10-7 = 3 Right? Not according to "New Math"


OMG!!! I am ready to take a flamethrower to my son's "math" book. :mad::mad: It is based on the University of Chicago something or other. As far as I know, math is pretty much an exact science. 10-7 does in fact equal 3.... at least most of the free and not-so-free world learns this way, I'm pretty sure. If I have 10 apples an I give Cathe seven apples, I will have how many apples left....... three!!!

HOW in the name of ALL that is holy will this benefit our kids in the REAL WORLD?!?!? So, my son gets a job at Starbucks and the customer's total is $3.50. The customer hands me a $5.00... I give them back $7.53 in change because that's the way "they" taught him math!! Don't think he'll have a job for long! Why?? Because they taught them "ball park" estimates along with their partial-sum algorithms in 2nd grade!!

WTH!!!!! I KNOW I can't be the ONLY parent who hates this and understands that it just doesn't make sense and has very little basis in reality.

PLEASE tell me that our school district is this messed up!! Here's the scarier thing. Our District is one of the highest rated in Colorado! HUH?!?!?!? ONLY by scewed test scores & teaching methods. :mad:

Hufffff- Pufffff!! Snort! Anybody else having this much "fun" with their child's teachings??:mad:

Clark County School District

In Nevada...makes me barf. Glad one's done and one kid has his final semester. If they spent TIME teaching rather than MONEY, maybe they'd be smarter. No flame intended.


Hi Barb,

Oh my gosh... what is going on with education these days?? I typed so fast out of frustration I had a ton of typos... so much for my Master's degree! LOL!!

I have had many friends who have taken their kids out of the district because of this insane style of teaching. Even the teachers don't like it!




I am in complete agreement with you Pam. I remember the day my son asked me about "partial sum equations" in second grade. I told him I didn't have the foggiest idea what that was until I looked at the problem. I couldn't even help him with his homework because my "antiquated" way of solving the math problem confused him and got him in trouble with his teacher because he didn't solve the problem their way. They also didn't do any memorizing math facts...it took my son YEARS to be able to give an immediate answer to a simple math fact like 3 x 4. He is in 8th grade now and still struggles with things that I think should be automatic. But they didn't memorize facts in elementary school. The curriculum was called "everyday math." It was supposed to be more like real world math - I didn't see it.

We also are in one of the top school districts in Ohio. It is ridiculous...it's like they have to find something new and expensive to spend money on. I think they should go back to the basics!!


Hi Lisa- OMG!! "Everyday Math for Aliens" is what it should REALLY be called! That is the EXACT program my son is in and it continues to baffle me and my also "antiquated" way of solving REAL everyday problems!! You are soo right... they have to find ways to waste our hard earned tax dollars on totally bizzar? bizarr? bizarre? ways of "teaching" our kids to "learn". According to whose standards??

Thank you both for concurring and although it still sucks, it's good to know our school system isn't he only one that is messed up.

Remember Laura Ingalls?

What happened to the teacher teaching and the kids learning with simple chalk boards? It doesn't take billions of dollars to teach. I say pay the teachers more and let them teach our kids. Take the politicians out of it. Ok, I'm gonna shut up and go workout now...


Wait!!! I want to shop where I give over $5 and get $7.53 back in change! :p

Math homework is awful. DS is in 4th grade and they have some of the wackiest stuff. Long division - which yes, I can do - had the most jacked up teaching method. Something about drawing lines and then adding up the lines and standing on your head and turning in a circle - I think.

Same as you, I can tell DS how to get the answer, but I can't tell him how to do it "their" way, because it doesn't make sense to me at all.

They have math flash cards for multiplication, but I don't think they go over the basic memorizing the times tables too often.

Spelling lists also stopped in 1st or 2nd grade, but that's another rant.


