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Topic: Investigations Texts and Connected Math
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,524
Registered: 12/3/04
Investigations Texts and Connected Math
Posted: Jun 17, 1999 7:25 PM
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[Shared by Carol Fry Bohlin and M. Smith ...]
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Cincinnati Enquirer, Monday, May 24, 1999

New math added at Talawanda

Focus changes from 'tell me how to do it' to 'how can I do it?'

BY Sue Kiesewetter, Enquirer Contributor

OXFORD - Goodbye textbooks, hello math cubes and other hands-on tools.
Talawanda schools have adopted new math programs that encourage students to
work together to find solutions to problems.

Instead of using drill worksheets, the new tools will be blocks, cubes or
shapes, or common items such as M&M's. The candy is used by elementary
children who count how many of each color are in a bag, then graph the
results before eating them.

Beginning in August, students in kindergarten through fifth grade will use
the Investigations Program, and those in grades 6-8 will use Connected
Math. Both align with the model recommended by the Ohio Department of
Education and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,
Superintendent Susan Cobb said.

"This program gets away from worksheets and drill papers and puts more
emphasis on greater understanding of math concepts," Ms. Cobb said. "It's a
more collaborative, student-centered approach to problem solving."

That doesn't mean students won't have to know basic math facts, but it does
mean they will be using a series of booklets, each devoted to a single
topic or related topics.

This year, two teachers at every grade level are piloting the programs,
which have received the endorsement of the district's Math Curriculum
Committee.

"It really gives the opportunity to think and get excited about thinking,"
said sixth-grade math teacher Don Gloeckner.

"The focus changes from "tell me how to do it' to "how can I do it?' They
discover on their own and validate what they do themselves. I think it's
going to have a big impact."

To further enhance student performance, Middle School Principal Rhonda
Bohannon said the sixth-grade study period will be eliminated to allow for
a double period - about 84 minutes - of math, similar to the language arts
block.

Two new teaching positions were approved to facilitate the change.

Ms. Bohannon said research supports the hands-on approach to learning math
in the new program along with the concepts taught.

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Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)
E-mail: jbecker@siu.edu






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