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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