Q&A #129

1st grade math curriculum

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From: Susan (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 18, 1998 at 16:26:33
Subject: Re: 1st grade math curriculum

Wow! You've hit the nail on the head when it comes to what many experts say is the biggest weakness of our American Mathematics curriculum: A mile wide and an inch deep. I can't give you any justification except to say that many people equate telling with teaching and exposure with mastery. I don't agree, and I can see that you don't either! Perhaps you can convince your district that the concepts that your kids are learning by doing the race to ten game are "covering" lessons 8, 23, 37, 55, etc. and that you are compacting the curriculum with the intention of deepening their understanding of concepts. Show them! Do a pre- and post-test with all of the kids in your grade level, with the others being the control group and yours being the variable. Then, show then the hard data at the end of the year/ semester. Nothing convinces administrators like hard data! Good luck! - Susan

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