I have mixed feeling about Everyday Math. This is my second year using it with my first graders. I love all of the games and so do the kids. My love for EDM ends here.
Generally, I like math boxes-when the boxes are reviewing skills they have learned instead of asking them questions about a concepts they haven't been introduced to yet. How can they do math boxes independently when they don't understand the questions?
I understand it is a spiral curriculum and it introduces many new skills at once and continues to repeat them. Apparently, this is supposed to make things easier for the students BUT I feel I lose my class everyday. Just when they are starting to understand one concept, five new topics are thrown at them.
For example, I finally got my class to all be able to count groups of nickels and pennies AND I used a ton of supplemental worksheets and activities to get them to do that. Now they are expected to count backward by 5's from 100, know even and odd numbers, write amounts of cents using different coins(ex:write 18 cents two ways), complete ABC patterns, read a thermometer, add using a number line, etc, etc, etc. They are overwhelmed and I can see it in their faces and in the quality of their work. Maybe 5 of my students can keep up. I have tried partnering my weaker students with stronger ones and using centers so I can differentiate better and work with the students in small groups. Even so, I feel there are too many concepts at once. Help! Last year they learned well enough but it was like pulling teeth. I can't do it again!
What are your opinions of EDM? I know many teachers who like it. If you do, any advice would be appreciated.
I share your same frustrations! Love the games. My kids choose to play many during choice time. Now I know that one program will never do it all but we used to use Saxon and the kids were so far ahead at this point. Honestly I use a combination of ED math and Saxon and other math activities. Are you allowed to supplement?
I agree... I think it jumps around wayy too often. Plus, the assessments at the end of each unit have many things on them that was not really covered in the chapter!
This year (second year using it with my first graders too!) I decided to change it up a little bit so it better suits my students' needs. I'll use the math games and math boxes for review. However, sometimes I won't go in order with the math boxes (because I agree that they have skills that have not been taught yet). I'll also skip around, and really focus in on particular skills. Money, for instance, I'll spend more time on. I'll also just skip certain lessons altogether because I think they seem to be a waste of time (for example, the explorations units where it just appears like the students are "playing" with manipulatives... I'll skill like them work with manipulatives, but I rather have them work with them in a more productive way). I feel like this year, my students are understanding math soo much better because of this. Last year, I don't think Everyday Math allowed me to spend enough time mastering particular skills.
I'm not sure if you're school gives you that freedom to switch it up, but I just felt that this was a better fit for my kids and myself.
I have never been told not to supplement. I am wondering if you supplement based on what your students are currently struggling with in EDM or do you follow the order of the lessons in Saxon? I try to see what the group struggles with and find supplemental materials for those topics. I noticed my students struggling with counting coins and I know the material gets very difficult quickly in EDM. I spent time helping them get the basics down before it gets harder in EDM. I wasn't supplementing for the other topics (that week), just coins. Is this making sense? I focus on one topic when supplementing and EDM is still jumping all over the place. How do you choose your supplemental materials?
I can't stand the tests! Do you have them do the test independently? I do whole group because the questions are usually complicated with many directions. The tests takes forever and they exhaust me haha! I guess I could be more selective with the lessons. That might help.
It sounds like you are still getting used to the program. This is my 11th year using EM and I love it! I do not supplement with other programs or worksheets. I only use EM materials. There are reinforcement activities along with enrichment activities for most lessons (number 3 in the manual). If needed, I use these activities for reinforcement. I also add game days one or two times during the unit for additional review. This year my students play 3 games with a partner that we've already learned, and they rotate through the games at their individual pace. They seem to really enjoy game days. I think the math boxes are a great review. There are times that there is a box that presented in a new way, and we just do that box together as a class. Since I have been using the program for several years, I tend to introduce ideas sooner, during calendar time or other lessons, in order to get the ball rolling. We have been seeing dollar and cent notation since the first day of school for our calendar, and it was "introduced" in our lesson today. As you begin to get more comfortable with the program, you will find ways to work through areas you see as a weakness. EM does not include addition/subtraction fact drills. I create a calendar for the 2nd semester where the students need to practice facts with certain numbers each week night. Other than that, I haven't found any areas of concern with the program. I think the students who really struggle in math will struggle with any program we use.
I hear you! My kids get so confused too! Then the test, oh my! The wording is crazy! Math boxes, I feel they'll never be able to do those independently! Plus the fact that EDM barely spends enough time on addition/subtraction facts which is a BIG thing in our curriculum. So we need to supplement there.
is all the verbiage. Half of my class are English Language Learners and they struggle with all the teacher talk that EDM sets out. I supplement with hands on and reduce how much teacher yacking there is.
I like that it teaches something and will reintroduce, review it later so there is another chance to learn it, but do think that there isn't enough practice to let some of the students "get" a concept before moving on.
If you have the testing CD that is available, you can create your own assessments easily. That way you can pick and choose among the different ways to test: observation, paper and pencil, etc. I like using the CD to create my own tests a lot. I was getting whip lash trying to do the observations.
Last edited by broomrider; 11-03-2010 at 04:47 PM..
Reason: added info
Our school requires that we do the Open Response which I think is quite challenging. The wording can be very confusing! I agreee that the spiraling can be frustrating. It's not my favorite series, but it's growing on me.
