To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Subject: math pilot
I have been heavily involved with math education at the elementary level for many years and have moved around in the last five years to three different places. I piloted math series in all of these places. The series I am piloting this year is Everyday Math as someone previously has discussed. I do love this series. It does not look like a traditional text book (thank goodness) which is very hard for some teachers to let go of. It is researched based and exposes children to skills over and over again, but in different situations. I highly recommend this program. Another program I have piloted is TERC mathematics. This program too is wonderful, but you have to be ready to handle mathematics differently than a typical text book. Both TERC and Everyday Math help to bring mathematics reform right into the classroom. Teachers generally need lots of training to be ready to change their philosophy of how to teach mathematics to children of the twenty-first century. Most elementary teachers teach mathematics the way they were taught. Both of these programs teach mathematics through a constructivists approach, particularly TERC. Algorithms are either developed(TERC) or taught with the mind set of true number sense(Everyday Math). Most teachers, including the very youngest of teachers, have never seen algorithms presented the way these two series do. Another series I have also piloted as a supplemental program was Windows on Math by Optical Data. In particular their investigations pieces are wonderful. I have just purchased a few of these pieces to supplement our program. The investigations piece helps to integrate math with the real world, but in a visual format. These are great if you are looking for real performance material. We did look at at least seven math series and most people agreed Houghton-Mifflin, McGraw-Hill, Silver Burdett really were more of the same from the past 15 years. We wanted and needed something that would keep our children engaged,inspired and competitive until our next text book adoption seven years from now. Hope this helps some.
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