Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by sophie1, Apr 1, 2010.
Apr 1, 2010
Do you like Saxon Math? I hear it's good for primary grades.
I've taught kinder and fifth grade at one school district and they used to have Saxon math. I liked it a lot for kindergarten. It was okay for the fifth grade. But I definitely liked it a lot for kinder. I really liked how they began each lesson with a hands-on activity. In fact, that is all we would do for math. There was a worksheet (already printed off for you) in each folder that went with each lesson. I would send those home for homework and spend the who math time just doing the hands on activity. I really liked that aspect because I'm not much for worksheets. Plus, it was nice for the kids to practice the concept at home with the parents.
As a parent, I hate Saxon. I have to admit, I probably haven't experienced it in the right way, because the teacher who used it is the only one who does, and our admin refuses to tell her she can't, even though no one else on staff does. So that's probably why it seems so disjointed and random. In her previous grade, my daughter had finally decided she liked math and was progressing well. She hit this grade and tanked. Can I blame it all on Saxon? I don't know. I just know it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Apr 2, 2010
It sounds to me it's more of a teacher thing than the program. We have a sixth grade teacher who wasn't using the math book at all until January (she said her kids weren't ready for it ) Anyways, she began in January when it got out. She began jumping back and forth and her kids are more confused than ever and it's up to me to help them, but I think they are a bit beyond help now, for some of them.
I used Saxon math for 7 years and disliked it ever so much except for the facts. I ALWAYS ended up supplementing whatever I taught. If you have advanced math students forget it. Problem solving skills are not there. There is nothing challenging about it. I basically used it as an intro (since I had to) and then provided additional work for my class according to what math levels they were on.
I love it compared to the program we used before. (Can't remember the name) It provides so much repetition and builds on previously taught skills.
However, I don't like that I don't have time to teach small group math lessons and do centers. (We only have 45 minutes for our math lessons)
Apr 4, 2010
Yes, yes, yes-this is what I dislike about this program. The only problem solving skills my daughter came out with was that she HAD to use her fingers to add (which, as peachy said, is probably a teacher thing, but still). Nothing challenging.
Is it still good though for the younger children?
Apr 5, 2010
I've only used it for kinder so my opinion is a bit biased but I LOVED it! I've taught kinder for three years, each year with a different program and Saxon was my all time favorite. I know that many of the lower grade teachers liked it too. I don't know if all liked it though.
My school uses it Pre-K through 8th. I personally teach 5th grade but it's the 6th grade math book since we teach a grade level ahead. I LOVE SAXON MATH! I have been working with it the past 4 years and I'll be honest, the first year, I hated it. No really....hated it. But after working with it year after year and seeing our schools math scores continue to increase each year.....well I'm sold.
Apr 6, 2010
I love the program for first grade (we use 2nd grade saxon) I do have to agree that it does not work enough on problem solving.
None of you mentioned the script Saxon math has in their lessons. maybe that's only in the homeschool version? I passed on Saxon math, but I loved their phonics.
We actually just bought the new California Edition of Saxon Math and they have dramatically improved their problem solving.
Regarding the script, there is a written portion but what I have in my book is the same thing the kids have which is good when they are at home and need to be walked through the examples again. However, I teach the lesson as I see fit making sure I definitely use the vocabulary and we go over the examples together. I NEVER read from the book though. Not sure what the homeschool version looks like.
It is just basically a script where they tell you what to say. Maybe it changed, since it's been 5 years since I looked at Saxon math.
Saxon phonics did the same thing, but I made an outline instead.
Some days I like it, some days I don't. It is supposed to be a spiraling program. I feel in kindergarten that it just barely touches on some concepts. Mastery does not seem to be the concept with this program. Supplementation is definitely a must, especially when you have 1:15 for math. We've been told that our Saxon math for next year is aligned with our state standards as it currently is not. There are several things in Saxon that are part of their program, but not covered by our SOLs, and on the other hand, there are several of our SOLs that are never touched by Saxon. This is my second year. Their calendar is sooooo boring....zzzzz! I definitely supplement that portion. I also have an aide for the first half hour of math, so I do calendar after the lesson on those days. I'm eager to see next year's revamped program.
Apr 7, 2010
I really don't agree with how it spirals. It goes against a lot of things I learned in my teacher prep program. It's great for math facts, but a lot of it is memorization and I don't think that it allows for true understanding of math concepts.
I love Saxon Math!!! I taught it at a private school I've used several levels. It is easy to teach, hands on (especialy the lower levels) and each lesson builds in small increments so for children that need repetition it's great. You should supplement with some problem solving. I found the format easy to follow and it easily allows for reteaching time for struggling learners..
In regards to problem solving (since several of you guys have mentioned it), none of the programs I have used seem to dive deep enough into problem solving. I find that I always have to supplement to do problem solving problems.
Apr 8, 2010
A good way to sum up saxon..it's the "old school" way of teaching math. Its not like Trail blazers of Terk (sp.?) math.
I used it for fourth grade my first year of teaching and it was fine for my advanced student (boring, though), but for the student who struggled it was terrible. It didn't seem to address things long enough to 'cement' the concepts before we moved onto something else.
We switched to Addison-Wesley toward the end of the year, and both kids liked it immensely better.
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