One way to see how Reform Math stacks up with other math programs (whether traditional American math, or math as it's still taught in other countries) is to compare specific assignments. Once a week, OILF will do just that.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
We'll rotate between different Reform programs, including Everyday Math, Investigations in Number Data and Space, MathLand, and Trailblazers, as well some of the secondary school programs.
We'll pair up a specific assignment drawn from this set with a specific assignment drawn either from a traditional series like McGraw-Hill, or from the foreign series most popular in America: Singapore Math.
I'll try to pick assignments that take place (assuming the curriculum in question is used chronologically) at approximately the same point in the school year. For example, I might choose two assignments from the first few weeks of first grade, or from the last few weeks of second grade, or from approximately 2/3 of the way into third grade.
I've picked Wednesdays for this weekly feature because it's the day my daughter's math homework is due. And so it seems appropriate to kick off this series with examples from the two first grade programs she's been using, one at school and the other at home.
1. Investigations: Investigation 1, Sessions 4-5, Number Games and Story, Student Sheet 7.
Assignment: "Total of Ten"
Materials: Deck of Number Cards [each card displays a number from 0 to 10.]
Object: Find combinations of cards that total 10.
How to Play:
1. Lay out 20 cards faceup [sic] in four rows of five.
2. Players take turns. On your turn, look for a combination of cards that totals ten. Remove those cards and put them aside.
3. The game is over when no more combinations of 10 can be made.
4. List all the combinations of 10 you made.
From a similar point in the Singapore Math curriculum:
2. Singapore Math: Primary Mathematics 1B Workbook. Exercise 61, p. 142-143:
45 + 10 + 3 = 24 + 10 + 2 =
45 + 13 = 24 + 12 =
37 + 10 + 3 = 76 + 10 + 4 =
37 + 13 = 76 + 14 =
25 + 10 + 17 = 48 + 10 + 6 =
25 + 17 = 48 + 16 =
42 + 30 + 6 = 35 + 40 + 2 =
42 + 36 = 35 + 42 =
55 + 20 + 5 = 28 + 60 + 2 =
55 + 25 = 28 + 62 =
37 + 30 + 8 = 65 + 20 + 9 =
37 + 38 = 65 + 29 =
In short, a group activity (Investigations) vs. a solo assignment (Singapore Math). And a haphazard exercise in finding multiple ways to sum single-digit numbers to 10 (Investigations), vs. a structured exercise in adding two-digit numbers by breaking up one number into tens and ones (Singapore Math).