Friday, May 25, 2007

Everyday Mathematics: When Comedy Becomes Reality

Experiment:
I showed my kids a couple of comedy gags from the 50's about math without telling them what they were about and refrained from making any comments to gauge their reaction.

Sample Data:
If you haven't watched Abbott and Costello or Ma and Pa Kettle "do math", you might want to do that now:

Abbott and Costello Math

and

Ma and Pa Kettle Math


Reaction:
My fourth grade daughter said, "Hey mom, that's just like Everyday Math! They're using invented algorithms" as she giggled uncontrollably. My first grade son said, "Mom, those answers are wrong." He then proceeded to tell me the right answer for each equation and asked if he was correct. (Which he was) but being new to the mysteries of Everyday Math, he seemed somewhat perplexed.

From the mouths of babes.

I just can't wait to hear what they have to say about Lisa Simpson's take on constructivist math ideology:
(The Simpsons on math)


It's a sad statement that what was a funny gag a half century ago and what is clearly satire in our generation is eerily similar to what's happening in constructivist classrooms today.

Comedy has become reality and I'm not amused.

9 comments:

Parentalcation said...

I laughed my ass off at the Abbot and Costello video. I had to post it on my blog, with full credit to you of course.

Keep up the good fight!

J. said...

I concur that the focus on invented algorithms is not the best use of instructional time, but you have got to admit, using the old algorithms doesn't help most students understand the underlying sense of how numbers work. There are problems with both approaches.

Harry said...

Great math lessons. I'm an elementary school teacher. It was decided that I would be the math teacher for the fourth grade. That's fine. I like math. I was out of class though for 15 days attending math workshops based on the constructivist model. That wasn't fine. The "lessons" you link to are only exaggerated a little bit. I will be linking to this post from my blog.

I have to admit that the thing that hit me the hardest in the Abbot and Costello was the appearance of Shemp Howard, even though he was in a nonspeaking role.

Math said...

PARENTS BE AWARE. The number of un-informed, ill-informed and mis-informed parents is alarming. WHAT YOUR SCHOOL WILL NOT TELL YOU -

Please do your own research and come to an informed conclusion.

A FAILED EXPERIMENT. Our children are not guinea pigs.
Fuzzy Math (Everyday Math, TERC, Investigations) etc is a FAILED EXPERIMENT. Stop treating our children as guinea pigs. We ranked # 1 in the World in Math and Science, we are now at # 25 (PISA 2007; other studies where we rank way behind the developed world are OECD, TIMMS studies)
http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2006/nov06/math-teachers.html

EVERYDAY MATH RATED WORST
Everyday Math rated “worst” - Educational Research Analysis Report -2008
Email them and ask for the 2008 reports
TxtbkRevws@aol.com

FUN AND GAMES TODAY…..EXCESSIVE HOME TUTORING AND REMEDIATION TOMORROW
Remediation: (2008) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/09/01/2008-09-01_many_entering_cuny_students_failed_place-2.html
Remediation: (2008) http://mathunderground.blogspot.com/2008/02/60-uw-faculty-critical-of-current.html
Need for tutoring: http://vormath.info/WordPress1/?cat=4
Every Night Math: http://www.nypost.com/seven/12072007/postopinion/letters/everyday_math___junk_778730.htm
CALCULATORS CRIPPLE COMPUTATION SKILLS
Calculators are introduced in Kindergarten. Ask for your school Math curriculum.
• Mathematicians reject the early use of calculators, beginning in kindergarten, and they question the current excessive use of calculators, during all of the K-12 years.
• The National Math Advisory Panel Report 2008 cautions: that to the degree that calculators impede the development of automaticity; fluency in computation will be adversely affected. (page 24, point 29)
• Educational Research Analysis 2008 Report outlines in detail how Everyday Math Cripples Computation Skills. The main goal of elementary school mathematics education is to get students to think about numbers and to learn arithmetic. Calculators defeat that purpose. They allow students to arrive at answers without thinking. When calculators are introduced in Kindergarten, where is the incentive to learn? In grade 5, there is an entire chapter on how to use a calculator.

MATHEMATICIANS REJECT THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES OF EVERYDAY MATH. Please note, the basic principles have not changed in the latest versions.
What mathematicians say: http://www.voteboe2007.org/what_professors_say.htm
Discovery based learning: http://www.wgquirk.com/NJmathst.html
Multiple algorithms: http://www.math.nyu.edu/~braams/links/em-arith.html
Estimation as an important part of imprecise Mathematics: http://www.wgquirk.com/chap3.html#Estimation
Spiraling Method http://www.nychold.com/em-spiral.html
A California group that supports traditional methods of teaching math. http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/

Everyday Math, often called Chicago math is confusingly shown to have been endorsed by the University of Chicago. In-fact, it was developed by the Dept of Education and not by the Dept of Mathematics.

