My school district is using a new math series called Go Math Florida, by Harcourt. I attended a training during the last day of post planning a few weeks ago. I am not very thrilled with the lay out of the new series. I'm looking for other teachers who will be using this series for the new school year. What do you think of the book? What ideas do you plan to use with it? I notice with the new generation standards there are many skills we don't cover any more and many skills we do cover! By the way... I live in Florida
I haven't unpacked it yet but it looks like the kids will have to answer questions on the test that are very complex and tricky! Even though according to our third grade standards we won't be "teaching" standards that are required to be mastered in the lower grades, all of that info can be on our test! Do they really expect kids to master that much information and be able to be tested on it without more instruction?? For several years we will be playing catch up until all of the kids coming to us have "mastered K-2 skills. There was a BIG jump in what a third grader should know for this year. I know my kids last year needed to know much more about fractions according to the new standards to go to fourth. For the first year, I plan to teach it just as the training suggested and teach the book and then use small group rotations to teach skills that are weak or missing. Then I'll see how that works. I hope our team pulls together and helps each other because I think the FCAT it going to bite us this year and we have always had outstanding math scores.
This is the second year we have used Harcourt. It is a little more strenuous than what we had previously, but our building score in Math came back at 92% proficient and advanced and the 3rd grade in our building was at 95.6%.
I wouldn't give all the created to the series, since we did supplement with "state test' coach books also as a review.
The major complaint is that it has too much info in one lesson.
Wish I could think of a example, but my brain is in summer mode.
If your practice books are anything like ours, there was a spiral review in the back that helped. I plan on using it in a more systematic way next year.
We are also using GO Math this year. I actually don't know much about it, as another teacher went to the training and will train us upon returning to school. The next generation standards are going to make the FCAT this year wayyyyyyyy more difficult for our little ones. Did you notice how much more difficult the field questions were on this year's test? Hopefully Go Math can cut it!
are the standards that coincide with the country's core curriculum. The FCAT is already changing too so as to coincide with the standards as they have been written.
We just finished a full day workshop on Go MAth and it was very informative! What I love about the series is that RtI is already built in, internet resources, and already prepared centers.
Change is always hard to acclimate to at first. It is hard to accept that the next generation standards are saying that what 2nd graders were supposed to know before, now developmentally should not learn till 3rd grade (only used as an example). This is how I understand it.
From what I can see, even though it's packaged differently, everything that is in the grade three math is what I covered this year for our third grade PSSAs.
I take it that the Big Ideas (multiplication and division, fractions and equivalent fractions, & properties of 2 demensional figures) are the new material introduced and supporting ideas are the material introduced previously and expanded at each grade level!?!?!?
One big thing I noticed that we won't be covering in third grade anymore is money and rounding. The book goes right to estimating the sum and estimating the difference but never covers how to round first. While at the training, a friend of mine and I asked the trainer about this. She basically said that those skills will be covered and should be mastered by the end of second grade. They are also "free game" on the FCAT. I don't know about you.... but my third graders will definitely need LOTS more practice with money and will have NO CLUE how to round when they come to me. We discussed this with the trainer and she just said that you can go on the Go Math website to access the second grade book and suppliment. Of course that also puts you "off track" for covering all skills before FCAT. UGH! I also don't like the fact that the book is completely consumable and comes with no text book to send home. That was a big selling point they talked about. I like the text so that my parents can use it at home. I don't like sending consumables home. They may not make it back entact.
Like any series- there are some parts I don't like and some I do. Overall though I do like it. I went to the teach the trainer workshop and it's really good for RTI as someone said. It also has enrichment for the higher kids. I'll be doing my math like a workshop so the format will be good for that with all the materials and manipulatives I'll have access too. As for the new standards- I don't like how the skills are taught in one grade and not the next. We'll see how that goes.
I'm a teacher in Miami-Dade County Florida and we will be using Go Math Florida as well. As soon as I heard the news, I Googled it and I found this useful site with VIDEO FAQ's on the series as explained by the two authors. It's very informative.
Click on a question. A black box will appear. Hover your mouse cursor over the box and a small toolbar will show up on the lower left corner so you can click on play to watch the video response.
Hopes this helps and I wish everyone the best in our new endeavors in math.
PS-For the previous poster who asked about the Next Generation Standards. In Florida, we will no longer be teaching all of the aspects of math in elementary grades. Each grade level will focus on only 3 Big Ideas and 3 Supporting Ideas (in most cases). For example, in Fourth Grade, we are only teaching Multiplication/Division, Area, and Decimals and a few other supporting ideas which help bridge the gap between previously learned ideas and ideas that will be learned in future grades. The basis is that before we used to teach a mile wide but an inch deep. Meaning that we taught a variety of Math topics without going too much in depth on each one to make sure students completely understood the concepts. Now we will be teaching less topics but going deeper in the instruction of each so students will be able to use and apply critical thinking strategies. We'll see how it goes this year.
Using Go Math for 3rd grade this year. I'm trying to get a handle on how to best use the resource. If I follow the plans in the TE, it takes me 2 - 3 days to teach one lesson. I don't have this luxury! My teammate and I thought to use the activities from the Grab and Go kit to practice the skill taught in the lesson. But don't know where we'll fit in the workbook pages. I'm thinking we'll use a gradual release model: 1st page - I do, 2nd page - we do, 3rd page - you do, and skip the 4th page (too much!). But all of this will likely take longer than the hour scheduled.
