Everyday Math

Moderator: The Merrimack Volunteer Moderators

Postby townielifer » Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:02 pm

Confucius wrote:
My daughter is pre-6th grade in public school here in Merrimack. She is getting a mix of Everyday Math and more traditional drills. It seems like there is some adaptation going on in the schools, which is a good thing. My daughter has a terrific teacher this year and she seems to be getting a solid understanding of mathematical concepts.


My child is also getting supplemental work in order to be better prepared for what is coming later. It is my understanding that a few teachers do this, but not all. My children actually prefer the traditional way of problem solving and have a harder time with the EDM way.
townielifer
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 2:22 pm

Postby mmoy » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:21 pm

> Summary of last night's presentation: We chose Everyday Math because
> we needed a program that was tailored to our state standards. Our test
> scores are up so it works and we're keeping it. We need to educate
> parents so they understand the program.

> I appreciate the School Board fitting this presentation into their
> busy schedule, but I wish there was time for more probing
> questions. There are ways to shed light on an issue without frying
> someone and I was hoping for more of that light.

Thanks for posting your impressions of the meeting.

If the goal was to meet State Standards and it is meeting that goal,
then I guess it could be considered a success. I haven't looked at the
NH State Math Standards in a long time and can't comment on it but
sometimes standards bodies include curriculum providers that have
input into the contents.

Educating parents on a K-6 math program sounds like a huge amount of
work. And I'm sure that there are lots of parents that wouldn't be
interested in a presentation from a committee. I suppose that someone
could put up a website with explanations on what is to be covered for
each grade in a way that parents can understand. But this would be a
considerable amount of work.

There are already explanations of the program at sites like
http://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/parents/index.shtml

> For example, the presentation showed NECAP scores that looked quite
> impressive. Unasked: For 3rd graders, who have had Everyday Math for
> their entire school career, Reeds Ferry and Mastricola’s scores are
> going up, but Thorntons dropped dramatically. Why? Are Reeds and
> Mastricola teachers supplementing and Thorntons are not? If so, what
> are they supplementing with?

I like to think of teaching math as somewhat of an art. For some
students, you can just give them a textbook and they will learn most
of the material. For others, you may have to be creative. It sounds
like something is working well in two schools but not another. It's a
lot easier to share methods, hints and tips when you can meet with
your peers and discuss things over lunch. But it may be a little
harder for the teachers in the individual districts to share what
works well. I assume that someone oversees math for the three schools
and that person should do a little digging to account for the
differences.

> The Nashua principal brought in as an outside expert said Everyday
> Math is great for Nashua. Unasked: Why did their 3rd grade scores
> drop? Is that why next year they will be supplementing with an
> additional program? Will we be bringing in that same program? Who is
> looking into this? We didn't learn that last night.

Nashua had a lot of problems from the beginning of the new school year
and I'm sure they're trying to work through those. I think that I would
have preferred some comments from the schools in Merrimack that were
doing well and why they thought they were doing well.

> Unasked: Will someone be tracking how much supplementing it takes to
> make this a good program? At what point will the supplementing mean
> we're not really teaching Everyday Math anymore and we might as well
> just buy a less expensive program that works out-of-the-box?

> Unasked: The Everyday Math teacher's guide calls for 90 minutes per
> day of teaching Everyday Math and requires the games as the 'drill'
> part of the program. Do all teachers devote that much time to it or
> are they finding it difficult to fit that into the schedule? When they
> are squeezed for time, is it the games that fall out?

> Unasked: When our NH DOE formed our new state standards only a few
> short years ago, and Merrimack chose Everyday Math to fit those
> standards, we already knew that other “newâ€
mmoy
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:49 pm

Postby Confucius » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:21 pm

townielifer wrote: It is my understanding that a few teachers do this, but not all. My children actually prefer the traditional way of problem solving and have a harder time with the EDM way.


That is unfortunate and at the same time typical of my experience with public schools thus far. You can get lucky and be assigned a teacher willing to go the extra mile and do what is not required by the standards (but they recognize is essential). You can also get assigned a teacher that does what is spelled out in the standard and not one iota more. Very frustrating and not right.
My font > yours.
Confucius
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:23 pm

Postby mmoy » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:49 pm

Confucius wrote:
townielifer wrote: It is my understanding that a few teachers do this, but not all. My children actually prefer the traditional way of problem solving and have a harder time with the EDM way.