WHEN THE “COUNCIL OF TEACHERS OF MATHEMATICS” REJECTED EVERYDAY MATH IN 2006 WHY SHOULD SCHOOLS PERSIST IN
Math teachers: Parents are right http://www.eagleforum.org/column/2006/sept06/06-09-27.html
Math teachers reverse course http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2006/nov06/math-teachers.html

WHAT COLLEGE PROFESSORS HAVE TO SAY:
What Professors have to say – Remediation: http://mathunderground.blogspot.com/2008/02/60-uw-faculty-critical-of-current.html
Washington State: Math Education: A University View (Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymvSFunUjx0&feature=related

CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN EVERYDAY MATH ?
• Conflict of Interest: McGraw Hill, the publisher of Everyday Math, also owns CTB McGraw Hill which publishes the Terra Nova and other tests used to determine whether teaching has been successful. Several math reformers have commented on the seeming impropriety of the same company selling both a curriculum and the test used to determine whether that curriculum is working. http://illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html#chicagomath

• Conflict of Interest: CTB McGraw Hill is the leading publisher of standardized achievement tests for children and adults.
http://www.ctb.com/static/about_ctb/about_ctb.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673246865&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=9852723696535573&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395213825&bmUID=1126020525603

• In the US dept of education findings which reviewed 61 studies on Everyday Math, NONE met evidence standards. One study to show potentially positive effects (2001 Riordan and Noyce) suffers from a huge conflict of interest.

• States are dumbing down (State) Student Achievement Tests. Federal funds for education can be withheld from states in which students fail to meet the standards of the state-designed NCLB tests.


• The proponents of Fuzzy Math are often the publishers themselves and the school districts which have already spent heavily on instructional materials, not the parents.


STOP DUMBING DOWN
http://www.georgeallen.com/2008/07/29/allen-stop-dumbing-down-america-washington-times/
http://clivecrook.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/03/the_dumbing_of_america.php
Dumbing Down Tests: http://www.boardofed.idaho.gov/NAEP/info/media(2007-10-30)-PooleyLetter&Response.pdf
Dumbing down State Student Achievement tests: http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2007/06/18/are-states-dumbing-down-student-achievement-tests.htm

Everyday Math JARGON Everyday Math Jargon: http://www.jamerson-es.pinellas.k12.fl.us/docs/vocab.pdf
Jargon: Put Two and Two Together By Elizabeth Carson, New York Daily News, October 16, 2006. “If you ask administrators to explain it, they'll use just enough jargon to make it sound decent.”
Standards should be unambiguous, understandable, and without needless jargon. http://vormath.info/WordPress1/?page_id=4
Requires Reading and Vocabulary proficiency: http://www.edweek.org/login.html?source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Farticles%2F2001%2F12%2F05%2F14mathread.h21.html&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Farticles%2F2001%2F12%2F05%2F14mathread.h21.html&levelId=2100&baddebt=false
ESL and Everyday Math In a class with one teacher, where is the time for this kind of “differentiation” ? http://dev.wrightgroup.com/download/em/page92.pdf With one teacher in each class where is the time to effectively play games with multiple tables of childern at differing levels of skill ?

“New Improved and Debugged” Everyday Math?? Sounds good but all the problems remain - too many topics, spiraling, non traditional algorithms alongside traditional ones, the extensive use of calculators, inch deep mile wide curriculum, guided instruction, shallow practice, little direct teaching, and no emphasis on 'mastering' the fundamentals.


Studies show Everyday Math effective?? no studies stand scientific and unbiased scrutiny. In the US dept of education findings which reviewed 61 studies on EM, NONE met evidence standards. One study to show potentially positive effects (2001 Riordan and Noyce) suffers from a huge conflict of interest.

Test results show an improvement in schools?? McGraw Hill, the publisher of Everyday Math, also owns CTB McGraw Hill which publishes the Terra Nova and other tests used to determine whether teaching has been successful. In some tests, you get one point for performing the math correctly and two points for explaining it. It thus possible for someone to get the wrong answer but to score equally or better! The significant impact of tutoring is another factor that is conveniently not addressed by EM proponents.

Fun Fun Fun??? All the fun is showing up in remedial math courses that students have to take before they can take a college level math course.

