We use Saxon also. I have taught both the third and fourth grade Saxon programs. Our scores are high. Have your intermediate teachers commented about the differences between the primary and intermediate levels? I have noticed that there is a big change between the primary and intermediate programs. The transition between second and third is huge. Up until third, students follow along on the front side of the worksheet with the entire class and then do the back side as homework. The back side has the same type of problems with the numbers changed. Then, in third grade students get the textbook (looks like a college text
) with, I believe, 24 problems? We introduce the new concept and then students do the problems on their own. It is a shock for students because they have to think on their own since we don't go over every type of problem they are expected to complete.
Something that all third and fourth grade teachers make sure to do is have students correct their mistakes (if they have more than 3 errors on an assignment). Yes, it is a lot of work for both teachers and students, however, most students really begin thinking about what the problems are asking them to do.
Most of the time we assign all the problems (in fourth that is 30 problems). Students usually have at least 25 minutes to work on the assignment. Any unfinished work is homework.
I usually check the assignments because I have found that most students do not check their answers correctly. It does help that students let me know when they have the first 15 completed and I check those immediately and they correct any incorrect problems before continuing. I do this because the first 15 are usually the most difficult problems for my students.
I also try to use videos and technology to supplement the lessons because the Saxon ones are pretty dry in the upper grades.