That is unfortunate and at the same time typical of my experience with public schools thus far. You can get lucky and be assigned a teacher willing to go the extra mile and do what is not required by the standards (but they recognize is essential). You can also get assigned a teacher that does what is spelled out in the standard and not one iota more. Very frustrating and not right.


For colleges, there's http://www.ratemyprofessor.com/ which provides reviews of college professors. Anyone can put anything in there but I've found the reviews to be pretty accurate where I know the professor.

There's also the website http://www.ratemyteacher.com/ and I had a look at Thornton's Ferry but I didn't see any data in there with a quick perusal. These kinds of websites work if users will populate them with data.

There are lots of materials out there to supplement with if parents think that their kids would benefit from it.
mmoy
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:49 pm

Postby Debra Huffman » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:23 am

mmoy wrote:I'd suggest asking Deb Wolflein these questions; either in person or in a letter. I've discussed curricular matters with Marge (when she was Assistant Superintendent) and Deb and if she couldn't answer my questions, she forwarded them to someone that could. Sometimes it took a while but I eventually received answers to my questions.

Michael, these and other questions were asked of the teacher, administration, and School Board, in that order, starting about two months ago. I was hoping for more answers on Monday night, but they are very busy people and math is only one item on their plate, so these questions are not their top priority. I hope eventually we will get the answers. If we do, I will share them with the forum.
Debra Huffman
 
Posts: 1990
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:41 am

Postby mmoy » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:32 am

Debra Huffman wrote:
mmoy wrote:I'd suggest asking Deb Wolflein these questions; either in person or in a letter. I've discussed curricular matters with Marge (when she was Assistant Superintendent) and Deb and if she couldn't answer my questions, she forwarded them to someone that could. Sometimes it took a while but I eventually received answers to my questions.

Michael, these and other questions were asked of the teacher, administration, and School Board, in that order, starting about two months ago. I was hoping for more answers on Monday night, but they are very busy people and math is only one item on their plate, so these questions are not their top priority. I hope eventually we will get the answers. If we do, I will share them with the forum.


Did you try a meeting with Deb? I've had a few meetings with Deb in the past and several with Marge before her and found both very easy to work with.

I think that a school board meeting is a hard place for them to answer these kinds of questions as they'd have to query the individual schools to see what's going on. And I wouldn't expect the administrators to know the program at a fine level of detail (they might but I wouldn't expect it).
mmoy
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:49 pm

Postby Debra Huffman » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:28 pm

Yes, Michael, Amanda has had a meeting with Deb Woelflein. She has spoken by phone to Marge Chiaffrey. Both Deb Woelflein and Marge Chiaffrey were also present during our first comments to the School Board a month ago in which we raised these questions. They have heard our questions numerous times now.

I'm sure Deb Woelflein is a wonderful person, and I'm glad you had a good experience with her, but this isn't about Deb Woelflein. It is about parents who have questions and will eventually get answers. That's all.

(And for the record, we know of five other parents who have sent e-mails to School Board members looking for answers to similar questions about Everyday Math, so we're not the only ones.)

townielifer wrote:My child is also getting supplemental work in order to be better prepared for what is coming later. It is my understanding that a few teachers do this, but not all. My children actually prefer the traditional way of problem solving and have a harder time with the EDM way.

This is typical of the sort of things we're hearing. Some teachers supplement, but some don't because the program guide says they shouldn't. They're not bad teachers, they're just getting mixed messages about this program. This needs to be addressed on a district-wide basis.
Last edited by Debra Huffman on Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Debra Huffman
 
Posts: 1990
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:41 am

Postby Confucius » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:39 pm

Debra Huffman wrote:Yes, Michael, Amanda has had a meeting with Deb Woelflein. She has spoken by phone to Marge Chiaffrey. Both Deb Woelflein and Marge Chiaffrey were also present during our first comments to the School Board a month ago in which we raised these questions. They have heard our questions numerous times now.

I'm sure Deb Woelflein is a wonderful person, and I'm glad you had a good experience with her, but this isn't about Deb Woelflein. It is about parents who have questions and will eventually get answers. That's all.

(And for the record, we know of five other parents who have sent e-mails to School Board members looking for answers to similar questions about Everyday Math, so we're not the only ones.)


