Everyday Math

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by njteach41, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Jul 13, 2010

    This will be my 3rd year teaching, for the first two years I taught 4th grade language arts and literacy/social studies. However, this upcoming school year my school is going self contained for 4th grade (and i couldn't be happier).

    Our math curriculum is Everyday Math. I'm reading through the books and will be going to a training this August. I had very minimal use of Everyday Math when I was student teaching but never really got in depth with it. I've heard mixed reviews on this set and was wondering what all of you think about it who have experienced Everyday Math.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 13, 2010

    I've tutored it. There are some great parts to it, but as a 'packaged' program I don't like it.
     
  4. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2010

    I agree with czacza. I like to use most parts, but at my own pace and bringing in supplemental material. It's inspired my view on the importance of games during math time, and there are some great hands-on projects. But like anything, freedom to be creative with it makes it better.
     
  5. teacherlissa

    teacherlissa Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2010

    We just got our district assessment results and the lowest schools use Everyday Math. I hope you have better results than our schools in the district that used it did. :)
     
  6. clovermeg

    clovermeg Rookie

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    I guess I have the dissenting opinion. I LOVE Everyday Math. I think that the key to it is that it has to be used with fidelity, meaning you do not use supplemental materials and you do EVERY component of the lesson, the only options in my district are the enrichment and readiness activities. The kids love the games. There is a great online component that actually allows you to plan lessons and incorporate the games and everything. Plus, the students also get passwords to do the online activities at home. The hardest part was that the kids will not "get it" the first time a topic is introduced but you have to move on...this is OK because all topics are brought into EVERY lesson...I love the way EM builds upon itself. I think it is fabulous! Go into it with an open mind and heart and you will be fine!
     
  7. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jul 14, 2010

    We have been using EDM for 4 years now. Even though I have not seen great results with it-there are benefits of the program. I am also going through the manuals to pick the "teaching points" of each lesson. I am hoping to introduce the lesson as a whole group, then incorporate center activities (including the games, which the kids do like) while I work with a small group who needs more one on one.
    EDM bases itself on the fact that the student has mastered what is needed in the previous years. In our district, this is not always the case, due to our transient population.
     
  8. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2010

    EDM is a heavily spiraled curriculum. For many kids this works well, they get to see concepts again and again. For kids that move a lot or for students that didn't get the concept in the short amount of time it is introduced, I feel like it can be trouble.
    I do inclusion and work with the lowest kids (mostly ESL) and I get frustrated that we have to move on to something new so quickly. This year I will be creating math boxes for the lowest group that are closer to their level.
     
  9. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Jul 14, 2010

    Jday.... can you explain what your math boxes would be like, i'm doing inclusion also. i will have about 3-6 inclusion students and had the same concern for them.
     
  10. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Our district has abandoned EDM and we are actually creating our own math curriculum as we go right now. Our state testing scores were low with EDM. As mentioned above, it is a spiraling program. If students are not exposed in to EDM from K-5, they really suffer in the later years of the program. Many of our fifth grade teachers have said they can tell which students were not at our school from Kindergarten on because their math scores really suffered (even if they were a higher performing student). When I used EDM I supplemented almost every lesson with my own stuff. I do pull it out occasionally, and I still use their games. I wish you luck with the program!
     
  11. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    this is what plan on doing. my principal really doesn't care what we do as long as our students are improving. For example we have a basal reader set for literacy, I used it maybe twice last year, I used novels all year long with my own lessons and my principal was fine with it.
     
  12. clovermeg

    clovermeg Rookie

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    WOW! I am really surprised at the number of teachers that say math scores dropped with Everyday Math. We used it for the first time this year and saw ENORMOUS gains in our MAP scores!
     
  13. JoviHawk

    JoviHawk Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2010

    I used it for the first time last school year. I liked it ok.
     
  14. supermissf

    supermissf Rookie

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    Oh my gosh, I have heard so many of my own thoughts in this thread!

    Students that transfer in to our school just flounder with EM. They really need exposure from Kindergarten to succeed in it.

    EM does NOT teach to mastery. The spiral really does not work for students who learn differently. If they don't get a concept and the teacher has to move on, they get frustrated and lose confidence.

    Also, EM is heavily language based. Students on the spectrum or have other learning difference have major problems understanding what is going on.

    Most parents do NOT understand EM and hate the Homelinks.
     
  15. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jul 15, 2010

    Agreed with all points! Especially the language based-this is difficult for us when our state testing does not use the same language as EDM. Our parents were outraged when we started this-they could not understand it, and struggled to help their child at home. Our first year with EDM, our scores plummeted.
     
  16. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2010

    My district is preparing to implement EDM this year and I was on the committee that decided to select it as our new curriculum. We were unanimous in our decision.

    I am really looking forward to teaching EDM as I feel it is going to help our students learn to truly THINK about math.

    Before selecting the program we researched it, visited other districts using it, etc. I've heard all of the complaints listed here, but I'm not terribly concerned. Show me a program that everyone (teacher, student, parent) loves and I might worry that we picked the wrong program.

    Of course parents are going to struggle at first - it's not how they learned math at all! Yes, test scores might drop as you implement a program. That's to be expected with any change. The #1 reason for failure with EDM, according to all that we spoke with, is when it isn't implemented with fidelity. When you pick and choose what you teach, of course there are bound to be holes in a spiral curriculum. I understand the frustration with students who are in and out of the classroom/district. Those students are going to struggle regardless of the curriculum. Will they struggle more with EDM? Maybe, maybe not. For our district, it might actually help a bit because many of our surrounding districts use EDM.

    I am prepared to supplement EDM for basic facts. IMO, this is easy and I would much rather come up with my own stuff than to continue what I've been doing, which is to try and supplement higher-order thinking problems with the traditional curriculum we currently use.

    A spiral curriculum is scary. Trusting that students will eventually master something is scary. The reason that I am willing to try is because I don't feel that our current, more traditional math program teaches for mastery either.

    I know that I don't have any actual experience teaching EDM yet, but I don't think it's fair to assess a program only on its weaknesses. If there was such a thing as a perfect math program, we would all be using it. Since there's not, I think we need to consider the benefits different programs have on students instead of always complaining about weaknesses.
     
  17. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    A spiral curriculum is not scary.

    Not teaching to mastery is. It's also poor teaching practice.
     
  18. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2010

    I'm not sure if you quite understood what I meant . . .

    A spiral curriculum is scary because we are required to put faith in the spiral. That even though all students didn't master something the first time, that they will have the chance again to learn and master the material. It's not scary like it's a bad thing.

    I agree that it is very important to teach for mastery.
     
  19. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Hawkteacher,
    Even though I have used EDM for 4 years, I am still not sure it is the best program for our district. I am not sure what is! : ) I do agree with many of your points. No math program is perfect. All will have glitches that we will have to work around. We have heard that problems arise when we don't teach it as it is presented-and I am sure that is true. We do what we can with the time we have. To do all that is in my 5th grade lesson in 60-75 minutes a day is practically impossible. I do as much as I can.
    The hardest part for me is seeing the faces of my students who are in a fog-and I have to move on. The district did map out a pacing guide, which seemed to work well last year. I am looking forward to even more improvement this year.
     

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