I agree that I intro. a lot of things at the calendar time. I also teach addition and subtration of single digit numbers which in my opinion is the way it should start! Not with this adding of 2 two digit numbers. I supplement with my own math h.w. I do not just use the HomeLinks! They can also be confusing!
I find that teachers either love it or hate it! I hear that the new "buzz" is Singapore math. There's always something new coming down the pipeline!!!
I hate Everyday Math! I think it is completely inappropriate, developmentally speaking. It is NOT a spiral. That might have been their intent, but that is not how it came out. It is disjointed, and I don't think it considers what a first grader is really like, or how a child learns.
I actually use the games and supplement everything else with Box It or Bag It, Math Their Way, Bridges, Excursions, PRoblem Solving with Story Boxes, Marcy Cook, and even some activities from Mathland.
EM is our main resource, but it's not our whole curriculum. As long as the concepts are being taught, and we follow our guide, we are teaching the standards and essential understandings. We have additional resources for telling time, problem solving, number concepts and place value. I use the math boxes, and I like them much better since I can use my ELMO document camera to go over the pages together. I read that box #4 is always a preview, so it's not something that the majority of kids are expected to know. The other 3 boxes tend to be easy for my kids. Overall, I like it. I use the Enrichment and the reinforcement pieces, and I love the games. I don't think any program is the be-all and end-all, but this seems to meet the needs of most. (I do supplement at the higher end.)
I look at the concept they are teaching (ie money) and how they approach it, and then I make it my own. As I said, I use the games but try to incorporate the skill into my calendar time, use some tried and true ways i have taught it before. We keep hearing to "trust the spiral" but it skips around way to much. I do a lot more with the whiteboards. I call it "mental math". We review many skills such as counting up or back, I do story problems on there. I noticed that the calendar isn't introduced until mid way through chapter one but I begin that on day one of school. Feel free to email me with any other questions. Don't claim to know it all, just plotting my way through.
I used EDM in both first and second grade. It was harder to implement in first because they assumed students already had mastery of certain skills. It was a little better in second, but still not my favorite. I also did the difficult boxes together as a class and let them try the easier boxes independently. Frustration was high especially for slow learners and spec ed students. The worksheets are visually over stimulating for many and I offer to let them use index cards to block out the other boxes while they work on one. The boxes are sometimes too small to write in for OT kids. I love the idea of spiraling and math games, but found the program jumped around too much and need more addition/subtraction practice also. Some of the games were great and some were just too complex to explain. I definitely would supplement or add more time for manipulatives as needed. Most of the kids did better with an additional day of manipulatives to absorb the concept. I always plan on skipping the last chapter (review - ha ha - totally new add on concepts). I also skipped concepts that seemed developmentally inappropriate (gr 2 teaching milli, centi conversions etc). If I could get a volunteer parent they would grab my 2 or 3 kids who already understood other concepts and teach that lesson to them in a small group. Most parents voiced concerns over the home links. They were unable to assist with homework and were very frustrated.
I do not like ED Math, either. I agree that is says it spirals, but it is just a mess. Many kids who do not need to be lost are lost. This summer we had a college professor teach one of our classes and she told us all of the new research coming out shows programs like ED Math to be ineffective and failing & that the future adoptions will be back to topic driven in more depth. My biggest frustration with it is that so much of what you do is teaching kids the program rather than MATH. What they do is so specific to ED Math that it makes it less transferable than other programs... ex- Math Boxes, Part-Whole Diagrams, etc.
We are being required to develop goals for each unit (like Power Standards) and have to create formative assessments to go with them. Talk about a challenge to even find the main topic of some units!!!
It is a fad they've made a ton of money on that has a few good parts, but overall stinks because it is failing too many kids & teachers & turning many families off with the demands of the Home Links.
I should also add that the Assessment CD is not easy to use, but it is very helpful to be able to create your own assessments with their graphics, etc.
Our district's math scores have not just shown an implementation dip since adopting ED Math, but have continued to stay stagnant or decline over the past 4 years. YIKES! They decided not to try RTI for math because most students would qualify as needing extra assistance. YIKES! Now we are in the midst of creating a new band of district math leaders to try to straighten out our math instruction. I fear it is a losing battle as long as we have this program. To make matters worse, it requires many copies and with our budget cuts, most teachers have to pay for them out of our already super-small budgets. I'm worried that many primary teachers are being faced with a decision about whether to buy construction paper or copy math masters.
We have used it for about 5 years and we have found that the 4-8th graders have no idea of money, time and basic facts. They cannot do simple division etc because they don't know their addition, subtraction and multiplication facts!!!!! 70% of our kids are in RTI for Math facts. We are amazed! Many of the skills that are taught over and over, day after day, year after year are not showing up as mastered. The program guru who came to our school kept telling us not to worry about children who don't pick it up............keep going she said.........they will get it!! Yeah right. We as a staff are very upset and are now considering another program.
I like the idea of spiraling rather than doing a concept blitz in one chapter, never to return again. However, EDM goes too far, too fast for most first graders. The lessons include too much at once and jump around conceptually. Also, it is too teacher directed with a lot of verbal direction, not enough hands on and visual. The math book is so wordy that most first graders cannot do many of the problems independently.