Q&A #2818

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Best math series

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From: laurie meisenheimer

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2002071605:15:50
Subject: Re: Re:Investigation Math Series

Our district had been using Investigations for about five years.Some
teachers were absolutely enraptured by it, others upset.Teachers who
are really into math theory liked it most. People who were more
traditional and really believed in automaticity with math facts liked
it least. Parents were given informational meetings but still had a
very hard time helping their students with the homework, which was
usually in game form. There are no books for children.Assessment is
observational.The program is based on children constructiong their own
knowledge for mathmatics by group discussions and sharing of problem
solving, group routines, and use of various instructional games with
manipulatives and special playing cards. The aim is to get true
mathmatical understanding. When used purely, you are not allowed to
teach children algorithms for solving problems, they are supposed to
form their own through multiple experiences to be more compatible with
their own learning style. There is absolutely no drill . My problem
with the program was that the  6 books were not really sequential,
took a lot of reading to understand how to do the lessons, and I
simply didn't have enough class time to do the amount of discussion
needed to do the constructivist problem solving in order for the
children to really get the concepts. This was especially a problem
with children  just beginning to learn english.Some of my students
really needed something more systematic to get a handle on things. We
decided to adopt Harcourt Math as a sequential, standards based
program and blend in many of the truly wonderful  and engaging
activities in Investigations,especially for problem soving which is
lacking in all the Calif.state- adopted series . We'll be starting
that in 2002.

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