trailblazers...have you used it

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by born2teach84, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2007

    ok so our county has adopted trailblazers for math....what are your thoughts? So far we HATE it...alot of work and the kids still don't get it...the language is to hard and our parents get lost way to many times...Just wanted to know how you felt...
     
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  3. peyton1

    peyton1 Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    Be Patient

    Our district adopted Trailblazers. Then the school board had so many parent complaints they adopted something else. It was a mess. I will be honest when we started using Trailblazers everyone hated it! I grew to love it! Parents never ever got on board because it was different from the way they learned math. They always said to me, "This new math is killing me!" I always said it is not new math just taught in a better way. Yes, teachers have to work harder with Trailblazers because the teacher's manuals are not all in one or two and nice and neat. I had to make three ring binders for all the units that went with trailblazers. Even though I had to abandon Trailblazers, I will tell you I taught fourth grade in Arkansas at that time and all my students passed the ACTAAP (benchmark test) in math. I really think it was because I stuck it out with Trailblazers for most of the year. It is amazing what the students discovered in math instead of being told to do it because that is the way it is in math.
     
  4. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Jun 10, 2007

    We have been using Trailblazers for about 4 years and I really like it a lot. I feel the teacher's manual is sooooo easy to follow. The children have done really well with it and our state scores reflect that. It is very important that you do complete the DPP's (Daily Practice Problems) because the skills build upon each other. So far, for the most part, the teachers have really taken a liking to the series. You do have to give it a chance.
     
  5. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    We have been using Math Trailblazers for 7 years now. At first, it was hard to get used to because it is different than the way we were taught. Yes, parents have a hard time with some of the homework but, in reality, they probably would with any math curriculum. We were not taught the same ways children are taught now. We are adopting a new curriculum this next year...Everyday Math.

    I like trailblazers in the fact that it is a spiral curriculum and one that is built upon through the years. Students are not expected to master skills at first but will be re-introduced to them every year and build upon that. The teacher's manual is very easy to read although some of the lessons are taught differently than I would have done it. Those I just change around a bit and teach them the way that I think my students will learn best, keeping the concept the same. I have deviated from the lessons, especially on subjects that take a bit longer to understand (double digit addition and subtraction, time).

    The only thing I really never have liked about this curriculum is the labs. They seem to take a long time to do and the wayt that they want you to do most of them is in pairs. Well...I don't have that many ramps and toys cars or pennies and quarters. Those we usually just ended up either doing them as a whole group or groups of 4-5. I don't know that the lessons had quite the same effect but they seem to be doing pretty well. We have good test scores next to the state average.

    If you have any other questions, go ahead and ask me or PM me with more specifics. I am excited but a little nervous about switching curriculums, especially since we have pretty much gotten this one down. :rolleyes:
     
  6. MrsFrench

    MrsFrench Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    Don't worry about switching from Trailblazers to Everyday Math. I've used both and they are very similar!! I used Trailblazers in my student teaching and then Everyday Math during a semester long, long term sub. The Everyday Math was easy to understand, especially after using Trailblazers. We had the same issues with the parents, but it's a great program and I've seen it used in many school districts in my area! You will love it! (I loved both programs)
     
  7. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    Jun 11, 2007

    I've used both also and prefer Everyday Math. It is easier to use, and has ideas for differentiation. Trailblazers can be too advanced at times...like teaching 4th graders exponents!?! Everyday math connects to real world situations and has a lot of great activities and games also.
     
  8. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jun 11, 2007

    When my oldest daughter was in first grade the school district piloted Trailblazers. Because it was a pilot year, the teachers didn't deviate from the curriculum at all. Over the next few years, we discovered that the program is good for mathmatecial thinking, but not so hot with the basic facts. My daughter never had to learn and/or memorize her facts so now that she's in highschool, her math homework takes forever since she has to calculate everything--including basic multiplication.

    My second child was taught TB from k-5 and he's having no trouble in advanced math in highschool, but by the time he was in school the teachers had been teaching TB for four years and they realized that they needed to supplement for the basic facts--drill and practice.

    When I taught TB math, I had a hard time fitting the DPP's in everyday. The program is too wordy for my tastes.
    Now I'm using Everyday Math and I really like it compared to TB. However, that could be due to the fact that I was teaching TB at 3rd and 5th grade and I'm teaching ED to first graders, so there's a big difference in content.
     
  9. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jul 4, 2007

    I used EDM in a 1st grade student teaching assignment and it allowed for a lot of math centers, where the teacher could monitor performance at a station. Does Trailblazers incorporate centers, too?
     
  10. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jul 4, 2007

    I don't remember centers, but there were explorations to be done. (labs) I never taught TB in primary though.
     

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