I have also had similar experiences with the district administration. They don't like bending the rules for anyone. They will do whatever they can to discourage your desire for services tailored to your childs actual needs. Unless, of course, your child is in need of special education services. Then there is nothing but individually tailored curriculum, with the posibility of 1 on 1 teaching. The irony of this situation is mind blowing.
My font > yours.
Confucius
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:23 pm

Postby mmoy » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:45 pm

Debra Huffman wrote:Yes, Michael, Amanda has had a meeting with Deb Woelflein. She has spoken by phone to Marge Chiaffrey. Both Deb Woelflein and Marge Chiaffrey were also present during our first comments to the School Board a month ago in which we raised these questions. They have heard our questions numerous times now.

I'm sure Deb Woelflein is a wonderful person, and I'm glad you had a good experience with her, but this isn't about Deb Woelflein. It is about parents who have questions and will eventually get answers. That's all.

(And for the record, we know of five other parents who have sent e-mails to School Board members looking for answers to similar questions about Everyday Math, so we're not the only ones.)


That's pretty disappointing.

I haven't dealt with the school board on any school matters. In most districts, homeschoolers are set up with the administration for notification and evaluation and Merrimack has always had the Assistant Superintendent handle homeschool recordkeeping. The last time I had a curricular question (discussed on this board) was about whether or not a theory-based calculus course was taught at the high school. She passed my question on to someone at the high school and he got back to me a few weeks or months later.
mmoy
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:49 pm

Postby mmoy » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:54 pm

Confucius wrote:I have also had similar experiences with the district administration. They don't like bending the rules for anyone. They will do whatever they can to discourage your desire for services tailored to your childs actual needs. Unless, of course, your child is in need of special education services. Then there is nothing but individually tailored curriculum, with the posibility of 1 on 1 teaching. The irony of this situation is mind blowing.


Perhaps those with connections to the current school board could look into
this matter and comment.

Many indian and chinese parents that I know supplement school lessons
with their own materials to provide a better understanding or a more
in-depth understanding or to reinforce a weak area and maybe that is
a more pragmatic way to go until the issue with the school district is
resolved.
mmoy
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:49 pm

Postby Confucius » Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:08 pm

mmoy wrote:Perhaps those with connections to the current school board could look into
this matter and comment.

Many indian and chinese parents that I know supplement school lessons
with their own materials to provide a better understanding or a more
in-depth understanding or to reinforce a weak area and maybe that is
a more pragmatic way to go until the issue with the school district is
resolved.


Private school is my solution. Parents without the ability to teach mathematics or pay for private school are out of luck. I couldn't teach mathematics if my life depended on it. :wink:
My font > yours.
Confucius
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:23 pm

Postby Amanda Boerner » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:17 pm

Confucius,
It is with deep regret that my husband and I have decided to do the
same thing. This will be our children's last year in the Merrimack
School District.

As a concerned parent I saw that my child was having a problem so I did my research, went through
the proper channels, and presented my case. I had two goals:

1. Get some flexibility for my child to learn math in a way that works better for her.

2. Get the administrators to look at the Everyday Math program and consider whether this program should be changed.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that the School Board or the Administrators are able to help me with either of these goals.

With our school taxes as high as they currently are it's hard to
believe that a family has to pay additional money for their child to
receive math education in a proven, successful method but apparently that's the way it is.

It's a shame that Merrimack is going to lose a student who has won
Invention Convention at her school for 4 years in a row and gone on
to represent the town of Merrimack at the state level, and who is in the
top 4% of the state for Reading Comprehension, but I have to do what's right for my children.
Amanda Boerner
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:52 am
Location: Merrimack, NH

Postby andysinnh » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:31 pm

Amanda Boerner wrote:Confucius,
It is with deep regret that my husband and I have decided to do the
same thing. This will be our children's last year in the Merrimack
School District.

As a concerned parent I saw that my child was having a problem so I did my research, went through
the proper channels, and presented my case. I had two goals:

1. Get some flexibility for my child to learn math in a way that works better for her.

2. Get the administrators to look at the Everyday Math program and consider whether this program should be changed.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that the School Board or the Administrators are able to help me with either of these goals.

With our school taxes as high as they currently are it's hard to
believe that a family has to pay additional money for their child to
receive math education in a proven, successful method but apparently that's the way it is.