ETA: I just had to to Google "partial sum algorithm" DS didn't learn that way. Our school district does the old fashioned "carry the one". I personally do it in my head either way when I need to add numbers without paper. Without paper its easier to do the partial sum doohicky, but I never knew it had a name. I lose my "carried" numbers if I add in my head that way.
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I don’t know how they are teaching math in the elementary schools in my state now, but I remember years ago trying to help my cousin’s son and not having any idea what this “new math” was about. I know many of the students I see (at the middle school level) struggle with basic math facts. A surprising number of them do not know how to read an analog clock. And in my content area, I see writing skills in decline. I definitely do not fault the elementary teachers themselves for this. The blame lies with the administrators and curriculum supervisors who get sold on these new-fangled programs which the teachers are forced to use.

Generally speaking, it seems that more and more sophisticated concepts are being pushed on children at younger ages before they have actually had the chance to master the basics. For example, I don’t feel it is appropriate that a 3rd or 4th grade student is being asked to write a persuasive essay, one of the most challenge types of writing, when he should be constructing solid sentences and paragraphs first.


We use Everyday Mathematics at my school and have for a long time. Our district scores above the state average every year in math and we also score the highest out of all the other schools in our intermediate school district.

This math is not "new." It is only new to you, as it was to me when I first started teaching it. When I first came to this school and was required to teach it, I was shocked. I had to do the student pages every night so that I would be able to teach it in the morning. The Student Reference Book was my Bible.

My district understands that parents get frustrated with it, so we have a parent night every year called Homework without Tears. Teachers present different Everyday Math strategies in their classrooms for the parents to learn. The teachers who do not attend that night make a video of them teaching a lesson and they are all put on a dvd for the parents to take home for free. There is also dinner provided since we have a very high poverty rate and that gets parents in the door. You might want to talk to your child's principal and put that idea in their head.

Have you asked your student's teacher for a Student Reference Book to take home and leave there for your reference? I have given them out many times. That book explains every strategy and gives examples. Just return it at the end of the year. I can't imagine a teacher saying no to that. What teacher wouldn't want parents helping their kids with homework?

I didn't know Everyday Math was more expensive than other programs.

I am sorry you are having such a rough time with it. It is hard to learn new ways of doing things when you were taught in an entirely different way. Good luck!
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It's nice to hear a teacher's perspective and while I appreciate it, I don't think its an aversion to just something new. I have a real problem withe the fact that the school doesn't spend time drilling in the basics before moving on to complex skills. Runninteach said it perfectly that students are being asked to do advanced tasks before they have a solid base to build from. For some students this works fine, my daughter (19) loved to learn and she picked up things quickly. She had no problem with this curriculum. But she also enjoyed spending hours doing extra work outside of school in workbooks so she got the basics outside of school. My son is totally different. I loaded him up with workbooks too but he wasn't interested. So since they didn't drill the basics at school he was constantly in a state of confusion about how to complete the most basic tasks.

He also has an attention problem so the fact that the everyday math curriculum bounces around in a rotation of concepts throughout the year was challenging as well. So instead of spending weeks on multiplication facts, they spend two days here and there throughout the year. Again, I appreciate the concept but if your child has attention problems and doesn't pick up the lessons when they are taught those two days then he lost out and is now behind. The next time that concept is taught the other kids move forward, he doesn't know what to do, has anxiety over it and tunes out. It was a viscious cycle that was so painful to watch. I think he would have done much better with the way I was taught.

Again, different kids are, well, different. Spending weeks on 1 concept would have been torture for my daughter but very appropriate for my son.

I like drilling in the basics. Arthrimetic, spelling and basic grammar should be drilled in before moving on to more advanced concepts.


Our schools use a lot of estimating in math, too instead of going over the basic facts. They also do not emphasize spelling because of the availability of spell check. My kids are three grades apart and my oldest had to learn a lot more facts (such as state capitals, multiplication tables, reading classics) than my youngest. My oldest is in 11th Grade.

Longer hours/days in school will not fix our issues with how educated (or not) the kids are that graduate High School. If we want to compete with Asia, we need to lose all the bells and whistles in our education and just teach subjects because they are worth knowing and not just fun.


For years this program was the thorn in our side. Our DD was failing math in
second grade. She just shut down from frustration. I questioned my neighbor, who has a tutoring business, what he thought of Everyday Math, and he exclaimed, "I absolutely LOVE it!!! It keeps me in business. Kids come to me around fourth grade, and I reteach math the right way, from the beginning".

