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A friend just told me about her dd's math assignment. She is in a public school that uses a "new math" type of text.

 

She had to find numbers in use around the house and tell about the numbers she found. This was supposed to show that numbers are IMPORTANT. It sounds like it was a rather time-consuming assignment, although my friend said it was fun! She was just upset, because the teacher later decided that the numbers had to be food-related. The dd got all the answers wrong, and had to do the assignment again!

 

My head was just spinning after hearing about all the little steps they had to go through, and I just kept thinking- how is that supposed to teach math?

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It sounds like the program our county began using a couple years ago. All I can say is that I'm glad my boys were too old. If you google Investigations in Math, you'll find a lot of information (including one titled, Bad Fuzzy Math).

 

My friend has a 1st grader and she became so frustrated with it that she is doing Abeka math with him at home in the evening. One night her friend's daughter had a math assignment that was adding two numbers (1+2 or something like that) and part of the assignment was to draw a picture to "show how you know." The little girl drew a picture of herself and drew the equation in the brain area - she knew because she knew it in her head. The teacher made her change it.

 

I believe the program also uses combine (or group) instead of add/adding.

 

They don't seem to ever have to just know a math fact.

 

Val

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A friend just told me about her dd's math assignment. She is in a public school that uses a "new math" type of text.

 

She had to find numbers in use around the house and tell about the numbers she found. This was supposed to show that numbers are IMPORTANT. It sounds like it was a rather time-consuming assignment, although my friend said it was fun! She was just upset, because the teacher later decided that the numbers had to be food-related. The dd got all the answers wrong, and had to do the assignment again!

 

My head was just spinning after hearing about all the little steps they had to go through, and I just kept thinking- how is that supposed to teach math?

 

That sounds really childish. Perhaps that's an idea for kindergarten but not 3rd grade. Shouldn't they be on multidigit multiplication with regrouping or something? :confused:

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It's really shocking what the reform math curriculum covers vs. what was taught 30 years ago, when I was in school. Our school district uses Investigations and that poor curriculum was one of the major reasons we will not go back.

 

This is what my district used and it is why we started homeschooling.

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This math sounds like what our local school uses - the reason dd is home this year doing 7th grade stuff with me (the school would have stuck her in 6th grade).....and Chalkdust prealgebra.

 

Finding numbers around the house also sounds like a K or 1st grade task - by 3rd grade shouldn't the kids KNOW numbers are important??????

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Ick. I'd expect that in preschool. Dd had to cut out large (more than 3) digit numbers and bring them in at the beginning of (3rd grade) school. She got "extra credit" for it. I didn't care at that point, because dd enjoyed it, and we had time. But really. Come on. 3rd grade? She's currently doing subtraction with borrowing across zeros. Last night, we looked at some old photos of her work I had taken for my blog. She saw some worksheets from Saxon 3--she had been adding negative numbers, working with square roots, and beginning geometry with parallel and perpendicular lines. What a difference. She wants to use Saxon again, and I don't blame her.

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I have a friend whose first grader did that earlier this year. It was supposed to make math more real to the kids, to answer the inevitable "why do we need to know this?" type of complaints. It didn't sound too time-consuming, though, just walk around together and point out where there are numbers in a room, and I think they discussed it the next day in class. I definitely don't think of that as third grade work, though!

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It does sound like a project more for younger kids, but I remember in another thread a poster overheard a parent complaining to the teacher at a school open house. Apparently he saw no need for fractions in real life and objected to the teacher wasting his dc's time on fractions. It maybe that the teacher had been hearing similar complaints from a few students.

 

The problem was when the teacher changed the assignment. OTOH, my ds has a long history of only remembering half the assignment and having to redo it because HE blew it.

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Investigations Math wastes time on assignments like these, and then there isn't any time left to teach things like long division and adding fractions with two different denominators.

 

For more info, read William Quirk's review of TERC or check out this

.

 

I had the choice of Saxon Math in the charter school (further away from home) or Investigations Math in the school close to home (with some Spanish instruction thrown in). I chose Saxon for my older child and Investigations plus Spanish for my younger. So we supplement with Singapore at home. He's ahead in math, so we'd have to supplement to keep him on his level in any case, and he thinks it is fun most of the time.

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I agree with you about the time-wasting exercises. However, I believe long division and uncommon denominators are not included purposefully, because the program creators believe them to be unnecessary. I had a conversation with a math education professor, and he scoffed at those things, saying they are a waste of time because they can easily be done with a calculator. Suffice it to say, we do not agree on that point.

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Yes, that's what the review says that the TERC materials say. It's as though they think the only math necessary is the math that elementary school teachers use (that is to say, only very basic math). Elementary math teachers are not only preparing future regular people who may not use very much math everyday, but also the future engineers and scientists, who use a great deal of math everyday. The skills involved in long division and fractions are used later in algebra, and contribute to overall number sense.

 

Of course, you know that already and I'm preaching to the choir--

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