It's a shame that Merrimack is going to lose a student who has won
Invention Convention at her school for 4 years in a row and gone on
to represent the town of Merrimack at the state level, and who is in the
top 4% of the state for Reading Comprehension, but I have to do what's right for my children.

So while you certainly can make the choice to do what you're doing, I have to put a note in here to defend the result of the Merrimack school district math program. Our middle son, who graduates in the top 7% of his class, is at the highest level of math available, and in AP level classes as well. He was accepted into a technology program at Northeastern University which accepts only 15 students per year, primarily because of his mathematical background and accomplishments. While you may not agree with the everyday math program as a whole, understand that overall Merrimack ranks extremely high in terms of launching kids into colleges with outstanding credentials.

As I've stated earlier, I personally believe there's an issue with Thornton's Ferrys programs, as at Mastricola where we are today, and from what I understand of Reeds Ferry, their programs are certainly blended. AS a matter of fact, this week we've been using area and perimeter worksheets from an old-school textbook - doing it the tried and true way. And this was true with division and multiplication as well.

andy
Andy Schneider
andysinnh
 
Posts: 2361
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:04 am
Location: Woodward Rd

Postby uscitizen03054 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:41 pm

So while you certainly can make the choice to do what you're doing, I have to put a note in here to defend the result of the Merrimack school district math program. Our middle son, who graduates in the top 7% of his class, is at the highest level of math available, and in AP level classes as well. He was accepted into a technology program at Northeastern University which accepts only 15 students per year, primarily because of his mathematical background and accomplishments. While you may not agree with the everyday math program as a whole, understand that overall Merrimack ranks extremely high in terms of launching kids into colleges with outstanding credentials.

As I've stated earlier, I personally believe there's an issue with Thornton's Ferrys programs, as at Mastricola where we are today, and from what I understand of Reeds Ferry, their programs are certainly blended. AS a matter of fact, this week we've been using area and perimeter worksheets from an old-school textbook - doing it the tried and true way. And this was true with division and multiplication as well.



Andy I think one of the issues is that the kids between -1 and +1 in the distribution are the ones that need to see a better method of teaching math. I may be old school but we won WWII, became the world's largest economy and put a man on the moon using the standard practices for solving math problems and this is what we should be teaching. Kids will accommodate to traditional algorithms if given the chance so I guess we are aligned on this issue.
User avatar
uscitizen03054
 
Posts: 7544
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:31 am
Location: Merrimack, NH

Postby mmoy » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:48 pm

andysinnh wrote:So while you certainly can make the choice to do what you're doing, I have to put a note in here to defend the result of the Merrimack school district math program. Our middle son, who graduates in the top 7% of his class, is at the highest level of math available, and in AP level classes as well. He was accepted into a technology program at Northeastern University which accepts only 15 students per year, primarily because of his mathematical background and accomplishments. While you may not agree with the everyday math program as a whole, understand that overall Merrimack ranks extremely high in terms of launching kids into colleges with outstanding credentials.

As I've stated earlier, I personally believe there's an issue with Thornton's Ferrys programs, as at Mastricola where we are today, and from what I understand of Reeds Ferry, their programs are certainly blended. AS a matter of fact, this week we've been using area and perimeter worksheets from an old-school textbook - doing it the tried and true way. And this was true with division and multiplication as well.
andy


Andy,

While the school district has certainly served your son well, it appears that there is a fairly big problem for at least several other children and some of those parents are trying to get it resolved. It appears to me that they've gone through the proper chain of command but have no resolution to their problem.

Can you imagine their level of frustration to consider removing their child from their friends and spending thousands per year to correct a problem with their district? If you were in their position what would you do?

Ken and I have asked them about how they brought up the problem to the Administration and they seemed to have taken the right steps. I think that Ken and I believe that talking to Marge or Deb should have resolved the problem. But that it isn't resolved and that there are at least three parents here that have brought up this issue leads me to believe that there is some kind of disconnect somewhere and that it may be an administrative issue and a school board issue.

I personally think that some form of home supplementation would be a less drastic approach but there are many parents that are uncomfortable
with doing this and that may not have the schedule and resources to
provide external help (such as Sylvan and Kumon). And there are many
parents that believe that the school district bears the responsibility for
educating effectively for all students.

I think that what would help would be some commitment from a school
board member or the Administration to look into the issue and commit
to a date for an answer.
mmoy
 
Posts: 1348
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:49 pm

PreviousNext

Return to School Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron