Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Couple of Interesting Points of View....

In an attempt to try to explain what our kids are "trying" to learn....take a look at this dialogue. This was pulled from called: TERC Investigations In My Kids School--HELP! Be aware, Camdenton Parents, so many of you that I have talked to are all in the same boat! I cannot tell you how many of you shared with me that you are paying for a tutor for your child so they will not fall any further behind, or spending an exaggerated amount of time on just one problem. These are hallmarks of this particular math curriculum not just here, but all over the country. You are not alone!

TERC or Math Investigations is a new way of teaching math. From TERC's web site, "Investigations is a complete K-5 mathematics curriculum, developed at TERC in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is designed to help all children understand the fundamental ideas of number and operations, geometry, data, measurement and early algebra."What Investigations does not do is:Teach times table to children Teach the traditional arithmetic algorithms. Instead children are made to "rote memorize" convoluted and excruciatingly complicated procedures to solve basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems. Teach long division at all.In fact, TERC's recommended handbook for teachers called "Beyond Arithmetic" says traditional elementary math must be discarded because it ignores the fact that "today's students have an important tool available to them: the calculator." Yep. The program actually advocates teaching children how to do more complex arithmetic, because it's too hard, in favor of teaching children how to use a calculator. The children's text book includes a huge section on using a calculator and not one worked about long division.This video pretty much sums up the concerns parents have with Investigations.'d really like to see if any school district has ever been successful in removing Investigations and replacing it with a more acceptable alternative. Thus far I haven't found any.

Taken from the same forum mentioned above:
We had that is our school district, until the parents stood up and really took action, we now have that plus they are moving the old school math back in.In my opinion Investigations is not very parent friendly. It excludes the parents from helping the child at home, because the parents know the old way when 2 + 2 = 4.Investigations is there are more than one way to get to 4, so 2 + 2 doesn't equal 4. This is very confusing and difficult for a child to start to understand the basics of math. My children didn't do well with this, and I ended up having to go to Score learning Center with them at my own cost.Then after Investigations comes estimations, which they learn to round answers off rather then come to the exact answer, again another negative way to teach math.These programs are not being reviewed by parents on the local level prior to implementation. The boards of educations no longer hold curriculum review nights for parents to review materials and discuss potential pros and cons of changes based on fact finding.Now the Teachers Union and Association of School Psychologists tell the districts what to pick. The are implementing broad base changes from the national level, without parents approvals or inputs. This is totally against the National Defense Education Act passed in 1953 by President Eisenhower.

Please leave a comment and share what you are experiencing with your child. Also, please take a look at what others in our district are saying about their experiences.