I hate this curriculum!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by SalZ, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. SalZ

    SalZ Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 20, 2009

    Can anyone out there sympathize? I've worked with H-M and a few other program, different grades, different subjects. However, the curriculum for the under-par 4th graders I have this year is just horrible. It's 99% worksheets, lots of copying from the overhead, has barely any writing component and hardly addresses any grade level lang. arts standards. The kids complain that the spelling word lists and phoneme practice drills are 'babyish', and I have to agree. Yet it's been adopted by the state and my district, and I'm expected to teach it for two hours straight!

    I'm modifying the program as much as I can but I'm not getting a lot of admin support -- they think this program is great, even though they don't have any data to back it up. So while I vent, I would just like to know if anyone else has been forced to work with a curriculum they hate, and what they did to survive the experience! :help:
     
  2.  
  3. frogger

    frogger Devotee

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 20, 2009

    I know exactly what you mean - however mine is all about mini lessons/workshop model which is great. BUT!!!!! they are structuring it so much that there is no freedom or leeway for the teacher. Kids can't use crayons, now drawing or coloring - ummm this is elementary school and with writer's workshop kids are supposed to be able to use whatever they want and can illustrate a picture that goes along with their writing. No cookie cutter items - can't give them a pumpkin or a heart and have them write because that is restricting their writing space however if they thought it up on their own it's okay. They want the kids to be in small groups and talking - they think that the kids can handle it - as in talk about what they are learning but you can't do that all day - and they don't talk about math, or reading they veer off into social/friends, etc.

    Don't get me wrong I think that kids can do all this but with some really good practice/procedure, etc and balanced out with other things however the Admin at the school and they county for the most have never taught at all or taught in an elem ed setting they are clueless to it all.

    Sorry if it seems like a hijack but it isn't, just needed to vent along side with you about the craziness of schools.
     
  4. SalZ

    SalZ Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 20, 2009

    No problem :) Really what I was hoping to find is that I'm not the only one who wants to, say, make a bonfire of curriculum materials ;)

    I think before any admin imposes a program on a staff, they should have to actually get in and teach it themselves. (Not like that's going to happen anytime soon, but it's nice to dream...)
     
  5. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 20, 2009

    I don't like the majority of our curriculum because it's scripted- and we just got a lecture about 'following the script'. It just makes me feel like they could pull John Doe off the street and ask him to teach the lesson, and he could do the same thing b/c although I would love to modify, add, challenge kids, etc., if it's not part of the script, it can't be done during the lesson. *sheesh* :(
     
  6. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 20, 2009

    I love that idea.

    I feel that the math program we are using (Everyday Math) jumps around and does not require students to master anything, since the program will always come back later to the concept. Meanwhile, children are dragged along whether or not they understand. Pulling out small groups to remediate can be difficult because many of the activities for the whole class are short and teacher directed, or else they are games that are fun but noisy. I have seen that this program can be successful with students on level; I can't help but wonder who decided that the low level students I work with would benefit from this program.
     
  7. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 20, 2009

    To make a war analogy, sometimes the generals are so far from the battle front that their ideas don't work with what the soldiers on the front lines are facing.

    We're only school teachers so what kind of input could we possibly contribute to the development of a curriculum? Ok, maybe a bit pessimistic but sometimes that's the reality, isn't it? I guess the best thing to do is adjust where you see fit so that it benefits the kids in your charge. If you're called on it, as long as you have the proof to back it up, how could they crucify you for doing something good in education?

    Sometimes a soldier has to make those decisions in the heat of battle. Steady on!
     
  8. 2inspire

    2inspire Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 20, 2009

    honestly at some point we need to stop the individualizing and supporting of these crappy curriculums. Admin looks at tests scores and if the test scores are okay then they're going to think the curriculum is working-they're not looking at all of the work we're doing to make the gains the students need.

    It's a huge catch 22 we help the students we're stuck with the curriculum, we show how well the curriculum doesn't work we also don't help the kids
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Sep 20, 2009

    Argh, I hate with a capital H our reading curriculum. We are always getting lectured from the RTI team about "stick to the core, stick to the core". Well, our core sucks. It repeats the same old thing over and over and over. Honestly, sequencing over and over with sixth graders? If I ask them to put the important events of the story in order one more time, I think they will break out the pitchforks. We're on our 6th story, and we have had to do sequencing for every story. BORING. And such low level thinking.

    It is getting to the point where I dread lesson planning because all it is is read the story, do this worksheet, read that story, do another worksheet. I hate it.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Sep 20, 2009

    In the school i'm observing at, they just bought Everyday Math this year.

    All elementary students are being subjected to it.

    It is absolutely insane.

    They expected second graders to know greater than and less than and what the equal sign meant.

    http://d-edreckoning.blogspot.com/2006/09/edweek-spins-everyday-math-research.html

    Out of the 61 studies on EM:

    none where found to fully meet the WWC's evidentiary standards,
    57 did not meet the standards; and
    4 were quasi-experimental studies that met "with reservation."

    Out of the 4 that met the standards with reservations, 3 did not have statistically significant results. 1 had indeterminate results. Two of the studies were conducted by researchers with ties to EM (Carroll & Riordan).
     
  11. SalZ

    SalZ Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 20, 2009

    That's a really good point.

    Except that... My district is in love with pacing guides, and the lower the test scores go, the stricter they get with the pacing guides.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. ready2learn,
  2. vickilyn,
  3. Backroads,
  4. bella84
Total: 384 (members: 8, guests: 359, robots: 17)
test