Monday, January 28, 2008

Aussie F-111 poster

Originally uploaded by AJ '83

Uparmoured Humvee in Afghanistan

Originally uploaded by :.Phoenix.:
first time I've seen this protected gun turret position.

MIT firetruck on the dome

OMG, T3h Trukk?1?!
Originally uploaded by brass-monkey

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Connected Mathematics G6 Circle Area and Circumference leaves out ...

What do you think would be the most amazing bit of information leftout of the student textbook on a 6th grade unit on area culminating in circumference and area of a circle?
(Hint: remember that the book on adding fractions does not contain any summary explanation of a correct way to add fractions)
How do you develop a formula for area? Draw a square around the circle,so that it covers 4 radius-sized squares.
Now the following is ONLY in the teacher book:Cut out the scraps outside circle on 3 pie sections, and chop them up. Fill the 4th pie sectionwith scraps, you won't be be able to fully fill it in. Based on this, students will all discover that that the area of a circle is slightly more than 3 radius-length squares, or 3 r squared. Last time we sawa number a bit more than 3 it was PI, so it might be pi r squared.
The students are asked to develop a method to compute the area basedon radius, and the correct answer is pi r squared, but...
Same with 2 * PI * r
Now get this.
How do you find the radius if you know the area?
The answer in the teacher book is simple, just divide by pi and take the square root.
Can anybody spot the problem?
Square root isn't in the index.It's not in the book.It's not covered in connected mathematics until GRADE 8.
What sort of a student is going to figure out the right answer?
I just got this from visiting the math office at the Lake Washington resource center, but they chased me out when they needed the table for a meeting. Library hours are 8:30 to 11:00 am, and they don't have the complete connected series. You really need to see the teacher manual to see if any actual teaching is taking place, but the parents can't see the teacher's manual to help with homework in case suzie didn't figure out pi r squared on her own and wasn't paying attention.
What kind of idiots write these texts and review them, and why do 95% of teachers give Pearson an excellent review???

