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Math Forum » Discussions » Curricula » Investigations for 4 and 5

Topic: rethinking Investigations
Replies: 2   Last Post: Apr 12, 2006 12:02 AM

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Bethany

Posts: 1
Registered: 12/3/04
rethinking Investigations
Posted: Oct 16, 2004 4:50 PM
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Please forgive me if this rambles on. I have a lot going on in
my head and will try to present it coherently. 6 years ago my
district began the search for a standards-based math program for
grades k-4. Investigations was selected because k-2 teachers really
wanted the program. The 3rd and 4th teachers were not convinced.
After 1 workshop day where we were basically sold the program not
trained how to teach the program, we were told to go teach and have
fun. No sustained training or support was given except for two days
the following fall. Every year our state math scores went down and
our parents were beside themselves because they couldn't figure out
how to help their children or how we were teaching.
Last year we were allowed to supplement Investigations with some
good old fact learning. Amazingly, our test scores went up. Maine's
MEA test isn't all multiple choice. It has short answer and
constructed response questions as well. Now I know that
Investigations has helped our kids with being able to explain their
thought processes and coming up with other ways to solve problems.
The games provide tools for using some of the skills we teach. But,
it doesn't do enough with learning the basic facts. In my opinion,
the spiralling that is suppose to take place so the students will have
multiple opportunities to work with a concept isn't working out.
This year we are piloting a new book that works with
Investigations as the supplement. I don't remember the company, maybe
Foresman? Not sure. We teachers are extremely excited and look
forward to trying it out.
I know that I have a biased against Investigations. I didn't want
to use it, struggle with teaching from it, and find it cumbersome. I
guess I'm writing this to get it off my chest. I'll write more when
I've had my turn with the new program. Also when I learn the name of
the new book incase anyone else is interested or has used it. Thanks
for reading. I've been teaching for 14 years and sure could use
other's thoughts.

Beth Thibeault






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