Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by smalagreca, Aug 5, 2009.
Aug 5, 2009
How is it for differentiating instruction?
I've only used it for one year in kinder. The center activities are at three different levels, and there are also three different levels of additional workbook pages--remediation, on target, and enrichment. We really didn't use the kit too much, so I can't tell you how good these actually were.
Thanks, even that little bit of info helps.
Yes there is lots of DI in EnVision Math...lots, and lots, and lots of DI. Quite frankly...too much DI! My district has found this series to be very overwhelming! We are constantly making copies (definitely not "green" friendly). There is soooo much to fit in and just not enough time to do it!
I also taught it in K and found that the DI centers were too much for my kids. The series designed the centers to be independent games while the teacher does small groups. However, the younger kids can't just jump right in when it comes to the independent thing!!! I basically didn't use these centers because the kids just weren't ready for that.
I have also found (personally) that it teaches things in a really odd way and that it only touches on a topic for about 2-3 lessons (if that) and then moves on, expecting mastery!
It's a great series...in a perfect world with endless amounts of time and students who are completely independent!!! However, in the real world...it's just too much!
Hmmm. I ask this bc after doing a lot of research on my own I have heard a lot of the same (negative) reviews.
Here's a little background. This district has a very powerful Board and community. It is in a very afluent community. 2 years ago they were dissatisfied w test scores (math) and the math program. Since then they have adapted enVisions. So far they love it. I am just trying to see why they are so impressed.
Here is a link the the Pearson website. There are two videos about envision that are pretty good. I couldn't get away from the fact that every fourth grader in the pretend school had their own cell phone.:unsure:
I think that it is a good program overall, but it can be very overwelming to use all of the parts. It is a program that relies heavily on multimedia such as computers and smart boards. An afluent community may have more of these materials to make the program really work for them.
I agree that it uses TOO much paper and the centers seemed very difficult for Kinders to do on their own (although I never tried them so I may be wrong).
I'm surprised that you felt that it didn't spend enough time on a concept. In my school our timelines that were set by our math specialist went much faster than the book. I wished that we could have followed the pacing and the order that the book set up.
P.S. I finally figured out how to multiquote!
The program really presents itself well. I was on the committee that selected it...but after implementing it for a year...we are really disappointed!
I had really high expectations!
Wow, good to know. This is not my current district, but a district I may join soon. They have implemented it for 1 year now. The admin raves about it.
so are you still using it? or are you relying on what you had before ?
I originally forgot to post the link to the videos.
Aug 6, 2009
We are still using it. What we had before was just too out of date and not helping us at all. Last year we tried it by the book...mostly doing exactly what they recommended. This year I think a lot of us are going to change thing up a bit...make it our own so to speak. We are hoping that we can work some of the "kinks" out.
In case you didn't know this program has only been out for one year. So unfortunately there isn't a lot of long term data. There were obviously pilot schools out there who have probably had it longer.
My school district used it for the first time last year. I agree it was overwhelming and moved too fast. I don't think the kids got much out of it because it stayed on a lesson for one day!
The math centers should really be based on skills the children had learned in the past. Envisions centers are centers that are based on the lesson being taught at the moment, right? These, then can't be independent.
I also found some chapters jumped around and made the lesson more confusing.
Just my thoughts!
After looking at it myself, I thought it would be a great program to use pieces of. If you had a team of teachers who were willing to put together/design a unique curriculum binder tailored to the needs of your own district, this would be great to pull pieces from to include.
But I am still having trouble seeing why a district would buy into this and do it by the book.
My district will be using it for the first time this year. There are a lot of things that look really good about the program, but I have had concerns that they don't cover every topic completely. For example, our chapters on money and time are only a couple of lessons each. I don't think it's going to be enough for the students to master the skills they need to know. It was interesting to see that other people felt the same way.
So I am wondering, are districts writing additional lessons to supplement where this falls short?
I have not heard one totally gung ho review of this yet!
I don't blame the program for it's pace. The kindergarten program covers everything that we are expected to teach in math in Texas (I'm pretty sure...I haven't memorized all of the teks). There are 140 lessons and we have 177 days of school, so they have built in room for testing, field trips, and remediation. They have to sell the book and to do that the books need to meet state standards.
I wish I had my codes so that I could see the online TE's for the other grade levels, I'm very curious now to see how the lessons look.
I supplemented A LOT last year! My first two years we had no math series, so I created my own math and had a lot to help me supplement where the EnVision lessons fell short.
My personal feeling is that as long as my students are meeting district goals, it shouldn't matter what series or curriculum I follow. My district is pretty laid back...if we need to supplement they let us do so at our own discretion.
The bad thing is now I'm moving to 1st grade so I have to follow the math series at least for this year so I get an idea of what I'm doing!
I agree with that, even as an administrator. But unfortunately, not all districts feel the same. Some feel that if they buy into a program they want you using it fully.