Pearson survey of Connected Mathematics Teacher complaints

Found this link to an internal review, survey of teachers. A hugemajority of sheep gave connected math outstanding ratings, very fewstuck their necks out to criticize it, but those few remarks arepretty scathing. Most postitive reviews echo group-think straight out of their original training sessions which brain-wash teachersand administrators into fuzzy think.
This was very good:
"STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE THE SKILLS NECESSARY TO SUCCEED IN POSTHIGH SCHOOL MATH CLASSES! Unless the curriculum is heavy supplemented,students have no mastery of math facts, fractions, decimals, percents, and integers.Students at our school have used Investigation/Connected Math for the past 6 years. 3years ago after many complaints by parents, parent/students were given a choice of CorePlus or Alg/Geometry. We currently have 13 classes of Alg and 1 class of Core Plus.Student are very poorly prepare to take Algebra. The decision to change to this reformcurricula was made by administrators against the recommendation of all but onesecondary math teacher."
"Not enough examples worked for the students. Regular students have a hard timewading through the material to "get to the math." The problem settings are excellent,but the students I teach have not been well prepared in their two previous CMP grades tomove through the material at an acceptable pace. Sometimes I feel I need to supplementthe material in the book with additional "practice" items. Other times, the students seemto get bored with the amount of time spent on one topic. Yet they are unable to performsuccessfully on the assessments.""Very time consuming to implement fully, almost impossible.""I feel that the material goes in-depth with the students, but with this being the first yearwe have used it, we are still adjusting. My students find it difficult when they are absentto complete the work as they feel that it is self led with no examples provided. I amhoping that next year will be better as it will be our second year and the 7th grade classhas been introduced to the material.""There are a lot of skills that are left to be taught using supplemental materials. Theability level seems to be pretty high as well. Not necessarily the best choice for classesthat are not ability grouped.""CMP does a great job using problem solving. The investigations are interesting to thestudents and provoke much discussion. Students like to work in pairs and small groupsand help each other understand the concepts presented in each problem. The ACEquestions give me valuable data on their understanding of concepts presented. Theadditional problems, reflections, and check ups help me assess student achievement. I dobelieve, however, that some of the ACE questions could be worded more clearly. It issometimes difficult for the students to understand what is being asked of them. I wouldalso like to see some more computation practice included in the program. I understandthat this is not the emphasis of the program but students are weak in this area and I spenddo spend some remedial time in this area.""In eighth grade we us cmp with our low level classes only. I like the activities and handson approach. The problem is that when it comes to discussion, motivation, and interest in79anything, these high risk students are easily distracted and can really make the journeydifficult.""I feel that this program lacks practice with computation. The difficulty of the readingholds children back from the basic concepts focused in the problem. The separatebooklets allows the student to forget concepts as the year proceeds. There is very littlereview if at all. I feel that review reinforces prior learning. The grading is very timeconsuming with answers to ACE problems being located on different pages. Thisprogram is not teacher friendly. Programs need to have a balance between computationand problem solving. Also, they MUST teacher friendly. If you need any help with thisprogram let me know at: Pat Lane: 2708 Dey Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82009 (307)638-9778""Because if does cover all objectives for the TAKS.""Because kids that are very good in math think it goes too slowly, and kids that are poorin math can not figure out the patterns, and get very frustrated.""There isn't enough practice of the basic skills for the students. We as teachers have touse old worksheets from other textbooks to help reinforce those basic skills. Also, therejust isn't enough practice for students to learn the concept that is being investigated.Parents have also complained that they can't help their child like they used to by lookingin the book and being able to determine what they were being taught. I do like the factthat students are engaged in cooperative groups or pairs to investigate the conceptsinstead of the traditional way of presenting information.""Some of the problems are very repetitive, and then others do not go into enough detail.The book that disappointed me the most was Bits and Pieces 1. I feel like it didn't giveenough information on how to take a discount. I also wish that there was a book oncomputation with fractions and decimals.""CMP is currently used along with a Prentice Hall text. The investigations/activities arequite time consuming so not all are included in our curriculum.""I like the layout of the resources. The content allows for a rich discussion of deepmathematical topics.""I didn't rate this higher because I feel more work on the basic facts need to stressed on adaily basis. The students are coming through this not remembering how to add, subtract,etc. This needs to be worked on everyday.""I feel that CMP doesn't give my students enough practice with their basic math skills. Ioften have to supplement work from another math program to make up for this.""I really enjoy doing the problems with my students. I would rate many of the activitiesas excellent. I use them to supplement my Algebra I course. My concern is that thereare not enough practice problems for current skills and concepts being learned, orassessment/spiral review of prior skills and knowledge. I find I have to supplement in80both areas: 1) to practice prior knowledge and skills to prepare to do an investigation, and2) to practice and reinforce the skills being learned in the current investigation orproblems. My other concern is the amount of time required to do the exercises. This isa problem I have in my existing schedule not with the program itself. I have 42-46minutes which is not long enough (in my opinion) to do many of the activities justice. Ifind I have to send them home for homework which reduces the amount of cooperativelearning which I feel is key to the success of the constructivist approach.""Good curriculum but requires a lot of additional preparation for my population.""The program has excellent material. Our students have a great deal of trouble with thework. They become anxious and unsure. They have not had the background in math thatis necessary. From a teacher's perspective, the weakest part is the way the teachers booksare laid out. They are very inconvenient and not at all user friendly.""I like the CMP is heavy in application and concepts. It forces the students to think aboutproblems and math in scenarios rather than simply computation. However, I feel thatthey need more computation than CMP provides. Without it, the students are lost. Also,many of the problems on the assessments provided for our use seem unrelated to theinvestigations or questions we were supposed to provide for practice. It seems to strayoff focus. Also, for beginning students, the problems that CMP provides seem verydifficult. Many students struggle to learn the process, and CMP then uses numbers thatprovide a difficult task themselves. I would like the problems to progress as the studentprogresses. The premise behind CMP is very good. Concepts and applications areessential, but without some background in the computation, more than CMP provides, mystudents can not make the leap from the numbers they provide to the concepts.""Good activities for student involvement. Help student gain an understanding ofconcepts."Those who rated CMP "Fair""Students are expected to work in group situations for most of their work. Students leavethe middle school and go to a traditional high school with homogeneously scheduledclasses. Students do not internalize the computation needed to learn most of theconcepts. Students have difficulty when they join the class without previous learnedinvestigations.""I think that the questioning is confusing to some students. I also find that there are somebasic skills that are lacking. My students are not grasping their basic math facts. Anotherconcern is how the students will transition back into a traditional classroom in highschool.""Students have difficulty relating to and understanding the problems presented. A greatdeal of skill work needs to be taught to enhance student comprehension. There are notenough problems that relate to the multi - cultural students in my classes. We have anexceptional diverse population. There are not enough problems that an urban child canunderstand and relate to. Many students come from different countries all over the81world. THERE IS NO WAY ALL THE MATERICAL