To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Subject: Please DON'T choose Everyday Math
Please, please don't choose Everyday Mathematics. If you're chosing a new math curriculum please check the research that the developer performed. Please ensure that it is valid and scientific. SO much of it isn't! Also, look into the ways that children learn, not just how they learn math. Look into studies that are performed by people other than developers of the curriculum. You can't believe everything they say! Look for programs that are proven to work over time and that are supported by mathematicians. And again, please don't choose Everyday Mathematics (aka USCMP, Chicago Math), Trailblazers, or TERC. I'm a mom and I've been doing a lot of research on these programs lately. I'm also a substitute teacher and I was very concerned by what I was seeing in the middle school. The district that we moved into a year ago has been using Everyday Math for at least 8 years and I'm seeing kids in middle school who can't add, subtract, multiply or divide without using a calculator or their fingers. The middle schoolers math scores are extremely low, while the elementary scores are high. Why? Probably because what Everday Math teaches in the lower grades doesn't translate well to the upper. The teachers may love it because students are doing things they didn't think were possible but when they reach middle school they can't do basic computation. Everyday Math is a spiraling program. It touches on a subject a few times over a couple of years. It emphasizes that this takes the pressure off of students because if they don't "get" it the first time they will have another chance. But what if they never "get" it? What if they move into the district in the middle of the elementary years? What if they move out? The program looks great on paper but in practice it just doesn't do the job. Students who don't understand learn not to worry because they will be moving on to another topic soon. Teachers don't worry because they know the child will be exposed again to the topic. This builds complacency and eventually leads to low esteem when a middle or high schooler can't do basic computations, thus making algebra impossible. This program also puts calculators in the hands of Kindergartners. Enough said. If you want to learn more visit the www.Illinoisloop.org website and look under subjects and then math- specific programs. You owe it to the parents and students in your district to make as informed a decision as possible. Please!!
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