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Q&A #963

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Chicago Math program

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From: Becky@fagan.org

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2003030601:53:16
Subject: Re: concerns regarding elementary chicago math

Linda, I don't even know if you're still out there now that it's 2003, but your e-mail has really struck a nerve. Our school district switched to the Everyday Math program 2 years ago (school year 2001), and I'm afraid your comments have hit the nail on the head. I have made my position clear: We perhaps should have taken up this new program on a trial basis, slowly bringing it in or using it as a suppplement--the spiraling aspect is actually appealing as a teaching technique. The district implemented the program and the teachers were instructed to use it SOLELY for the first year. I'm sure by now you have come to know the program very well, and I can tell you that in my 2 short years of exposure to it, I am NOT impressed. The crowning blow has just come, as the 2nd graders are being taught the method of addition from left to right. We actually create columns of numbers from the largest to the smallest then add them all up!!! Can you imagine a child trying to add a column of numbers such as 6423+549=? in this fashion, keeping the columns straight so that all the numbers stay in line. And if we are adding from left to right, what do we do with the extra number we get after we add the 3 and 9 at the end? Do we have to start over? It's ludicrous. We need traditional math, or at the very least, a combination of the two.

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