CAN BE PRESENTED IN ANACADEMIC YEAR. YOUR PROGRAM IS POORL ASSEMBLED. TEACHERRESOURCE MATERIAL IS UNORGANIZED. NO PROVISION FOR TEACHERCREATIVITY""The program does not have enough skill development for the students. Many of thestudents do not have basic skills.""I think CMP assumes too much prior knowledge. There are no opportunities to presentskills to students who have no skills upon which to build. If students were performing ongrade level, CMP would be wonderful, but with students who are far below grade level,CMP is terribly frustrating. Additionally, students are bored with CMP because they donot have frequent opportunities to experience success in mathematics.""Although many of the investigations are fun and interesting, there are many essentialsixth grade topics that are missing from the curriculum. Some of those topics are touchedbriefly, but without practice and the necessary reinforcement. This has been my first yearteaching CMP at the sixth grade level. Throughout the first semester I tried to follow theCMP Curriculum exactly as recommended. By second semester I realized that mystudents were not covering areas that I feel are crucial, so I have started to supplementwith more computation practice. The big areas that are not covered well include: basicoperations with whole numbers and decimals, basic operations with fractions, order ofoperations, exponents, and many others. I am not alone in my opinion. I work with ateam of six teachers, and we are all in agreement on this.""The program has serious deficiencies in basic computational skill. Many of the topicsoffered are terrific extensions, but without the fundamentals, they are difficult to fullycomprehend. Also, the lack of algebraic manipulation is a concern for the 8th gradecurriculum as that is generally where Pre-Algebra topics are explored. CMP coverslinear relationship extensively, but leaves about serious symbol manipulation. I justwent to the CMP users conference in Michigan this past March, and apparently, many ofmy concerns are being currently addressed in the revision.""I feel there is not enough practice problems in each section. I understand you are tryingto apply it to real world problems, and you are trying to have students think at a higherlevel and I agree with that however i feel they need to practice the basic methods on howto solve the problem first before the apply it.""The teacher's manual is not teacher friendly. The organization is very confusing.Students do not know what 7 x 8 is in sixth grade! I need to supplement the to get thestudents to up to speed. The units take much longer to teach properly than the timerecommended in the manuals. Although I believe teaching CMP has helped meunderstand math instruction and made me a better math teacher, many of the problemsare not as real world as the authors purport. Enough of this embedded evaluation! Ineed something to show parents and justify a grade. We are asked to be moreaccountable for our teaching every day, but these assessments are difficult and timeconsuming to correct. Readability is a joke! I have to restate every question on theCheck-ups and Unit Tests. I have Hispanic students who really struggle with their82English. They should be able to do math without reading every problem. I also havestudents who have difficulties writing. This curriculum penalizes them""Reading level is too high for many students. Questions are not often clearly stated. It isoften difficult for me to figure out what they are asking. ACE problems do not provideenough skill practice of concepts learned in the investigations. Too much repetition--units take too long. Sometimes students lose the "big picture".""We need to supplement the material in order to meet the NYS Standards andcurriculum""It takes too long to teach too little. I haven't found a school in Hawaii yet that isteaching all eight books each year, but even they were, it still wouldn't be enough tocover everything in the HCPS II (the Hawaii state standards). Another problem is thatCMP is language-based. That's fine if the students are reading at grade level. In mostpublic schools out here, however, you're lucky if the majority of students are only onegrade level behind on their reading skills -- many are farther behind than that. On theplus side, CMP has helped increased problem solving skills a little, but the "cooperativelearning" (read "copying") methodology as not proven to be an efficient way ofdelivering new content. Overall, constructivism just takes too long. CMP seems liketrying to teach someone to swim by teaching them water polo first.""We feel that the CMP does not cover many of the benchmarks and teachers have tosupplement the series very heavy. We do like the higher level thinking and the writing.""The book is very difficult for students to understand. I get a lot of complaints fromparents on this book.""While the activities nicely match our basic math textbook material and do a great job ofdemonstrating how various topics in math are used in the "real world", the way theproblems and questions are worded often obscures the real objective of the question. As aresult, it takes a LOT of explanation- not to explain the math involved- but to explainwhat the question really means.""Some lessons are too easy while the next lesson will jump in skill level which is muchmore difficult....not enough drill and skill after a lesson and the concepts have beentaught... expects the children to function at a level not consistent with research incognitive development of adolescents""CMP is good for showing concepts but does not give much practice. Many kids do notpick up on the skill from the amount of practice the book gives. I have to make upworksheets for my students to practice the skills. Also, the questions are hard tounderstand. It is very hard for kids to work independently on the lessons even after I goover examples because the questions are confusing. If a student is absent it is very hardto make up the work because the lessons can be confusing. Many times I have to look atthe answer to figure out what the book was asking. Our teachers have found wecannot possibly finish all the books per grade level."83"No examples for students and parents. Does not meet the state standards per grade.We have to supplement to cover needed material to prepare students for the benchmarkexam. Does not offer enough practice. Does not cover basic skills. I liked CMPbefore the benchmark exam. I liked the discovery and the way students had a betterunderstanding of mathematics than under the traditional method but correlating CMP tothe standards and preparing students for the benchmark has been very challenging.""CMP assumes that all kids come in with the prior knowledge of basic calculation skills.Our kids have not been taught all of that. I also do not agree that calculators should beused at will in the program. Many of the units can and should be done without them.""Too difficult for basic skills math students. They get confused even on directions. Toquote "What are they asking?" I'm frequently rephrasing questions, directions, andexplanations. Too consolidated. Some parts are excellent. Needs references pages."What do I need to find/" and "Where do I (student or parent or ...) go to find informationneeded to solve...?" Solid foundation needed to continue in the CMP series ofbooks.""CMP is not lined with the standards with our state. Their are gaps in the CMP such asreview of basic skills. They will begin the subject with out step by step procedures. Iteach an Inclusion class an the majority of my kids are on IEP and the IEP states to modeland clarify instructions. The CMP book is good for kids who have the basic skills andproficient in math. CMP charts are confusing for kids with special needs. CMP needs tobe more aligned with the standards and more basic skills. Also there needs to be moremultiple choice question since our exams are a mixture of multiple choice."Those who rated CMP "Poor""No skill development offered. It is ridiculous to have kids work in groups all of the timelike CMP encourages. There is way too much abstract thinking involved-not enoughconcrete skill development. It should be used as a supplementary curriculum, not as itsown.""STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE THE SKILLS NECESSARY TO SUCCEED IN POSTHIGH SCHOOL MATH CLASSES! Unless the curriculum is heavy supplemented,students have no mastery of math facts, fractions, decimals, percents, and integers.Students at our school have used Investigation/Connected Math for the past 6 years. 3years ago after many complaints by parents, parent/students were given a choice of CorePlus or Alg/Geometry. We currently have 13 classes of Alg and 1 class of Core Plus.Student are very poorly prepare to take Algebra. The decision to change to this reformcurricula was made by administrators against the recommendation of all but onesecondary math teacher.""We live in a low economic area. The majority of our children are poor readers. Do yourealize how much reading is involved with CMP? Our students are so far behind in thenecessary basic math skills that even if they "can" reason a problem-solving situation,they cannot do the math task it takes to solve it. THE MAIN REASON, SOME OFOUR MATH TEACHERS ARE SO AGAINST THE CMP PROGRAM, IS IT WAS84

