A site for the discussion of the mathematics curriculum in Greenwich Public Schools, focusing on grades K-5
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Confused in Greenwich
Last week Chris Fountain, on his blog For What It’s Worth (see link on right), commented about plans to use some of the Greenwich Public School budget for summer school.I responded:
How about using the 90k to start the overdue curriculum review for Math. Then we can get rid of Everyday Math, and get something that allows our children to learn.
“Grade 6 teachers recently listed the following areas of concern regarding grade 6 students’ preparation for middle school math:
- Difficulty reading problems
- Basic facts fluency
- Operations with fractions
- Long division competency”
I’m not making this up. This is a direct quote from the GPS administration’s own report. I am hoping that “difficulty reading” actually means difficulty understanding and solving math problems. The last three are only some of the important areas where the Everyday Math program is failing our children. In case you don’t speak educationese, “basic fact fluency” means being able to add, subtract, multiply and divide without having to think or use your fingers. Never thought this would be a problem in sixth grade! Thank Everyday Math.
Better curriculum will benefit all Greenwich students.
Someone wrote back the next day: ________________________________________________________________
Everyday Math is a huge success story in my opinion. My kids consistently score very high in math thanks to that program which keeps pounding the basics over and over. That is how you learn math – doing it over and over, again and again, so it is second nature.
Spelling – that is another matter, entirely.
You are right. The best way to learn math basic facts is to drill. BUT, Everyday Math does not keep pounding the basic facts. If your kids are lucky enough to have a teacher who recognizes the shortcomings of EDM, the teacher is supplementing the program so that the kids will learn. Take a look through their Home Link or Study Link books. Do you see any real drill sheets in there? Check the copy write on the drill sheets they do get. I can guarantee they are not EDM.
I am happy your kids scores are high. The same can’t be said for the Greenwich students 3-5 where scores are dropping on the CMT at the levels that matter (Goal and Advanced). The good teachers are supplementing. But it is not consistent across the district, and soon our real estate values are going to be impacted.
I am fearful there are parents who do not understand the danger presented by Everyday Math.If you know such a parent, please have them read this blog.
Oh, and I agree spelling (and grammar) is an issue too.