The problem is that the poorer students are doing worse than before and don't get anything resembling a basic foundation in arithmetic.

 

Yep, that's the district we are in! How sad! I went to school in this district. We weren't allowed to have calculators at all until Algebra II, and that was only for graphing. In geometry, I remember the teacher pulling out the calculators to pass out to the class twice.

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Ugh. My DD went to PS for K-3rd grade before we pulled her out, and they used Everyday Math. I am a mathy person, I don't particularly enjoy it, but I'm very good at it. I couldn't help her with her kindergarten math. Seriously. It makes no sense, and they frequently didn't even want correct answers. It was mind-boggling to me.

 

A year of Horizons followed by Teaching Textbooks and Life of Fred has repaired the bad math taught in PS.

 

Plan to afterschool.

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If it is difficult to implement correctly, then I have doubts as to how great a program it is. AT the very least they need more controls before unleashing it on our unsuspecting students.

 

Because it sounds like, implemented incorrectly, it is worse than what they were using before.

 

:iagree: I thought the same thing reading that defense. I mean, a good program should be... not necessarily easy to implement, but something that can be done right. It seems like it wasn't "done right" anywhere. Or the way it's done is the actual intentions anyway.:glare:

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Ugh, I LOATHE everyday math. LOATHE. Everyday Math is the reason I told DD's teachers that we are a homework- free household and I refused to allow her to even look at schoolwork outside of school hours. The only things she was allowed to get out of her backpack were communication information ( poor trees) and library books.

 

:svengo: Big brass ones!!!

 

 

I disagree. It is NOT a matter of wrong implementation and poor teacher training. The Everyday Math Teacher's Manual for example states explicitly:

It is not "poorly implemented" - the curriculum manual specifically instructs teachers not to waste time on the pencil-and-paper skills. Which means that those educators are completely unaware of the necessity to possess theses skills for success in algebra and beyond. No way of implementing such a program can possibly be successful.

(And the phrase "all possible number, fractions and decimal division problems" shows also that these authors must not have realized that there really is only one kind of division problem, it's all.the.same)

 

I've met enough gifted mathematicians who've owned up to less-than-stellar arithmetic skills to have a theory about where this comes from. The faculty lounge in the mathematics department can be a bazaarly interesting place. :D

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:svengo: Big brass ones!!!

 

Our (mine and DD's) relationship was not worth it. She would be frustrated and ask for help, I would be frustrated that it didn't make any sense, I'd try to teach her a different way which would make her more frustrated. Not. Worth. It. I finally gave up and rather than have DD get in trouble for not doing her homework, I told the teachers I didn't allow it - that we'd only practice reading.

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Our (mine and DD's) relationship was not worth it. She would be frustrated and ask for help, I would be frustrated that it didn't make any sense, I'd try to teach her a different way which would make her more frustrated. Not. Worth. It. I finally gave up and rather than have DD get in trouble for not doing her homework, I told the teachers I didn't allow it - that we'd only practice reading.

 

(NOT a snarky question) - How did that go over? Were they accepting of that? My own experience with the PS taints my idea of how this went.

 

AND I really admire your strength.:D

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