Monday, January 21, 2008

Washingont OSPI Affirmative Action Training & WASL bias

Affirmative Action Officer Training
Here's another good one from the OSPI home page. IX/RCW 28A.640 and Affirmative Action Compliance Officer Training Friday, January 18, 2008, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.Friday, February 1, 2008, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

->>>Title IX Training 2008 (ppt) District Action Plans Worksheet (Word) Federal and State Nondiscrimination Laws Requirements (Word) Federal and State Nondiscrimination Laws Chart (Word) Affirmative Action Guidelines for Districts (pdf)

*** Comment: This is an example of using WASL in a biased manner, but it doesn't question if use of the WASL in itself has harmful effects on lower scoring groups, such as denying a high school diploma! Also doesn't comment if singling out of AfricanAmericans as low achievers in a training powerpoint is itself creating a discriminatory atmosphere. ***

Example 7:
Smithfield School District uses ability grouping to group students for instruction in reading, English, mathematics and science. Placements are based upon the reading scores from the WASL, and teacher recommendations. A group of African-American junior high school parents complained that more African-American students are being placed in lower ability groups (which do not receive high school credit) than white students. An investigation revealed that 21 out of 36 ability grouped courses were racially identifiable because they enrolled statistically significant disproportions of African-American or non-African-American students.

Is this a violation? Why?
Of what laws? Example 7:
Is this a violation? Yes Why? The use of criteria which result in racially biased classes is discriminatory. In this instance, it appears that the combination of WASL scores and teacher recommendations produce a discriminatory outcome. School personnel not only need to examine the basis for their placement of students, but also develop interventions for improving the WASL reading scores of African-American students of this is a major factor in placement.
Of what laws? Federal: Title VI; State: RCW 49.60.040

Washington's New 2nd Grade Algebra and Long Division standard

From Math Standards Revision Process Overview and Discussion
Wednesday, January 16, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
This appears to be the new 2nd grade problem solving sample.

2.2.d ProblemSolving/Reasoning/ Communication Solve a variety of addition and subtraction problems and justify the solutions.

Including take away, missing addend, and comparison.

Example of Comparison: Hazel and Kimmy each have stamp collections. Kimmy’s collection has 7 more stamps than Hazel’s collection. Altogether, they have 20 stamps. How many stamps are in Hazel’s collection

Solution: 20 - 7 kimmy = 13 hazel , with drawing.

This solution is not correct because 13 - 7 = 6, not 7.=======================================================

How would a grown up solve this problem? Let x = Hazel and x + 7 = Kimmy. x + x + 7 = 20. Simplify 2x + 7 = 20. Subtract 7 from both sides gives 2x = 13, divide both sides by 2 gives x = 6.5, so Hazel has 6.5, and Kimmy has seven more, or 13.5. Together they have 20 stamps. Do they have fractional ownership of a stamp, of half-stamps?

To check, 6.5 + 6.5 + 7 = 20.

None of the 2nd grade textbooks that I have (and I have several) have a solve for the unknown like this one. Their solution evidently relies on guess and check, but this is another classic example of a upper grade problem (solve an equation of the form ax + b = c) to be solved without a proper solution method.

Also note that most graduates of Core Plus probably don't know enough algebra to solve this problem either since this basic level of algebra isn't taught at high school level, and I don't think it's covered by connected mathematics either (can somebody verify that?) The college prep SAT does NOT require knowledge of algebra and does not contain problems like this! It WOULD be appropriate for the 10th grade WASL, but that's only if we assume algebra is required for all students.

They still have the 2nd grade long division problem, though it has been changed so that they have to compute the total of the change, and it still says "struggling students" (those that can't do long division?) can count objects. This entire sample must be tossed, as well as the language "struggling" 38 cents divided by 3 is solved by long division with a remainder, which isn't covered in the curriculum until grade 5. The previous version of this mentioned that the students would encounter a remainder.

Example: Suzy, Ben, and Pedro have found a quarter, a dime and 4 pennies under the sofa. Their mother says they can keep the money if they can tell her what coins they need to share it equally. How can they do this?
• It has multiple entry points: — struggling students can count out objects and move them around.— children at different levels of number facility can combine and separate the values using their skills.
• This problem is understandable to some children through using models, to others by drawing a picture or by using numbers to make a list.
• This problem addresses important grade two mathematics such as place value, grouping, sharing, and money concepts.
• Children can easily verify whether their solution works.

Come on folks, this is total garbage, I shouldn't have been the first one to spot this.

********* ARGH ************

Idiotic New Visual Arts Assessment for Washington State

I complained about Washington's 5th grade "music WASL" which asks fifth graders to sing music by sight from sheet music, and compose a new theme based on animal on sheet music, when most 5th graders are doing well if they can sing in a choir by ear.
Well, the 10th grade visual arts test requires all art students to sketch and do a final portrait in one of three styles in 3 half hour sessions, and explain how you use "hue, intensity and a range of values" to reflect a chosen style and define three dimensional forms.

Here is the document for the 10th grade visual arts classroom based assessment Whoever

The Perfect Gift
Students are asked to create a portrait using a student-selected classic artistic style. Students will be assessed on their understanding of the color attributes and form of the chosen artistic style. Students will also be assessed on their understanding of the creative process.

You must meet the following task requirements when creating the portrait
• Choose one style to use in your portrait.
• Use the color attributes of the style you selected:
• hue
• intensity, and
• a range of at least five values to create form.
**** The choice of colors has NOTHING to do with whether the style is impressionist, cubist or surrealist. Hue is just the base color (green, red, etc), intensity is how pure the color is (bright red, dull red) "Value" is simply which color, or what intensity is used. ***
• Use form to create depth within the features of the face.>
• Use color or value to define form(s) within the features of the face
*** Color is not used to define forms, value doesn't even make sense in this context ***
• Create expression of the facial features using at least three elements of visual arts.

