I am the mathematics facilitator for a school district of about 18,000 students. We implemented Connected Mathematics into our six middle schools 4 years ago. We are beginning the third year of implementation of Investigations in grades three through five. I am writing to ask your advise on an issue regarding articulation between the two programs.
Our students are now entering middle school with some fluency in whole number computation. Students are computing whole numbers in more than one way. However, in many cases, a child may not be familiar, or to say the least, fluent with the traditional algorithms. As students are learning to multiply and divide decimal numbers in 6th and 7th grades, we are struggling to find efficient methods other than the traditional algorithms. Problems like 3.45 x 2.8 can easily be estimated, but how do you transition students who do not know the traditional algorithm to accurately compute a problem like this? The efficient methods from whole number computation don't seem to work here. Another example would be 0.453 divided by 2.6. I am NOT punching criticism at invented methods. I see the power and appreciate the approaches. I am sincerely asking the question.