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Monday, July 23, 2007

Math Methods Lead to Madness…

I’m not a lone critic of the push to have elementary schools adopt constructivist math instruction like TERC (pronounced "turk") Investigations or Everyday Mathematics as a replacement for traditional multiplication and division instruction.

Take a look at a few demonstration samples of what I’m talking about:

Can you readily explain how and/or why these methods work at a level I can use for 4rd graders?

Frankly, learning a method without understanding the “how” or more importantly, the “why” is just as cryptic as the one “Ma&Pa Kettle” demonstrates for us:

Although, I did find this one has potential if it can be demonstrated as reliable and repeatable:

(Calculator method)



Anonymous said...

My district had to use Investigations for about 5 years at the elementary level. The middle school teachers all complained that the kids weren't being taught math. It was absolutely awful and now we have a huge group of kids who never learned basic math facts (unless they had teachers who supplemented with basic facts like some teachers at my school.) We now use Saxon and the amount of math that the kids now know is astonishing. I'm so thankful to have materials that help us teach real math!

The MAN Fan Club said...

In 4th grade we taught the general multiplication facts and then taught 3 different ways for multiplying. The Lattice was one way. A few of the ones you show there is no need to know your facts.

The ma and pa thing is funny!