My district also adopted the GO MATH series. Initially I was very excited because there are so many resources available. The centers activities seemed like they would be fun for the kids and we were told the lessons were designed to be completed in 60 minutes. That being said, I have just finished Lesson 2.5 and we began school on August 16 (Not too terribly behind but I'd like to be further along.) My issue with the series is like someone else posted...there's too much information in each lesson! 2.5 teaches about 5 different strategies for multiplication.. (modeling, break apart, doubles, commutative property, inverse operations, and multiplication table) all in one lesson. To get everything done that we should get done (ideally), no one on my team has seen how that is possible in an hour. I've been spending about 75 minutes a day on math. To me, there is too much teacher talking and not enough student practicing. I'm a new teacher and we were taught that after about 20 minutes of lecture, the students tune out and it's time for them to practice to get them re-engaged. With this series I can't get it down to me talking for any less than about 35 minutes. That really narrows down their practice time which I don't like. The series is geared towards the new standards which focus on teaching the students all of the different strategies for a concept, rather than concept after concept. Basically, at least for fourth grade, our Florida Standards were cut dramatically. We now have fewer concepts but we teach them in depth.
I'm OK with the series, but definitely prefer Scott Foresman that we used last year. What I'm looking for is advice on when to provide time for the Grab and Go centers...nice idea but when are they supposed to have time to do that when we spend at least 75 minutes on math a day as it is? They're getting burnt out already and it's only the 4th week of school for us. EEK!
THe book is difficult, tricky, and waaaaay to complex. There is no need for like 6 step problems in 3rd grade when the students have never been taught that way. The book is just too much and frankly my students are having a hard time with it. Our grade level has been supplementing with last years text and materials. Clearly the team that thought of this genius book didn't realize that teachers need to focus on Reading and don't have the classroom time to sit and create Math Centers based on tiers so on and so forth... Luckily, I have a bright class and for the most part half of them get it... I feel bad for the teachers that have a "low" class.... Good Luck!!
I think breaking the kids up into groups makes it easier to use the kit. For instance, now that you are probably covering Chap. 1 its easiest to set up everything beforehand and partner up the students. Honestly, I have only opened the box one time but I do know that with proper planning and having everything ready to go, it can happen Hope this helps!
I teach 4th grade in Okaloosa County. We are using Go Math! and having read these posts consider myself extremely lucky as I teach only math and have three 90-minute periods. I am able to teach each lesson, and get the students on their individual "math path" which leaves me free to help those who are struggling (many are struggling with the depth into which each lesson goes...lots and lots of information...as everyone has said). The Grab and Go kit is a lifesaver - it takes a bit of prep work (copying, laminating, cutting, sorting), but once that's done, it great. The students' math path begins after they have done the "Share and Show" and "On Your Own" - those who are "getting" the skills move on through their math path, and I snag those who aren't and take them into small group. Math path includes Accelerated Math, Jiji (ST Math), Mega Math (online); teacher's choice (usually manipulatives), and of course, the Grab and Go center materials. The kids work through each of those areas, and journal their learning for the day. At first I let them decide what they wanted to work on, but it got confusing, so now I post a rotation. They follow it, and for the most part, leave me alone to work with my little strugglers. I'm still working out kinks, and not every day runs smoothly, but it's working fairly well! I'm thinking for those teachers who have seventy minutes, a modified version of this could work, and for those who have sixty, or even fifty-five minutes, a very modified version could work. I think the key is to be able to nab those students who are not "getting it" as soon as possible to intervene or remediate, so the other students who do "get it" must be effectively and meaningfully occupied. I do agree, though, with all those posters in this discussion thread who say the series if very, very chock full of information, and very difficult to get through all of it. I'm about three weeks behind my pacing guide simply because Chapter 2 was so difficult for my 4th graders, and I've been remediating. In my last workshop, I was advised to "go on" and work with those who are not "getting it" whenever possible. I hate to go on knowing so many students are going to be that much more confused. I, too, wish everyone luck and patience as we, ourselves, maneuver through this new series. I know if I am frustrated, the students are, too. It makes me understand, and I do try to be very patient with them.
My son had a PERFECT fcat score in math and this book makes it hard by forcing the student to downgrade his thinking into "breaking the problems into smaller pieces" to show "how you arrived at the answer" for simple multiplication and division. Worse, it doesnt give an example in the book of each discipline...only doubles and nowhere on the internet can i find what operation to use. Go math is Horrible.!!!!
Certainly, those who created this text didn't have kids with ADD or LD in mind (5-10% of kids). The constant changing of procedures for solving a problem is incredibly hard for these kids who have short term memory problems. Repetition of key concepts of one procedure is what works with ADD. I think it forces parents into meds because there is no other way for the child to get through.
Additionally, many normal kids need additional tutoring outside of school to clarify concepts because parents learned the old fashioned way and are unable to assist with homework. Then, there are the kids who are disadvantaged and have parents who barely made it through school themselves and can't help. These families can't afford tutoring. How can we have a country that just says "work hard and you can go to college" when certain populations are squashed in grade school by a system like Go Math! How are these kids ever going to pass a curriculum such as this? It is a curriculum that will only separate the "haves" from the "have nots" even more dramatically.
Its great for all the gifted kids in math but most kids (98%) are not gifted.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you - this GO-Math is not doing any good for our children who are not gifted, it is only hurting them and discouraging them from wanting to learn.
These children are being pushed too hard to learn things they are not mentally mature to be really learning in 2, 3, and 4th grade. I have a very bright child and I am a college graduate, I have to look at the problems for quite some time before I can explain it to her.
The children need to be mastering addition, subtraction, multiplication and division before getting into such sophisticated math problems.
At this point I am doing much of her homework and she is not learning. She thinks she is stupid and hates school. A child in 3rd grade should not feel this way.
Parents need to do something and start standing up to the school boards throughout Florida requesting change.