What math program do you use? Thoughts?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jem, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2014

    Our district is suppose to be piloting a math program this spring for adoption next fall. We haven't heard anything on the programs in consideration, and when I talked with our curriculum director, she seemed a bit overwhelmed with other things and didn't know what programs to even look at.

    So I've taken the reigns up myself.

    I've ordered the fifth grade sample kits for Everyday Math and Envision because those are two names I'm familiar with. I'm hesitant to look at Investigations because I had such a nasty experience with it the one year I had to use it.

    What do you use? How do you feel about it? How does it fit with Common Core? We need to sit down and make a list of what's important to us, but off the top of my head I'm looking for a strategic game component (and one that helps students analyze their game results), built in performance tasks, less focus on just giving answers and more focus on application of concepts in more difficult situations/problems, technology component for iPads and Smartboard, alignment with Common Core standards for data collection and built in group work.

    Even the Common Core workbooks our district bought us still have the kids just answer problems in a knowledge based manner. But when they take the sample Smarter Balance test, it's problems such as application of fractions into really tricky geometry problems. We need a program that is less drill and kill and more logic and problem solving.

    Any thoughts would be helpful so I can order samples and start looking into those as well. Then my team will give our recommendation to the curriculum director and hopefully we can get this show on the road! (our current program is AW-FUL)
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    We started using Go Math this year for the first time. The first month using it I was totally overwhelmed and hated it. Now that we've been using it for a while I'm much happier with it. I like that it has enrichment pages and reteach pages for each section. It has a good focus on word problems, and the tests are 100% word problems. What I don't like though is that each nightly homework has just 2 word problems on it, so the hw and tests don't really align well. It's really hard to get through the 4 pages per section in a 70 min class so we often end up needing a day and a half (or a day and a third) for some of the sections. Also some sections with the manipulatives totally confuse the kids as it's very different than what they're used to.

    The book teaches the kids how to do certain things in different ways than they're used to, and then in a later section will teach it "the old fashioned way." This has pros and cons, pros because it helps kids see things in a different way, cons because in 5th grade they really just want to do it the way they have seen it before.

    It does align with common core, so as early as third grade they're being taught about the commutative property for example. It's hard in 5th grade because it's our first year with the program so our kids are lacking background knowledge.

    There are technology components such as videos that talk though operations, on line quizzes, and a few more things I haven't gotten to explore yet, and probably won't until next year.

    I used to call it "Go out of my mind Math" but it's grown on me.
     
  4. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jan 27, 2014

    Edm doesn't do a great job hitting cc in kinder at least. We adopted envisions this yr. not loving this program either.
     
  5. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    We use Everyday Math. I really strongly dislike it, to tell you the truth. It confuses the heck out my SPED kids and I have to supplement it like crazy so that it makes sense to them. My mother taught it to gen ed kids and she didn't like it either. They don't learn their facts, and the way it teaches them to regroup :rolleyes: - just no...
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    We have EnVision. It's terrible. Absolutely terrible.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Awesome.

    Sooooo, really we should develop our own program? ;)

    Why are they all so terrrrrrrible????????????????
     
  8. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    At our school we have the option to use some "program", but we are encouraged to develop our own, and that is what most of us do. Funny, I can't even think of the adopted program's name anymore.
     
  9. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    We are looking at Orego (not sure of spelling). It's online but comes with printables. The stuff is ok, but not extremely rigorous.
     
  10. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    LOL. At my former district, they used Singapore Math. It is rigorous, but I liked it. Also, at my children's district they use Houghton Mifflin. I love this program. I go on eduplace.com and get their worksheets to supplement Everyday Math. It is so much better.
     
  11. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    My school uses Investigations. I just taught it for one year, but don't like it.
     
  12. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    My school uses Carnegie Learning. The math teachers claim they really like it.
     
  13. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    We use DEEP Math which was developed by teachers in Louisiana. I liked it before Common Core and it has been revised to fit Common Core, but is is lacking a lot. Though, I've heard different things about Engage NY, the majority are saying that they like it now. I think I would prefer something that I could develop on my own for math and reading.
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    We use Math Expressions Common Core, and, overall, I do like it. I was not a fan of the kindergarten curriculum, and the K teachers across the district seem to agree. I do have to supplement, as with any resource. I really like the pacing/order of the units. It's pretty simple to follow.

