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Carnegie Math is being forced on me to teach and I HATE it!!

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Carnegie Math is being forced on me to teach and I HATE it!!
Old 01-28-2020, 05:13 PM
 
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So my district signed a 5 year contract for the middle schools to teach Carnegie Math. This is the most horrible program I have ever seen in my 20 year career. The entire program is designed to force you to keep the students in groups all the time and have them talking and “making sense of the math.” The lessons are loaded with statements like, “You have learned _________ before (which my students either have NOT learned or have in a previous grade level but I have to spend a huge amount of time reteaching which convalutes and tires them out for the actual lesson. Speaking of the lesson, they all begin with a scenario to be analyzed in context BEFORE any content has been taught, usually analyzing student work and the kids are supposed to figure out what the students in the book have done right/wrong. MY job is to be a guide on the side, a facilitator. For my algebra students, this equates to lost, tearful students who have no clue what they are supposed to be analyzing and are sick of me asking them, “Well what do YOU think?” As I turn to walk away. Their parents are furious at the lack of notes and direct instruction. When I do give them my own notes or practice problems, I have to be sneaky about it so I won’t get into trouble. We are told to stick to Carnegie and nothing else. My inclusion classes cannot function in this environment and many times an administrator has to be called to remove one or two due to off task behavior. I am exhausted every night as we are also told to work all the Math ourselves first before we teach it and it is presented so backward that half the time I have no idea what they are talking about. Okay, vent over! Any survival advice?


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Singvogel Singvogel is offline
 
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Spiral "review"
Old 01-29-2020, 05:14 AM
 
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Does using this program preclude you starting with some sort of spiral review or bell work?

I have a daily drill that I call review and have used it to sneak in direct instruction for years. There's plenty to be said for sense-making, especially in the early elementary years, but not every kids is a math genius who will figure out what the math forefathers developed.

Another thought is to direct them to something like Khan Academy or your own flipped classroom style videos. Can you use that for homework? It would give the kids who need/want it video instruction.
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Maybe hope for the future
Old 01-29-2020, 05:00 PM
 
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Your description sounds a lot like the Ready Math program, which I am teaching for the first time after years away from teaching math at all. What a change! I also hate it and struggle with it. I especially hate the "What did he do wrong" questions, as do my honors students, who can't understand why they should have to struggle with figuring out a mistake when they knew how to do it right the first time. However, the (possible) good news is, this is my school's second year with the program, and the students are starting to get into the rhythm of the discussions. My honors kids are starting to accelerate, and the other math teacher reports the typical and lower students are also getting the hang of the system. We do a lot of supplementing, though, because this program does not offer enough repetition. I'm not sure we'd being successes if we were true to the program. In any case, hopefully, after a year with the program, maybe your kids will get used to it, too.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:21 PM
 
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We tried Everyday Math a while back. It sounds a lot like that program. We were facilitators, ordered to follow the program with fidelity, etc. I feel for you because it puts you in an impossible position. The kids aren't happy, their parents aren't, and neither are you. We went from having 90% pass rates on state testing before the program to having the state come in due to us being a low performing district. I really dug into the program, pulled what I could and supplemented when no one was looking. I worked in my lessons as bell ringers and during RTI time. I also incorporated a lot of my math into science so I could do it my way. When asked, I would say I'm teaching science, the math was just integrated. It was miserable . The good news is once they get rid of the person who purchased the program, you will probably not be required to follow it as closely. I hope next year will get better- it sure is frustrating.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:58 PM
 
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I had to use Carnegie Math a few years ago. Luckily, my admin let me use it as a resource with my special education students. I had up to 12 students per period since I was the special ed teacher. I didn’t like it for that population. However, it worked well as a flipped classroom with the inclusion class that I was with. The students who were more academically successful did great with the Carnegie model.

Is there any way that you could do an interactive notebook of some sort and have notes/models for the students? That might help with them being able to work on their own since the online part to Carnegie is very step by step.


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