Math Expressions

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by zoerba, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 6, 2008

    Does anyone use Math Expressions by Houghton Mifflin? My district is switching from Everyday Math to Math Expressions next year. I wanted to get my hands on the teacher's guide to get an idea how the program is run, but I can't yet.

    Do you like it? Is it language based? Does it teach to mastery?

    Thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. peachieteachie

    peachieteachie Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 8, 2008

    Wow, this is crazy! We're switchiung from Everyday Math to Math Expressions too next year. SMALL WORLD :) I'd like the answers to your questions too. We had a panel who previewed the Math Expressions materials and seemed to think it was very teacher/user friendly.
     
  4. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 8, 2008

    That's what I've heard but I've also heard it's very similar to EDM. The complaint in my district was that EDM was too language based and therefore the IEP and ESL students struggled with it. The parents also didn't like it because they couldn't understand the new ways of solving problems.

    I wonder if it'll solve our problems?
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Likes Received:
    809

    Jun 8, 2008

    We use Math Expressions. I don't really care for it, but you might. Try looking at this web site to get some ideas about it.

    http://www.eduplace.com/math/mthexp/

    Here is what I like:
    --there are many strategies for solving problems.
    --great manipulatives kit!
    --our grade level's books have punch out flash cards, which is nice. They exactly match the flash cards found in the manipulative kit, which is nice.

    Here is what I don't like:
    --there are too many strategies for solving problems, and the children get confused. In the second grade program, for example, they show 4 different ways to solve problems with regrouping. One way shows starting on the left-hand side (which we constantly tell the children NOT to do!). When we get to the traditional algorithm, the children confuse the two, and still try to solve the subtraction and addition problems beginning on the left-hand side! Using expanded form for subtraction is very confusing, because you must subtract the numbers, but ADD the components. The kids stay lost on this! The parents get frustrated and want to teach the children the traditional algorithm long before you are supposed to be there -- which really confuses the kids. I have to beg the parents NOT to show them how to "carry" or "borrow" until we get to the fourth method, or the children are lost.
    --There aren't enough practice problems. The children are given a few problems and that is it. Be prepared to supplement, supplement, supplement. There is a blackline master book, but it also has very few problems, and will eat up your copy paper!
    --The parents don't understand the new terminology. We teach math mountains, partner houses, quick draws, and break aparts. Don't know what those are? Neither do the parents! I had parents coming in to be taught how to help their children with this math series.

    I don't really care for Math Expressions -- and math is one of my strong areas. There are just too many ways taught, and not enough practice on any of them. You will find yourself skipping huge sections of the book.

    The directions in the children's book are sometimes too simplified (Solve: ) They don't tell you "how." Be prepared to read and read and read the teacher's manual, or you won't understand what the children are expected to do.

    Most of my grade level teammates hate it. They refuse to use the different methods, which is a problem sometimes, because our district has district-wide tests -- using the Math Expressions terminology. You may have taught fact families, but if they show your student a half-finished partner house and say, "What goes in the next box?" it is really obvious if the teacher hasn't used the manual.

    The teacher's manual is way too long in places. If you only taught math it would be fine, but otherwise, get good at skimming. If not, you'll spend hours planning each lesson, because you have to learn how to do it first.

    Last thing -- the tests throw in previous skill review, so you don't really have a score on just the skill you have taught. And if you are like us, we have state standards that have to be taught in a particular order, so we are skipping around all over in the book. The tests often have things in them we haven't covered yet. I don't even use the tests or the test generator software. They just don't meet my needs.

    Hope it helps.
     
  6. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 9, 2008

    AH! This sounds almost exactly like Everyday Math. *sigh* I don't think it will be any better. Actually, it sounds worse. I guess we'll just have to go with the flow...
     
  7. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 10, 2008

    I completely agree with Rainstorm. At first, I was excited about the program, but now, I simply detest it. It is impossible to include all the strategies that they teach. I do enjoy the manipulative kits that come with the program, but that is about it. At some point after December, I stopped reading the teacher's manual.
     
  8. 5thgraderocks

    5thgraderocks Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 12, 2008

    Oh no! We are also looking at Math Expressions as a replacement for EDM. 2008-09 is a pilot year for us. Are there any "gotta try 'em" books out there? Everyday Math is awful. By the time the kids get to 5th grade they have tons of "algorithms" but can't do basic addition and subtraction. We also hate the "if you don't get it ... don't worry ... it will come back again" philosophy. I didn't get to see enough of Math Expressions to see how it differs. The author of ME was one of the original authors of EDM, I think.
     
  9. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 12, 2008

    I was a LTS last spring in a district that had teachers piloting Expressions. The district decided to go with it, so I had the training for the new math program on the last day of inservice along with everyone else. Then another district I sub for decided to add it this year as well. I tried to use my previous training as a plus to get myself hired...didn't work.

    Even having been trained, as a sub it's a hard program to adjust to. I sub at every grade level, and I struggle with the terminology. One day I was subbing in 1st grade and we were supposed to use the stairs (I believe that's what they were called) for measuring and I had to ask one of the students what they were (for those who don't know, they are manipulatives used for measuring before a ruler is introduced). Haven't gotten a whole lot of positive feedback from the teachers who are using it.
     
  10. little317

    little317 Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,289
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 12, 2008

    This info is going to really help me when we will adopt a new math series in the next couple of years.
     
  11. 5thgraderocks

    5thgraderocks Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 8, 2008

    I am looking at the 5th Grade student texts (Math Expressions). At first glance, it appears to be very "watered down." I am looking to see if negative integers are included.

    Students who come into fifth grade with mastery of basic multiplication facts might be in for some long tedious lessons!

    We need more rigor ... dumbing down isn't the answer! I'm anxious to hear what other 5th grade teachers think.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Ima Teacher
Total: 199 (members: 1, guests: 184, robots: 14)
test