Hi, Does anyone else have the Connected Math Curriculum in their middle school/high school? I teach 7th grade math and we switched over. It is more open ended questions and inquiery based approach. I find that sometimes drill and practice is still beneficial. I am really nervous because it uses a lot of manipulatives. I got the book but I get the manupulitives when school begins. Needless to say, I am nervous. Jake

I am new this year, too, and my school uses this. I have the 6th graders, though. My mentor is going to go over what a typical class period is like with me on Wednesday, b/c I am so confused about the teacher's role in this. I am also very nervous! I will let you know what we go over.

I taught Connected Math grade 8 and when I first saw the book...all words...no numbers!!!??? I was so scared!!! I am not a manipulatives type of gal! Well, the kids I taught had used the program since 5th grade so they were completely comfortable with it. Their comfort with it made it more comfortable for me as time went on. I studied all the time though. The teacher's book has so many scripted parts and pages to refer to in all different parts of the book. I spent all my time reading and working through the problems. The head of our department did not allow us to have any answer keys because he believed we needed to work the problems out in order to teach the math and as much as I was shocked to first hear that, he was right. Most of the problems are very detailed and broken into many parts. These are beyond word problems!!! The work is very redundant but in different ways. You don't just learn how to do it. You learn how to do it in a million different ways. It's both frutrating and fascinating. Did you get the color pages? That's the new books. If you have the orange, grey, and white pages, it's the old book that they did away with because there were so many problems with the way the problems were set up. As far as the kids I taught, they were so used to learning math this way. Funny enough, the few times I slipped in some Math problems like I was used to, they didn't know how to think that way. I think there should be a happy medium with some Connected Math and some regular math. My child had to do Connected Math for one school year after having done math the regular way for her whole life. She almost quit school!! LOL She is top of her class but just couldn't GET this way of learning. When she went back to regular math, she was soooo happy but had missed a year of regular math thzat I had to fill in. Thank goodness I'm a teacher. Soooooooo......my POINT is! If both you and your students are new to this, I hope they give you a lot of support in using this program effectively. I suppose it has to start somewhere with some group!!! It is a very different way of thinking about math. The concepts are taught at a much deeper level than most of us are used to. I just wish it wouldn't do away with the way most of the country does math in school. If your population is very transient, this may hurt them. Let us know how it goes. Interesting that you are using this in NJ...I was in the south when I used it.

I student taught with it and will be teaching in a school this year that uses it. The inquire or discovery learning has shown to produce more learning. The problem in traditional math classrooms is that students often aren't forced to think, they just reproduce what the teacher does. With CMP students are forced into higher thinking skills, which is why you will get the "this is so hard" response. Just a note, our district supplements drill practice along with the CMP math.

It really does work...I agree...the kids where I used it were leaps ahead in their thinking about math. It was just so hard for me and my child because it was a new and very different approach. When they asked me to be a math teacher I said sure....(I am not math certified but was moving to the state and they recruited me at a job fair).......then I was given the curriculum and I thought I would die!!!! Very different from the way I ever taught math. I don't think, as a newbie to it, I was confident to teach it but the kids were very good with it. They applied what they already had learned and did the work. I guided them as they did it. It took about a month to get comfortable for me but I did it......linear equations and all!!!! And you know, I still remember it all so it does work. Usually I only retain upper grade math short term...this stuff I remember still. Isn't Minnesota the state where it began? I think I remember that from an inservice on it.

If only parents were as understanding as you . Parents become EXTREMELY frustrated with this type of math, because they feel they cannot help their struggling child. At conferences I try to give the parents a handout on "leading questions" to lead their child to the solution, not GIVE it to them. I do feel you about teaching it!! Definately not how I was taught math, but I learn in a very linear style (probably why I am a math teacher). I think this type of math hits all learning styles, when supplemented. It's alot more prep (thinking in a different way), however, in the class it is actually less work for the teacher. The STUDENTS come up with ideas, test those ideas, etc. The way education should be! I think it was developed and researched at the University of Minnesota. It is very popular in this state

my idea as well I am very nervous and will most likely do what MNTeacherguy's district did. I am not a Math Person, I am a teacher. I stuggled with math when I was a kid and never want that for my students. At a summertime math meeting I tried to explain that I am being asked to teach Math in a different way than I had learned it. It will be a challange for me. I want the best for my students so I will remain positive. I will give it my all. Inside, I feel like a brand new teacher. I hope I am as effective with this as I have been with the traditional math classes. Jake