    Thankfully, though, my district recognizes that no program is perfect, so we're allowed to supplement. Some other districts in my area require teachers to follow only Math Expressions, and they are not too happy about that.
     
  15. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jem, my school uses Singapore Math. Agree with Jerseygirlteach that it is rigorous. I've also used Saxon Math which I really liked. One thing both programs had were in their simplicity and focus on mental mathematics.
     
  16. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    We use Saxon Math. They have a supplemental booklet for Common Core. I like how everything spirals so that the students don't forget concepts that they have learned earlier in the year. Our students, who are nearly all ELL, love it. There is a Spanish edition, and I sent home copies of the homework in Spanish so the parents can help their children with the homework.
    Our Math computation scores on the State tests are some of the highest in the area.
    However, if you have a highly mobile population in your school, it does not work as well. Neither does Everyday Math!
     
  17. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Actually, yeah! There has been research to support "staircase curriculum" developed by teachers in a specific school context. The idea is that you're a)Trusting teachers and b)Being responsive to the needs of your community/kids. Teachers get together to plan curriculum maps and common assessments. 3rd grade knows what 2nd and 4th grade is doing, etc.

    It's probably what should be happening considering Common Core is not a curriculum and obviously no "one size fits all" program is meeting everyone's needs. Too bad districts don't trust educators. :whistle:
     
  18. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    So I could actually create my own-we have quite a bit of freedom at my school. But math is one area that I want to find a solid program for our school to use k-5. Also, I'm tired. I'll admit it-I don't want to create a program from scratch right now. I feel I'm already doing that with reading and writing and social studies and science. I just want a math program that works. It's the one textbook I actually use during the day. I like the dependability that gives me and the students. I just want a program that isn't drill and kill.

    Guess I'll see if I can get some samples of the programs mentioned here as well. I don't mind supplimenting-I bought a lot of resources this year-but I really don't want to have to create ALL my own curriculum units, and I think there's something to be said for a cohesive math program k-5. ;)
     
  19. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You've heard people say something positive about EngageNY?!?!?
     
  20. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Yes, I have!
     
  21. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    We use Saxon in my special ed classes and I really like it. The kids are certainly below grade level but it is working. Will they pass the state test? Probably not because they are several levels below grade level. I really like the review every day. I also like the Cum and Benchmark tests.
     
  22. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I've used some things from Engage NY! What I've seen I like. They are constantly upgrading and adding things.
     
  23. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    My advice would be stay away from Everyday Math. Far away. Don't know if they've changed it since I used it to align it to common, but I was never happy with it even before common core. We have Go math. It's not perfect but I would say I love it just because the order makes sense, I actually have resources and my students are doing well on the assessments and definitely better than before we had it.
     
  24. ms.pekkle

    ms.pekkle Rookie

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    We have envision, too. Why do you think it's terrible? I find the consumables too easy for kindergarten.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    For starters, it varies between being inappropriately easy and inappropriately difficult... I teach 4th grade math, and seem to always have better success finding appropriate stuff from the 5th grade kit. I consider the actual book to be fairly useless. Virtually none of the materials are even slightly engaging or interesting for the kids. The closest I have come to liking it is by assigning kids specific lessons for remediation, having them watch the videos, do the practice, and do the quizzes.
     
  26. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    3 months ago I attended a refresher course on the Engage NY math modules for 2nd and 3rd grade. If the attendeeshad been allowed we would have all placed our binders in a pile and set it on fire. Trying to teach a 12 page lesson with a minimum of 3 work sheets along with a math sprint in one hour is virtually impossible. Plus parents have no idea what you are trying to teach. May I ask what you like about the modules?
     
  27. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Our parish uses Engage New York and it's made it a tough year for our math teachers. Daily there are calls, letters, and visits from parents who are struggling to understand what their child is learning. Also, because it is so structured there's very little time for remediation.
     
  28. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    We have enVision, but we have the actual book (I think now it's more computer-based?). I actually like it. I don't follow it exactly, and some topics/chapters I supplement more than others, but overall I find it to be a good program, with high expectations for the kids to explain their thinking. I also like their use of bar diagrams for problem solving.
     
  29. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I don't like envision at all.
     

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