When we expressed our frustration to our DD's teacher, she said the program is set up to just introduce complex math and they are not expected to get it the first or second time around, but it spirals out yearly and "eventually" the concept will finally click. Our child just quit trying and considered herself too stupid to figure it out. When in third grade multiplication facts were introduced, the program spent three months in teaching them and then jumped to complex three and four digit multiplication. We knew then what a waste of paper this system was. I remember when I was in elemetary school spending an entire year in third grade knowing math facts backward, forward and upside down before we were allowed to move on to anything else.

Finally, this year our district has decided to stop using this program after years of complaints from teacher, parents and students. They must have had some contract that they couldn't get out of until now. You don't have to look any further than our math test scores to see how bad this program is.


There are some valid arguments here. I recommend you go to Google Scholar and read some peer reviewed research, then make an appointment with your school district's curriculum director or superintendent.

Everyone in my school teaches basic multiplaction facts in addition to using Everyday Math. Maybe that is why we are above average in our state and at the national level.

As for not teaching spelling....that is the crazy! We use Words Their Way. Students are given a spelling inventory three times per year. The students are placed in different groups depending on what spelling stage they are in. The students are given words with the pattern they need to work on every week and tested on Friday. It is labor intensive for me, but it is teaching students at their individual level.
Makes me glad that I'm homeschooling mine. My oldest wants to go to school next year for 7th grade, but he's got the basics down really well already. I was determined they would know how to do all basic math so they'd have a good foundation for it.

Since pretty much every place has cash registers that figure change, it's pretty hard to mess up these days. Just as well of they'd never balance at the end of the day.


Isn't math just math? I'm 39 and definitely learned differently than my kids are. Our school just started something called THINK! math. It took three college-eduated adults 20 minutes to figure out my DD's homework (4th grade) and we still weren't right.

What do I know - I majored in English :)


I get a little annoyed with the estimates too, because I don't remember learning it in school.... however, I DO do it when I'm trying to get an idea of how much money I'll need. I always estimate high, though. It's just a natural thing. They still teach the method for getting the right number, so I'm not concerned - except when my daughter is doing her homework and puts the actual number as the answer and gets it wrong, because it's NOT an estimate. That's just dumb in my opinion. Especially if you can do correct subtraction and addition in your head.

I think it's also nuts to not teach spelling; however, I know MANY highly intelligent and literate people who just can't spell (my 10th grade English teacher included). My boyfriend is 16 years younger than me, so he was taught spelling using phonics. He is a horrible speller, but incredibly smart. I'm more concerned about grammar than spelling, but still think it needs to be emphasized.
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I taught my sons, now 18 and 23, Math , reading, writing and grammar. I taught them phonics which made the teachers crazy because they were teaching Whole Language. Anyway when my son said that he didn't need to memorize the times tables I informed him that he did. When they received a handful of problems for homework, I gave them more.

My older son graduated with a double major in Comp Sci/ Math and my younger son is following in his footsteps.


Hmm - I think Nanbo just jumped the shark. We are just talking about math, right? :)

I just googled the partial sum algorithm and actually see how it could be really helpful to some kids. My son has a very hard time keeping his math organized when he's carrying a lot of numbers.

I love doing math with the kids because it is an opportunity for me to learn new methods and for me to share my perspective.

What I would like to see in math (which I know is hard) is more flexibility so that kids can choose the method that makes sense to them. My DD really struggled with math in elementary school because teacher INSISTED it was her way or no way. And her way just didn't make sense to my DD. My DS (her twin) had no problems. Now she's caught up and in advanced math, but it was frustrating for her.


Went a little crazy...sorry!

It is imperative to "dumb down" the masses in order to prevent rebellion. Ignorance breeds fear. Fear breeds hatred. Hatred brings division. United we stand; divided we fall and are therefore controllable.:(

Wow! Guess my morning caffeine hadn't kicked in yet! I've been dealing with graduate students that can't do simple algebra in a laboratory....drives me crazy!!!! :eek:

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