Jake - You should like the rest of my math department! They are all very successful veteran teachers who have taught traditional math classes for their whole careers. It is great that you are willing to at least try this curriculum! I do understand how hard it must be for older teachers to completely change their style. Remember, no one math program is best....we all need to develop critical thinking skills, but also need math skills to be automatic. Only inquire and drill can achieve this!

balance yes yes yes! I am 35 years old and i don;t want to be one of those old gray haired robotic teachers in a few years (not that there is anything wrong with that) lol. Thanks man, Jake

Jake, As a vetern math teacher do you have any hints for correcting hw, testing, notes, etc. I don't seem to have enough time to plan, give feedback, replan, develop tests? Plesae tell me it gets alittle easier . PS. It's my first year

I remember going to my first connected math workshop as a new teacher to that district and state....everyone there had been teaching it for years excpet another new teacher and me. They had everyone do problems and share responses like it would be done in math class. I was so humiliated because I had no idea how to approach any of the problems while veterans of CMP were putting together responses left and right...well yeah...they knew the answers like the backs of their hands. I felt so stupid and confused and I wondered why my school had hired me to do this. I taught that year but it was a lot of prep work for me...lots of reading and working the problems to try to understand how to do them. Having to guide the kids through them, you have to know the process yourself. I had never just taught math before so it was sooo hard for me. I had 6 periods of it a day and I have to admit that the last two classes of the day got the best lessons because I had practiced for four periods before them. My poor kids in the first period class!!!! I am glad for the experience but it was the hardest job I ever had. BTW...none of my students ever new connected math was new to me...I pretended to be in control and they accepted that. WHEW!!!! They also tested fine. So I didn't mess them up! I had never learned that math myself so I had to teach myself as I taught it. The kids taught me too and they never knew it. See how much this all brings back now? I'll probably dream tonight about slope and y-intercepts!!! Hey, but I know it now!!! It stuck!!

Ann - I agree it is very hard to teach for the first time! I've even had weird dreams about certain lessons......oh the life of a math teacher

hahah.....one I remember was a huge triangle that kept morphing into a parallelogram and I couldn't find the area....terrible dream

I haven't been on all day, but this is my first year too and I will be using connected math for 7th grade. Our 6th grade still uses Everyday Math and our 8th grade uses a regular algebra text, but I heard CM works better if used all three years. I was told it would be a lot of work my first year because you are basically learning the program along with your students. We'll see... I hope this thread will continue or be reborn once we all start using it.

I didn't realize Illinois was using CMP anywhere. What is their reasoning to only have it for 7th grade? It really needs to flow from year to year. What do you think mnteacherguy?

I am at a private school in the city, so I don't think anyone is telling us what to use except our principal...or a previous math teacher... We have a new administrator this year and I have already expressed this as a concern to her. We will see, but for this year, it will stay the same. Maybe if all of you who have used it can tell me why it should be used all three years I can take it to her : )

My personal beliefs are that CMP should be picked up at the 6th or 7th grade level and continue into the first two or three years of high school. (I think some students need to go into traditional pre-calc and calc). I also believe during these years CMP should be supplemented with drill and practice. Math is one of the subjects where sequence is very important....and if you are switching back and forth between traditional and CMP it could cause problems. I've heard of everyday math, but I am not quite sure what it is??

Everyday Math was created by, I think, the Univesity of Chicago ??, and it is just another math set. I used in for a fourth grade class during my student teaching, and it was okay. Some stuff didn't seem to go in a coherent order, but it all worked out. The one thing I noticed, though didn't get to teach, was multiplication. They have something like 5 algorithms (different ways) to do it. They all work, but not all of them are practical for future use. I didn't understand the value of teaching it to the students if they wouldn't really be able to use it in the future. Maybe that was just me. I didn't have too much experience with it. I will provide notes of my meeting with my mentor later! She used CMP last year and is going to go over how to do it with me today.

My fears with CMP My fears with connected math is that it will put more responsibility on me and less on my students. I read that homework is light and projects are few and some done in class. I don't mind working harder but I believe students need to learn to study at home in middle school so they are better prepared for high school. I also worry about the program making assumptions that the students will be motivated and be able to work in groups. I work with a science teacher that stressed about the problems with group work in her class. She said if a child does not wish to do the wok or care about grades, they become a distraction to all of those in the group. I will give this my 100% effort. I will supplement with drill & practice whenever I feel it is needed. If I am absent I will have them do something like that. It's just difficult for me because I have a wife and baby at home. I cannot give the type or amount of time on weekends or during the week that I did when I was a 1st year teacher. My family comes first. At the same time I want to be as an effective teacher as possible. I thank you all for listening and I hope you don;t think me a negative guy. I guess my nervousness is coming out as August winds down. Thank you all. Jake

I have not used Everyday Math, but from what I've heard (since I'm in Chicago and it's extremely popular here), it's a language-based math program, much like Connected Math, but for elementary. I've heard that CM is like an extension of EM but with more applications (projects). We discussed today not using Connected Math for 7th this year and instead creating our own prealgebra curriculum and eventually choosing a textbook. A lot of work, I know, but what I've seen from CM so far does not seem like it prepares our students for the 8th grade algrebra course. We have another meeting scheduled for next week... In the meantime, planning has come to a halt and we will probably be scrambling later on.

