Friday, December 26, 2008

Favorite comments of '08: Reform Math

Casvelyn on Convincing other parents:

I'm bad at math. I can't do simple arithmatic in my head, and I barely do much better on paper. I have insanely good reading comprehension and writing skills. By all accounts, I should be good at Reform Math and the like. In reality, it's the most confusing thing I ever saw (and this from the 22-year-old who still hasn't mastered parts of 4th grade math). It's so... non-linear is the only word I can really come up with, but it seems to fit. I guess I'm bad with numbers, but I understand the underlying principles of mathematics (and algebra, and trig, and calculus). My beef with Reform Math is that it takes away the principles, and just leaves the numbers, which is the only reason I was even able to complete any math after about halfway-through 4th grade.
Jared M. Stein on Math problems of the week: 3rd grade Investigations (TERC) vs. French math:
I would choose to compose a picture to answer this question. It would be post-pomo collage of photographic images from the civil rights movement and international skirmishes that signifies the struggle of the disenfranchised worker against greedy corporate bigots who stock only boxes of broken crackers in urban marketplaces.
Nancy Bea Miller on Stacking, regrouping, and corrupting the children:
When I showed one of my sons how I had learned addition, i.e. the "stacking" method, he was very impressed. "Wow, that's so cool! That works great! I wonder if my math teacher knows about this?" was his innocent comment.
PaulaV on Everything but the math curriculum:
Sometimes I feel like telling teachers and parents, "Okay, all of you who want reform math, step over here. The ones who want a more traditional curriculum stand over there." To me, it seems reform curriculum is a sinking ship and those of us who are stuck on this boat and what to get off cannot because well, you know, it wouldn't be fair. We should all go down with the ship.
Obi-Wandreas, The Funky Viking on Math problems of the week: 6th grade Connected Math vs. SIngapore Math:
That's one of the biggest problems I have. The kids can't do the problem not because they don't have the mathematical chops but because they can't fscking read!

Granted, that is also an issue, but I'm sick of my kids getting slammed in math for issues that have nothing to do with math.

If the "math" department downtown had any idea how much of this pile of useless flotsam I leave out of my lessons...
Anonymous on Reform Math and nonverbal learning styles:
My county recently adopted Investigations and our school conducted a math night to inform parents of the program. Although I was unable to attend, my husband went and the one comment he heard over and over from parents was how frustrating it was for their kids to have to draw and write in math. Many of the kids know how to add 4 + 7 and do not need to draw a series of apples to figure it out.

...

Last month, I watched my neighbors's fifth grader walk around from house to house asking those who had cats if he could estimate their length...he was doing a unit in TERC math investigations. How is this going to prepare him for algebra?

1 comment:

Mrs. C said...

Oh, that's an interesting collage of comments, all right!! :]