Math "Investigations" Curriculum

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cutNglue, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 17, 2009

    http://investigations.terc.edu/

    Does anybody use it? Do you like it? Our school may be rush ordering it. I'm not sure what the update on that is yet but I'm wondering about your opinions.
     
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  3. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2009

    We just got it. I liked our training a lot...I am excited to see how it works because it can do some good things if it rolls smoothly. I'll let you know how I feel next week when I start teaching it.
     
  4. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I used it at my old school, and I hated it!!!! In kinder there is too much abstract and not enough concrete math. It was great for my higher thinking kids but those who lacked basic math skills such as writing and recognizing the numbers it was not all good for them.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We considered rush ordering it because we liked the training too. :lol: I don't know if they convinced the powers to be though to fork over the dough. I'll ask tomorrow. In the meantime I'm curious if anybody has used it and what they thought about it. I like the philosophy behind it but one of our concerns when it was originally presented last year was that parents wouldn't like that it wasn't "exact" enough or had enough traditional arithmetic to it. I wasn't involved in that sales meeting so I have no idea what they really discussed. That's just what I heard. I'm hoping they got it.

    One interesting part is that the calendar math has counting students (attendance). Umm... I only have 5 students.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    I've used it for 2 years. There are parts I like, but honestly, it doesn't cover the state objectives the way I need it covered, so I do more than 60% of the math curriculum outside of it - which is a lot of work on me.

    It is great having so many different ways to look at things -- but the kids get overwhelmed with it, and start mixing the different ways together. Also, it only gives a couple of problems for each concept, so the kids don't really master it with any depth. That is just my opinion -- others may love it.

    By the time you've shown the kids the 4th different way to do subtraction with regrouping, they are just so lost and confused -- especially when, if you send any of it home as homework, the parents try to teach them "their way" (the traditional algorythm) and then the kids are really lost. It is overload!!!
     
  7. Mom2two

    Mom2two Companion

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    I've used it for 3 years, and HATED it!!!! I don't know one teacher in our district who liked it. Thankfully we are implementing 2 new curriculums this year, and will adopting one of them for next year. It can't come soon enough!!!! I can't believe districts are still buying Investigations!
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Our other program also has so many ways of "adding" that I can see your point. We teach how to do each of them every step of the way but it is hard to make the connections.

    Our district has aligned the entire series with the curriculum and it shows us how to make it all fit. I'm not as worried about that.

    I like that there isn't one way to do everything because I always hated traditional math and was never very good at it. I was always afraid to do it wrong.

    I have no idea if we ended up buying it or not, but I wished I had been involved and could have checked out feedback ahead of time. Interesting feedback.
     
  9. iheart5thgrade

    iheart5thgrade Comrade

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    We just started it this year, so I'm only in Day Two of actually teaching it! So far, I like the concepts and I like the very hands-on approach.

    I can see where more problems have to be supplemented because it doesn't have enough problems for students to really practice.

    The training I had this summer was really good.

    I like it so far...but then again, I'm only on Day Two! :)
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2009

    We looked at it briefly last year to have something for new teachers to use...the Superintendant didn't want to order it due to the controversies surrounding the program.
    Here's one school board meeting (district nearby to me...)video highlighting parent complaints, citing mathematicians who call Investigations "illiterate" and "damaging".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sla2_-bsF74
     
  11. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    I like how it encourages students to make their own sense of math. It focuses much more on developing number sense than the curriculum I currently use (Everyday Math). I don't think it includes enough of teaching traditional algorithms, which some students need. I've seen students just get lost because they're never told, "Here's the steps you take to solve it."

    Ideally, I'd like to use a program that is a balance of the lecture heavy Everyday Math and the open-ended explorations of Investigations.

    Investigations has some really great games I still use with my third graders!
     
  12. maebowler

    maebowler Comrade

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    I used Investigations when I subbed in one of the districts. I really did not like it. It was hard to understand and the kids were very confused. My friend, who I subbed, hated it. She never said anything good about it. I like Everyday Math, but that is the only other curriculum I have experienced.
     
  13. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2009

    We got the new version last year after having used the old version for several years. I like it a lot but found it was too easy for our students. But this year I am in a different grade, so we shall see!
     
  14. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I've taught it since 2003 and have taught all grade levels K-3 in that time. They updated it a couple years ago and I will say that the new addition is MUCH better. It is more user friendly for teachers.

    Having used it so long I am starting to see the benefits. My students now (3rd graders) have used it since K and it shows. They think outside the box. They understand the concepts behind the math. They are able to apply their skills to other areas.

    With that being said...my official opinion is that I dislike it.

    It is complicated for teachers and students. It takes a LONG time to prepare for each lesson. There is so much reading to be done each day in order to teach it.

    It is not something the parents understand and the resistance from them consumes you.

    It is VERY language based and there are so many children who struggle with it for that reason. I have students who would do fine with a traditional math program who are failing because this doesn't meet their needs.

    My biggest gripe is the holes in the curriculum. We are required to teach the state frameworks as the children are tested on them, yet Investigations doesn't address all of them. Over time we are learning where the gaps are and filling them with supplemental materials, but it is a ton of work on our part and does go against the philosophy of Investigations.
     
  15. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Love it. First, we need to work to change parents' thinking about math. Math is no longer teaching kids how to do and memorize algorithms. It's a new day--a new age. That requires a new math thinking. Second, it DOES have holes in it, I'll admit that. But I think now that things are shifting more toward the idea of focal points, this is less of an issue. What it teaches it teaches for a deep level of understanding. It also covers more than you think IF you do the daily math procedures it recommends. This is where it covers things that require more memorization like money and time. But, if you teach kids to THINK they will be able to attack questions on a state test even if they've never seen them before, instead of giving up and guessing.
     

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