Q&A #963

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Chicago Math program

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From: Linda Gogocha <gogocha@juno.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2007083010:40:52
Subject: Re: concerns regarding elementary chicago math

As a parent who has experienced Chicago Math with my Fifth grader last
yead I say throw the whole system out the window.  What happened to
the old math curicullum?  My daughter was so confused by the skipping
around constantly to expose them to so many different concepts, and by
the time she started to absorb it something like fractions, they would
jump around again, and she wouldn't have the other concept down
compltely. She failed fifth grade math.  We started this summer with a
Fifth grade math workbook, and she is barely doing the beginning fifth
grade math in her workbook, she was so frustrated that she hates math
now.  Half of her fifth grade class failed fifth grade math.  They
would send homework every night, but no explanation of how to do it. 
So, I couldn't even help my daughter.  I had so many discussions with
the principal, and my daughter would stay after school two nights a
week for extra help, and that didn't even help.

It is pretty bad when I went to sixth grade orientation and the math
teacher sent the kids out of the room to go have icecream so he could
tell us he knows how frustrated the parents are with Chicago math, and
how we should approach this with them.  How can we help them with
their homework, if we don't even understand it?  It is the most
ridiculous thing I have ever experienced.  I graduated from Central
Michigan University with a 3.8 grade point average, and I can't do
fifth grade Chicago math and make my child understand it.

I will probably sell my house and move to a school district which
doesn't use this method.

The secretary at the middle school where my daughter currently attends
told me her three children once they went to college had a horrible
time adjusting to college math classes after having Chicago math.  

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