Think! Math?? WHAT??

jcm

Cathlete
Any parents out there: our charter school adopted this last year and it continues. And I HATE it. I'm doing Google searches but there's so much info! Just wonder if any parents/teachers know about this or can direct me to some info on it. I'm about ready to pull my kids from this school because of it!

Glad I'm almost 40! Never thought I'd say that!!
 

alicia17

Cathlete
Is Think! Math? a new way of teaching? The schools here by me teach Everyday Math and it is horrible. Lattice multiplication, partial sums and all kinds of crazy stuff I have never seen. It just seems like so much more trouble the the "old" way. I have to teach myself each chapter so I can help my kids when they don't understand. I hate it :(
 

jcm

Cathlete
Apparently it's called Think Math! and yes, it's yet another way of teaching math. It's supposed to teach "number relationships" and puzzle solving, not just memorization. It's sad when parents need lessons to help kids with their homework! But then I've never been a math person so it's all horrible to me.
 

Fitbyfifty

Cathlete
If you want to teach your child math, use Kahn Academy on the wed. It is free and self paced. It's the way I was taught math, the math that got me thru the Air Force Academy. I don't know whats going on with our education system, but it seems the more we pour money into the current system the worse we get. By the way Kahn Academy has more than math, it is K-12 and beyond, covers math and science and they keep adding more stuff each time I go back to the site.
 

jcm

Cathlete
Never heard of it! Is it just something on the internet? I'll look into it, but let me know if you have more info.

I agree w/ the pouring money in and things getting worse. After 8 years of having kids and school, and talking to parents in the school and teachers in my neighborhood, I have my own strong opinion on this school thing.

Everyone seems to think making kids to go to school longer, and pushing them more, will accomplish something. The problem starts before that - at home. So many of things kids have such dysfunctional home lives they aren't prepared to learn. And for some life at home is so chaotic they are just trying to get by. Nobody has an "ideal" home life. My kids at least have stability. They don't have a parent in prison. Their parent doesn't "forget" to get them up for school. They have clean clothes. They aren't locked out of the house while parents/parent is "entertaining." And yes, that's just the tip of the iceberg these teachers are dealing with. Our school has a dress code, and one of the kids - living in the mission downtown - didn't have clothes. The teachers got together and made sure he was all set. Maybe focus on fixing "home base" and quit pouring millions into studies of new fangled ways to teach math.

Okay, off the soap box. I get really riled up about this!

Jen
 

jacmar

Cathlete
Is Think! Math? a new way of teaching? The schools here by me teach Everyday Math and it is horrible. Lattice multiplication, partial sums and all kinds of crazy stuff I have never seen. It just seems like so much more trouble the the "old" way. I have to teach myself each chapter so I can help my kids when they don't understand. I hate it :(

Everyday Math is the worst. There was no basic addition and subtraction. When my kids were in elementary school, they actually were teaching division before multiplication.

We pretty much had to teach the kids ourselves the traditional way so that could understand it!
 

tralaiven

Cathlete
I was shocked and appalled when my 2 older children (now 22 and 20) had NO math book in school...that is crazy talk! We need math BOOKS so we can go back and review previous learned skills.

Anyway, I began homeschooling them and now my younger 2 (11 and13) are in private school wherein they actually have a MATH BOOK that teaches traditional, objective Math.
 

tralaiven

Cathlete
If you want to teach your child math, use Kahn Academy on the wed. It is free and self paced. It's the way I was taught math, the math that got me thru the Air Force Academy. I don't know whats going on with our education system, but it seems the more we pour money into the current system the worse we get. By the way Kahn Academy has more than math, it is K-12 and beyond, covers math and science and they keep adding more stuff each time I go back to the site.

me again...wow that site is totally cool...thanks!

Khan Academy
 

callygrrl

Cathlete
Thank you for the information about Kahn Academy website. I going back to school next year, and this site will be very helpful as a brush up on my college math skills.

This is why I love the Cathe forums, you can find such good information on just about any topic. :D

Cally
 

pjlippert

Cathlete
Is Think! Math? a new way of teaching? The schools here by me teach Everyday Math and it is horrible. Lattice multiplication, partial sums and all kinds of crazy stuff I have never seen. It just seems like so much more trouble the the "old" way. I have to teach myself each chapter so I can help my kids when they don't understand. I hate it :(

OMG! Don't even get me going on Everyday math!! I too was ready to switch schools due to being majorly frustrated with the bizar & confusing (IMHO) teaching methods... Ballpark estimates... really?? I had my own personal rant about this last year so I won't repeat myself.

