I Like It Because...

My school is in the midst of deciding to keep or switch our math curriculum. Big decision! I'm part of the team charged with this decision and I used some of the sample materials we got from one of the publishers to take the potential new curriculum for a test drive the other day.

I told the kids that we were thinking of switching to a new math program and that we wanted to test out some lessons. I was curious to see what the kids' opinions would be of the materials. Two very salient features of the new math curriculum would, I was pretty sure, sway the children completely: 1) its full-color student sheets and 2) its newness. Surprisingly, though, nobody said "I like it because it's really colorful." Maybe it's just me who is easily distracted by multi-colored ink! The trial curriculum did get some rave reviews, though.

I love it! It is fun!

Because it helps me a lot it is fun!

I like it! I like it because it has multiplication.

I like it because it teaches you times tables.

Second graders just go crazy for multiplication, no? They really feel like the bees knees when they finally get to do this extra special kind of math they've heard so much about.

The lesson was deemed both "too hard" and "too easy." Actually, truth be told, the lesson was definitely too easy. I was glad to see how many kids recognized that the pictures and diagrams all but gave them the final answers and didn't really challenge them to do any, well, math thinking.

I like it. But it is a little too easy.

Way too easy.

It is a bit too easy because it has pictures.

Under the heading, "Do you understand?" was one question that did ask the kids to think critically. This was by far the hardest part of the lesson and the heavy mental lifting met with mixed reviews.

I like it. It asks me do I understand.

I love it! Because it's fun, but the do you understand part I don't like.

Now I have to give my feedback on the new program at a meeting tomorrow!
Image: math.palomar.edu


Sarah said...

You can always count on those younger grades to get excited about multiplication and cursive handwriting! Good luck with the math curriculum decision!

Sarah Garb said...

Sarah--thanks! It's such a big decision! And seriously--being able to write your name in cursive means you're practically an adult.

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