Last week, I asked the NCTM-L subscribers for help in responding to a request for information from a Michigan teacher about Early Elementary math programs. I received a number of reponses that I have since passed on to the teacher who had originally called me. He was VERY excited about this input, and found it extremely valuable. He was also impressed with the mechanism for gathering it - he had no idea such a resource existed.
So, I would like to thank everyone for contributing their suggestions; and for displaying the power of this medium.
A compilation of the responses I received on this topic is included below.
--------------------------------------------------------------- William R. Richards email@example.com Producer/Director BillR@wkar.msu.edu ------------------ MICHIGAN GATEWAYS ----------------------- The Television Program for Teachers of Mathematics and Science 212 Communication Arts Bldg - East Lansing, MI 48824-1212 ph: 517 355-2300 ext 422 fx: 517 353-7124 ------------ http://www.msu.edu/comptech/gateways -----------
======== My original post ========================== Fellow Subscribers --
A teacher called me this morning at Michigan Gateways (the Television Program for Teachers of Math and Science), looking for leads on "a new, strong math program to adopt" for K-2. He told me that there is quite a bit of "divisiveness" in his district now over what to adopt, and he would like to know, "What are some of the best things out there?"
Since the Michigan Gateways series of programs frequently turns to the NCTM standards as a point of reference as we examine math and science reform, we can assume that he leans toward the NCTM-oriented side of the division (simplifying--as we are all well aware at the moment, there are many sides and no clear dividing lines). It was my impression that he was looking for a program that he could make the best case for. Do you have any suggestions that I could pass on to him as programs that he may wish to investigate?
I do have sources here at Michigan State University that I have put this same question to, but I am also very interested in suggestions from the NCTM-L subscribers.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Bill Richards ====================================
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 1995 23:25:53 +0100 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Deborah Ball) Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs
The strongest program I know is called Investigations in Number, Data, and Space, and is marketed by Dale Seymour, but they do not have the K-2 levels finished yet. The 3 - 5 is. He might be best advised to wait for the primary levels. Maybe he should look at the upper levels if he has not seen it yet.
==================================== Date: Mon, 5 Jun 1995 15:28:25 -0700 (PDT) From: Ronald A Ward <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Bill Richards - Michigan Gateways <email@example.com> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs
I would recommend "CSMP/21--the Comprehensive School Mathematics Program for the Twenty-First Century," published by the McREL Education Laboratory in Colorado. Contact person there is Clare Heidema, whose e-mail address is: email@example.com
I recommend this particular program for several reasons:
1) it is easily the most "mathematical" of all programs available for the primary grades; 2) it is a nationally validated program which means there is adoption support available thru the National Diffusion Network; and 3) many of the ideas appearing in the NCTM Standards were presaged by earlier versions of the CSMP curriculum.
The only caution I have is that teachers must go thru a special teacher education program before a school can adopt the program--you can't just send in a book order and get the materials. But I personally view this as a good feature. If the teacher who called you is also from Michigan, I feel certain that there are "lighthouse sites" in your state where the new CSMP/21 materials are being used.
Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225 firstname.lastname@example.org
==================================== From: email@example.com Date: Mon, 05 Jun 1995 17:33:17 -0500 (CDT) Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Primary teachers I know have been pretty happy with Math Their Way, and Box It & Bag It, two old chestnuts still serviceable after all these years.
I'd also be interested in hearing about newer and better stuff out there. I know of middle school and upper grade stuff, but not new primary programs.
==================================== Judy Roitman, Mathematics Department Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66049 email@example.com =====================================
==================================== Date: Mon, 5 Jun 1995 17:33:43 -0500 (CDT) From: Cynthia Schimek <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Bill Richards - Michigan Gateways <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs
Look into the materials from the Mathematics Learning Center. They do Box It or Bag It. Math Their Way is also very popular.
==================================== Date: Mon, 5 Jun 95 19:22:18 From: MARILYN TAHL <SOEMZT@vaxc.hofstra.edu> Subject: k-2 math programs To: BillR@wkar.msu.edu
Dear Bill, By far the best program to look at is CSMP, Comprehensive School Mathematics Program. If you don't know anything about it, contact Claire Heidema at firstname.lastname@example.org for some sample information. This program is problem solving oriented and totally follows the Standards. We have used it in my school for the past 12 years and it is amazing how "mathematically" our kids think.
Marilyn Tahl Soemzt@vaxc.hofstra.edu
==================================== Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 08:26:08 -0600 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marsha Landau) Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs Message-ID: <2FB6AC86DC7@WHE2.nl.edu>
On Mon Jun 5 Bill Richards asked for leads on early elementary programs. Here's one possible resource:
is (still, I hope!) a menu of offerings from the California Dept. of Education. I downloaded the whole report last fall about the conclusions of the state adoption committee. The report listed the criteria used to evaluate programs, then examined and reviewed submitted programs, and recommended some of the programs for adoption. A couple of programs were specifically K-2; others were K-6 or K-8. I hope this helps! Marsha
Marsha Landau email@example.com Associate Professor, Mathematics Education National-Louis University 2840 Sheridan Rd Evanston, IL 60201
==================================== Date: Tue, 06 Jun 95 10:46:56 EST From: Michelle@edc.org To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs
(I am not plugging any of these; I haven't taught from any of them. I'm simply making available some information that I have available. All descriptions were written by the project in question, pared down for posting.)
Here are some programs that were funded by the NSF in the same round as many of the middle and secondary projects that you know about:
TIMS Elementary Mathematics Curriculum Project (K-6) "TIMS is a manipulative-based mathematics curriculum with significant experiences in science and language arts. TIMS curriculum activities are hands-on, collaborative projects ... The teacher is encouraged to help the children to learn to communicate mathematically, both orally and in writing ... The major premise underlying the TIMS curriculum is that mathematics is best learned through active involvement in solving real problems. Science provides an ideal setting for active learning ..." Contact: Howard Goldberg and Phil Wagreich Institute for Mathematics and Science Education M/C 250 University of Illinois at Chicago 840 West Taylor Chicago, IL 60607 (312)996-2448
Cooperative Mathematics Project (K-6) "CMP has been developing "Number Power," a cooperative problem-solving instructional program for elementary mathematics, designed to foster the development of students' number sense and mathematical reasoning, enhance their ability to work together effectively and communicate their thinking, and promote their commitment to basic social values of fairness, responsibility, and concern for others." Contact: Laurel Robertson Developmental Studies Center 2000 Embarcadero, Suite 305 Oakland, CA 94606 (510)533-0213
Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (K-5) "The major goals of this program are to: 1) offer students meaningful mathematical problems and activities 2) emphasize depth in mathematical thinking rather than exposure to a series of fragmented topics 3) communicate mathematics content and pedagogy to teachers 4) serve as a tool for expanding the pool of mathematically literate students" Contact:Susan Jo Russell TERC 2067 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02140 (617)547-0430
There is also an elementary project here at EDC, funded by IBM. This is a technology-intesive program (it requires access to IBM computers for use of the software, which is a major component of the curriculum). It is called "Math and More," and is focused on hands-on (both manipulative and technology) learning and problem solving. Contact: Betty Bjork EDC 55 Chapel St. Newton, MA 02158 (617)969-7100
Hope this is useful to someone. All typos are mine. Etc.
-michelle -- Michelle Manes Education Development Center, Inc. email@example.com ====================================
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 11:25:54 -0600 To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill Richards - Michigan Gateways) From: email@example.com Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs
>Hi, I can send you information about the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. If you want this information, please send me your address. My e-mail number is different from the one above. Mine is firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 15:33:30 -0500 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Howard L. Hansen) Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs
Everday Learning's series is available now for K-4 (Everyday Learning is a private company, but closely tied to the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project) After all the materials have been piloted this will be a K-6 series. I think there's great stuff here, but it may be a difficult transition for elementary teachers using "traditional" texts (like Addison-Wesley).
Another interesting (and as far as I can tell at this time) challenging series is Houghton Mifflin Mathematics (1995).
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 95 21:29:41 -0500 From: rfouchaux@EDU.YorkU.CA (Richard Fouchaux) Organization: Faculty of Education, York U Subject: Re: Re: Early Elementary programs To: email@example.com
I have taught from this one, at least [TIMS]. I found the activities (which can mainly be characterized as science experiments) to be useful and interesting enough, but in every case they took easily twice as long to perform as the lesson plan estimated.
The beauty of them is in the so-called TIMS Steps which precede and guide every activity while providing many of the cross-curricular aspects - L.A./Science/Math.
I wonder how many teachers, because of time restrictions, end up doing the TIMS experiments as teacher-led demonstrations and thereby thwart a major element of their potential efficacy?
From: ToniU@aol.com Date: Wed, 7 Jun 1995 20:06:27 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs
Another good elementary program is the Mimosa program. It is language-based as opposed to being literature based. It includes literature, but is provides a rich language experience based on mathematical content.
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 1995 16:16:23 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Deborah Ball) Subject: Re: Early Elem Programs
Bill-- see comments below, marked with ***s.
> >Deborah -- Do you have any comments on these? CSMP seems >highly recommeded. Deservedly so?
*****I really, really like it, and it was very important in my own professional development. I also had experience trying to "implement" it in a school district and it met with uneven success. It is a program that inspires real enthusiasm and also throrough rejection. I think that is a sign that it is good -- it really has substance,and so people react positively or negatively to it. it is not mush.
*****I especially agree with this response:
>>1) it is easily the most "mathematical" of all programs available for the >>primary grades; 2) it is a nationally validated program which means there >>is adoption support available thru the National Diffusion Network; and 3) >>many of the ideas appearing in the NCTM Standards were presaged by earlier >>versions of the CSMP curriculum. >> >>The only caution I have is that teachers must go thru a special teacher >>education program before a school can adopt the program--you can't just >>send in a book order and get the materials. But I personally view this as a >>good feature. If the teacher who called you is also from Michigan, I feel >>certain that there are "lighthouse sites" in your state where the new >>CSMP/21 materials are being used. >>Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225 email@example.com
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 11:54:17 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill Richards - Michigan Gateways) From: email@example.com (Eileen Abrahamson) Subject: Re: Early Elementary programs
>Fellow Subscribers -- > >A teacher called me this morning at Michigan Gateways (the Television >Program for Teachers of Math and Science), looking for leads on "a new, >strong math program to adopt" for K-2.
Our district curriculum is based on the math standards, and has a constructivist focus to learning. Based on that, after two hears of extensive research, we found only two publishers that recognized the constructivist focus and "truly" implemented the philosophy of the standards. Addison Wesley's Quest 2000 and Creative Publications Math Land.
We chose Addison Wesley's Quest 2000 because of the company support available (a big corporation, that would provide lots of staff development) There are however, glaring weaknesses with the Addison Wesley materials. The weakness is the assessment materials. They are poorly constructed, inadequate, do not maintain the philosophy of the instructional materails, and are mis-representational. (They claim to have portfolio assessment materials, but in fact only have a few portfolio collection ideas.)
Creative Publications program was equally strong in math and assessment, but the company is small and support from them was non-existant or weak. Our district was uncomfortable getting involved with a small company that could not guarntee delivery dates etc.
In the two years of study, I have found that "no" resource materials are strong in every aspect of instruction, philosophy, and assessment. We had to find the one with the weaknesses that would be easiest to repair, and the company that was most willing and able to work with us.
Eileen Abrahamson firstname.lastname@example.org Edw. Neill Elemetary 13409 Upton Ave. So. Burnsville, MN 55337 ==================================== End of compiled messages ====================================