Good luck!
Pam
 

jaypea

Cathlete
My son has Everyday Math in his school. He's in first grade, and the 2nd week of school, he was bringing home single-digit addition without ever going over the meaning of addition, what the signs mean, working with manipulatives, then pictures then numbers (concrete to abstract....which is how all math should be taught)!!! I am a first grade teacher in a different district, and we don't start teaching addition until the children have a solid number sense (what numbers really mean, counting, etc.). Then, we start with what addition means and teach (and practice) how to count with manipulatives, using a number line to count on, etc). Since then, my son has "learned" subtraction, skip counting by 2's, 5's, 10's and get this...3's, time (give me a break...this is such an abstract concept to many kiddos), money. It's only October! O.k., enough ranting. I prefer the "old fashioned" way along with lots of problem solving activities that build thinking skills.
 

jcm

Cathlete
Just wanted to say thanks for all of the responses! It's awesome to know I'm not alone! And this Everyday Math - sounds not that different from our Think Math!

Whatever happened to just memorizing stuff?? I can see the benefit of this other stuff AFTER the basics are drilled in.

That's why I majored in English and Business :)
 

atiman

Cathlete
I was going to respond earlier, but I wasn't sure if the math you spoke of was similar to or the same as Everyday Math...also known by other names.

Well, I hated this new math! I mean I hated it and it seemed so backwards! Teachers and parents had to re-learn the new method to help their children with their homework. The school set up evening classes for parents if they chose to understand the concept.

Well I tried, but I felt overwhelmed and felt way too much anxiety to learn a new skill. I couldn't understand why they would change the way things were always taught. It was so simple and perfect!
It was frustrating when my kids had a question and I couldn't even help because I had no idea what that mombo jombo way they were doing " A + B = C".

I ended up never being able to help my kids with homework. I could look at the problem and solve it my way, but I knew it's not what the school math teacher was looking for. When my kids tried to explain it to me, I felt totally lost, frustrated and mad at the same time. My kids couldn't understand the way I was taught. They felt it was so much harder. HUH? It all seemed so much more complicated their way than the old math.

The teachers understood and expected parents to be lost. Many teachers were too.

Well, now when my kids hit 5th grade, their math skills were unbelievable. They end up learning at a much faster rate and understand concepts much quicker than we ever did.
They touched concepts well before they actually used it fully. It's part of the program. Each year they touched a concept with a deeper depth. Then brought it back the following year each year until 5th grade. My kids were doing math equations, algebra and fractions well before the grades we were taught. I was truly was amazed.

Our schools didn't even anticipate the success of this program. The school district had to revise and offer higher level math at a grade or two lower.

I believe my son started roughly or when the program was introduced nationwide.

Then when starting in 6th, there are four levels of math in our schools to accommodate the varying levels. There is regular 6th grade standard math, advanced math, honors math, and double advanced math. Majority being in the last 3 groups. But, in 6th grade everything switches back to the way I was taught (old math)....at least now, it is an acceptable way to show work. The transition was easy. Easier than I thought it would be. I thought why confuse the kids, now? Whatever! The program works.

Now, my kids are in 10th and 7th grade. Give it a chance. You will be amazed how quickly and easily they can add up things in their head by the time you figure it out while standing in line waiting to checkout.
 

jonahnah

Cathlete
Our school district introduced the Univ. of Chicago math program about 9 yrs ago where they teach more advanced concepts at earlier grades & "spiral up" the complexity as the kids get older. They were so gung ho on this & raved about how great it was going to be.

Fast forward to this year, where the district has wholeheartedly embraced the new CT state guidelines for math & they specifically mention doing away w/ "spiral teaching" of advanced concepts and going back to basics for math. :p

Yeah. Whatever.

Another huge endorsement here for Kahn Academy. He goes from elementary school to college level courses. He even covers things for adults like how the credit crisis happened! Each segment is only 12-15 minutes long and it's VERY specific to the concept that needs to be taught. My DD used Kahn for chemistry honors last year as her teacher was just terrible.