Getting students to work cooperately in groups was one of the hard parts of CMP. Also, getting materials cleaned up then ready for the next group with only a 4 minute passing persiod was stressful. There is a lot of set up involved and not much time for review. Does your school use a website with printouts of the Lab Sheets or do students keep everything in their notebooks? I'll bet that the third or fourth year of teachng this wouldn't be too bad but I know it was a lot of work.

Okay... *What my mentor said is that the MOST important part of CMP, aside from doing it as it is presented, is the summarization. Summarize what was learned at the end of EVERY class period, and at the end of an investigation (if you can), but definitely at the end of the unit. If you can, follow CMP closely, maybe supplementing a little. But let the students work through things. * Do not give them the answers, as we are want to do. Ask them leading questions to point them in the right direction. * Work through every problem you assign the students, so that you can try to anticipate the problems they may have with it. Our students keep everything in their notebooks. Notes, classwork and homework are all kept in a spiral graphing notebook.

Myangle52......Working through every problem was hard because many of them take a while to do. How do you get used to that during your first year with CMP? Especially when word problems are confusing for you? Also, managing the period well enough to have time for the summarization was tough! We barely had time to put away materials before the bell would ring. 50 minute periods mad this hard especially when you have to spend time in the beginning reviewing homework. Can you post a typical class schedule you use? I really want to see the time allotment for each part of one lesson.

I don't know how I am going to go through every problem, I was just told that I should. But if they are confusing to you, imagine the problems your students will have! That is why we need to do it, I guess. To work through that confusion in orde to help our students work through it. What our schedule will look like, more or less: -5 min warm-up/bellringer -the launch/"hook"/grab their attention and relate it to prior knowledge -the investigation -the last 5-10 minutes is summarization, no matter how far they got. I would use this as a clean up time also, but they MUST pay attention. I am not sure how well this will work. My classes are about 50 minutes each. So 5 minutes for the warmup (during which I am supposed to check hw and take roll) and the 5-10 minute summarization really chunk into that time. I will just do my best! We were debating on the Hw thing yesterday --most of our students don't give a D*** and don't pay attention. I think what I am going to do is just pick one problem from each assignment to go over. We don't grade homework based on correctness, just completeness.

Going through each one was what was sooo time consuming!! But you have to know the problems if you are going to teach the problems. It's a good way of doing math for the kids but not so good for the teacher. Maybe if they gave us DVDs with the problems acted out for us to watch then it might help us to know where it's supposed to be heading.

With 55 minute classes this is what I plan to do...... 5 Minute warm-up, problem of the week, attendence, etc. 10 Minutes go over homework (What do you think about this?? I think it is very important? Any thoughts?) 5-10 Minutes LAUNCH CIRCULATE ROOM AS GROUPS/INDIVIDUALS WORK 5-10 Minutes Wrap-up/Summrization **** BE SURE THIS IS NOT RUSHED IT'S SO CRITICAL I also have some "traditional classes." What do you think of this schedule for those: 5 Minute warm-up, problem of the week, attendence, etc. 10 Minutes go over homework 20-30 Minute Lesson Work time Input is encouraged and appreciated!

Gosh...just hearing the words "Launch" and "Summarization" make me twitch!!! Yes! My experience was THAT bothersome!! I hope I get over it one day....it takes time! Talking about it helps! LOL Seriously though, your schedule looks good except---your CMP time breakdown comes to only 35 min. What do you do with the other 20? When do you have them write down the homework assignment? I found that some kids would not do the classwork with the group and just copy it from someone into their notebook so they could do the homework problems instead. I never could get them all to do the work in the proper stages of CMP. How do you do that? And yes.....going over homework is a must! I never skip that!!!

Other 20 is group work/individual work, helping students, etc. I have a "math log" that the students write down what we are doing for the day, and any homework for that night in at the beginning of the class (as soon as they sit down they do this). I agree getting students motivated to do the in class work is a problem, however, I do grade this randomly, so most seemed to keep on task.