“Differentiation”???
With one teacher in each class, where is the time for the teacher to effectively teach, supervise and play games with multiple tables of children with differing levels of skill?

Extra Homework anyone??? Everyday Math 3rd Edition provides additional homework assignments:

Tutoring? How many of the high achievers are tutored by parents, KUMON etc??

Everyday Math, often called Chicago math is confusingly shown to have been endorsed by the University of Chicago. In-fact, it was developed by the Dept of Education and not by the Dept of Mathematics.

WHAT THE NATIONAL MATH ADVISORY PANEL 2008 REPORT HAS TO SAY
The National Math Advisory Panel calls for back to basics systematic approach to Math http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/report/final-report.pdf
• requires fluency with the standard algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (page 19, point 11)
• focus on effort increases their engagement in mathematics learning (page 20 point 14)
• The Panel cautions that to the degree that calculators impede the development of automaticity; fluency in computation will be adversely affected. (page 24, point 29)
• U.S. mathematics textbooks (publishers should make every effort to produce much shorter and more focused (page 24 point 31)
• Mathematics literacy is a serious problem in the United States. (page 31)
• The need to be globally competitive (page 32)
Panel calls for Systematic Basic Approach to Math
http://www.edweek.org/login.html?source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diigo.com%2Fuser%2Fcheryl_vt%2FNMAP&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Farticles%2F2008%2F03%2F19%2F28math_ep.h27.html%3Ftmp%3D425769355&levelId=2100&baddebt=false


OUR CHILDREN NEED TO BE GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE:
Math Skills suffer in the US - New York Times:
http://www.nationalmathandscience.org/index.php/blog/math-skills-suffer-in-us-study-finds.html
The need to stay Competitive: http://www.nationalmathandscience.org/index.php/staying-competitive/
Its all about being Globally competitive (VIDEO)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdgNJ4AibMw&feature=related
Math and Science Reform http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/PreK-12EducationFactSheet.pdf
Rising Above the Gathering Storm – Two Years Later: 2008 http://nationalmathandscience.org/convocation/
Why US kids rank 33rd in the world – http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59262
American Institute of Research – What the US can learn from Singapore’s World class Math system (and what Singapore can learn from the US) 2005 http://www.air.org/news/documents/Singapore%20Report%20(Bookmark%20Version).pdf


MATH WARS CARRY ON. Texas and California Reject Everyday Math in part
South Carolina: Everyday Math Bottoms out at Beaufort http://thevoiceforschoolchoice.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/education-bottoms-out-in-beaufort-with-new-math/
New Jersey - Recall Everyday Math Long Valley http://longvalleymath.com/
New Jersey Long Valley NJ recall Everyday Math http://longvalleymath.com/category/national-math/
Columbia Missouri district back to traditional Math http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2008/09/24/district-decides-go-back-traditional-math/
Washington State Math Mess- a case against constructivist Math http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008253262_opin12nutting.html
Utah turning to the Far East http://www.highbeam.com:80/doc/1P2-16709447.html
Virginia: Stafford County - Everyday Math is dumbing down our children 2008
http://www.schoc.org/id56.html
Virginia: Prince William County, Arlington County, Fairfax, Loudoun, Howard
Parents Rise against Everyday Math: 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/18/AR2008021802244.html?referrer=emailarticle
Virginia Prince William County: Parents take Action (2008) http://www.pwcteachmathright.com/
Texas: http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_93930.asp
Humor: Peaceful movement to disarm Fuzzy Math http://www.weaponsofmathdestruction.com/thumbnails.cfm
600 schools in the US have shifted to Singapore Math http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html#singapore
New Jersey Ridgewood:
http://vormath.info:80/WordPress1/?cat=6
New York http://www.nychold.com/let-nydn-0610yy.html
New York http://www.nychold.com:80/let-action-0712.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI&feature=related
New York - Fuzzy Math is not cuddly
http://www.nypost.com/seven/11282007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/fuzzy_math_isnt_cuddly_685276.htm?page=0
Massachusetts: http://www.massachusetts.edu/stem/stem_math_woes.html
Math bottoms out in Beaufort
http://thevoiceforschoolchoice.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/education-bottoms-out-in-beaufort-with-new-math/
Add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers, decimals, and fractions accurately, efficiently, and flexibly without calculators http://gse.berkeley.edu/faculty/AHSchoenfeld/Schoenfeld_MathWars.pdf

Math Wars around the country: http://mathematicallycorrect.com/citylist.htm

Washington State: Math Education and Inconvenient Truth (Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI

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