Bill Gates uses Kahn for his kids & himself to brush up on topics when his kids need help w/ homework. :eek:
 

thebrain

Cathlete
My kids' school district also uses the Everyday Math series. When the first kid started, I too was like "huh?" But as time has gone on, it seems to me that this program helps kids understand math on a deeper level. Someone mentioned "ballpark estimates." I think the point with these is, the kids need to be able to see whether or not their answers make sense after they compare it to the ballpark estimate. If the actual answer doesn't come close to the estimate, then they need to go back and check.

As a parent, yes, I've been forced to sit down and figure this out...but again, I can see the benefit in seeing the big picture and what these concepts actually mean. Yes, the kids still need to drill their multiplication tables (and the teachers at our school do a LOT of supplemental work to this regard!) but if they don't understand the meaning of the "how to come up with the correct answer" they can only go so far.

I was an excellent math student...until around the pre-calculus classes. I was never able to conceptualize what I was doing, so I think that is why I struggled. There were only so many rules and steps I could follow without really knowing why I was doing it!

Anyway....just how I see it!
Aimee
 

fitg

Cathlete
As an educator, I am a strong supporter of Everyday Mathematics. It works. I teach 5th grade and my students have been exposed to it since kindergarten. The teachers at the high school express how grateful they are to have the students able to perform at such a high level. Our devotion to the program has produced outstanding results on our state standardized tests and national testing we do via the NWEA. Our students score higher compared to those in our area and meet or exceed the national standard based on the norms established by NWEA.

Yes, it is frustrating to learn when you have been taught a totally different method. I used to teach 7th grade language arts and science in the middle school, but was bumped and ended up in the 5th grade. I had to learn the program in order to teach it. I am not a math person, but I have such a better understanding of math than I have in my whole life.

I did a lot of coursework this summer in order to renew my teaching certificate. The classes I chose were about 21st century skills that our kids need in order to be marketable in the work force. Everday Math forces you to think and be creative to solve problems. It doesn't matter how you do it, we are teaching strategies and different ways to think about math.

Basic math facts are critical and I tell my kids that all the time. By the 5th grade they should be rote memory by now. If you don't know them, you better be practicing at home. And yes, our 3rd grade teachers work their you know whats off to teach them how to learn them.

I suggest that you go to the school board to express your concern, they are the ones who adopt the curriculum. Honestly though, I don't think you will have a lot of luck. Most states have adopted the Common Core Standards (6 have not) and it is all based on higher level thinking and being able to explain how and why we do what we do when solving math problems.

I want to reiterate that I do understand your frustration, but the world is not what it was when you or I grew up. Change sucks, but that is the way it is. You can go to a new school to make you feel better, but how long before they adopt practices that you don't like?

Good luck, I wish you the best. These are just my thoughts as a very passionate teacher. :)

Gloria
 

fitg

Cathlete
Here is the title of the book that I think all people should read in regard to this topic:

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

by Daniel H. Pink

Gloria
 
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pjlippert

Cathlete
As an educator, I am a strong supporter of Everyday Mathematics. It works. I teach 5th grade and my students have been exposed to it since kindergarten. The teachers at the high school express how grateful they are to have the students able to perform at such a high level. Our devotion to the program has produced outstanding results on our state standardized tests and national testing we do via the NWEA. Our students score higher compared to those in our area and meet or exceed the national standard based on the norms established by NWEA.

Hi Gloria,

Our school is also ranked extremely high in NWEA scores thanks to the Everyday Math and other methods. Thanks for understanding that it is frustrating for parents (and educators) to learn "new math". Our district has received some top honors and awards. It's funny because my DS totally loves E-day math and the way it teaches him. He actually thinks it's fun! :rolleyes: So, as long as he is learning I guess that is the important thing.

Thanks again!
Pam
 

jcm

Cathlete
I love hearing all the feedback! I CAN see what they are trying to do. Some of the stuff they are teaching kids (number relationships) I didn't understand until after college. I give (good, interested) teachers so much credit for what they do. There's a reason I didn't go into teaching! It would be helpful though if there was a book to be brought home or something to review before trying to follow/help with some of this stuff! My daughter is even doing grammer differently. In "my day" we did diagramming - which I loved! Guess this is yet another reason we weren't made to have kids in our 70's!
 

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