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Q&A #963

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Chicago Math program

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From: donna

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001052622:59:46
Subject: great results

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have just finished a pilot of Everyday Math for a year. My class of heterogeneously grouped fourth graders did phenominal on their ITBS this spring. They were so far ahead of everyone else who was using a traditional textbook it was not even funny. I was not frustrated by this text at all, but then again I have been involved with math reform for the last 12 years. I think Everyday Math has true integrity unlike traditional textbooks. My class enjoyed the series and saw value in the various non-traditional algorithms used. Never in my life of teaching fourth graders has the process of division gone so smoothly. Before this series I tried every "trick" in the book to get children to remember the steps to division, but I always had quite a few when the subject was left and then reviewd a couple of weeks later would totally foget the division process. This year my children thought division was a cinch and on the ITBS they proved it was. I think many people in this country are not ready for true math reform and want to hold on to the notion of what they know of mathematics. You have to be ready to want to change your phiosophy of mathematics education or this series won't work. I watched as 4 other teachers in our building had their eyes totally opened and turned on by what they saw happening in their rooms. In first and second grade they were floored by what children could do with math and how quickly they understood. Granted, our Title 1 and ESOL students struggled more with this program, but they proved too that when given the chance could achieve more than we expected. The extra bonus of this program is not that they are doing something that is gimmicky, but the mathematics they are learning is so much better than the rule and rote oriented mathematics of many traditional texts. Children have to think, reason and problem solve when they are involved with this series. Somehow I don't see this as a bad thing.

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