Students must answer the following questions after they complete their portraits:
1) What style did you choose?
2) How did you use each of the color attributes in your portrait to define the style you selected?
a. How does your use of hue reflect your chosen style?
b. How does your use of intensity reflect your chosen style?
C. How does your range of values reflect your chosen style?
3) How did you use color and/or value in your portrait to define your form(s)?
4) How did you use shape to create emotion in the facial expression of the portrait?
Relate your answer to your selected style.
5) How did you use form to create emotion in the facial expression of the portrait? Relate your answer to your selected style.

"Teachers should choose three styles of artwork which are familiar to their students. If art prints cannot be used, photographs of realistic people may be used.

Some examples of portrait styles are:

• Salvador Dali (Surrealism) "Face of Mae West"

This isn't even a realistic portrait of a person, it's a face superimposed on a doorway with a perspective horizon. It shows no emotion other than closed eyes. Color and value do not define the form

• Vincent van Gogh (Impressionism) "Self-Portrait with a Grey Hat"

• Pablo Picasso (Cubism) "Woman with a Hat"

This isn't a realistic portrait either. The face is bent with the top and bottom halves in different directions, and it is drawn with nipples, a questionable technique for 10th graders. It shows no emotion

• Max Beckmann (Expressionism) "Self-Portrait"

This portrait isn't even in color, it makes NO use of hue, intensity, or range of values. It doesn't show any emotion either.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Disconnected Mathematics - Northshore School Board

This can be used in Seattle, Lake Washington and other districts
that use connected math. To my knowledge, both Seattle and Lake
Washington still use the first version where the kids spend an entire
month of measures of centrality, but aren't taught the standard
definition of mean, adding numbers up and dividing by how many numbers. This emphasizes just one of the many reasons students raised
on Fuzzy Math won't be ready for college when key concepts were
removed so that "all students including women and minorities" will
succeed. Interestingly, my 1965 math book called it least common
denominator in 6th grade, but Saxon doesn't call it that by name
either, it just tells you to use least common multiple for a
denominator, which is the same thing. Connected does include a
couple of problems that uses a least common multiple, but does not
include it in the main lesson.

While I'm here, I just saw the unit in Core Plus about all sorts
of wacky nontraditional voting models, taking class time to do a
vote on somebody's favorite brand name of something, and how the
New Hampshire primary works. A lot of content I'd expect to see
in social studies, not mathematics.


Disconnected Mathematics

You've had an earful about how awful Everyday Mathematics and Core Plus are.

But do a web search and you'll find nearly as many people angry about Connected Mathematics.

Is there anyone who does not know how to compute an average? The first version of CM we had in Lake Washington spent an entire statistics unit leading up to, but NOT telling you how to add the items and divide. Thank goodness, it's in the 2nd version.

I looked through Henry's 6th grade book on fractions. Is there anyone in the room who has never heard of the Lowest Common Denominator? Is there anyone who thinks you can take freshman calculus in college and not know how to find the lowest common denominator? Is there anyone who thinks you can take freshman literature and not know what the lowest common denominator is? Is there anyone here who thinks anybody would be stupid enough to adopt a textbook for middle grades that does NOT have the lowest common denominator?

Well guess what's NOT in Connected Math? LCD isn't even in the index. I sent an email to Elizabeth at the Connected Math Project, and asked where and when they cover LCD. She said that researchers who reviewed felt that LCD was not neccesary as long as some kind of common denominator is used. But for comparing fractions, they're supposed to cut a paper strip and fold it into 7ths or use 1/2 or 3/4 as benchmarks, which will NOT work in college, and they don't even use any kind of common denominator.

Guess what Saxon says about comparing and addiing fractions. Use the least common multiple to find the lowest common denomintor, add, subtract or compare, and then simplify. I challenge anybody to find this simple bit of information ANYWHERE in connected math.

Now Henry DID get supplemental worksheets from the teacher, but that's because we are misusing the curriculum. Seattle is rolling out Everyday Math with Fidelity of Implementation. Your math crew says all we have to do is supplement because no math book is perfect. But EM and CM say they are complete, and some federal contracts specify that you CAN NOT add additional material, especially if the textbook specifcally states it is NOT supposed to be used with additional materials.

It is a massive scam when our children are given math books for higher achievement in which the most important math is consistently missing because somebody figured that the bad old math is not suitable for girls or minorities.

We think all children should be givent the opportunity to learn real math. We need to get rid of EM, CM and Core Plus as soon as possible, and the first step is to recognize how awful and harmful these texts are.

Arthur Hu

Jan 8, 2008

3521 214th pl SE
bothell WA 98021

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

US beats India to wacky kindergarten math standards?

India’s more demanding education standards are apparent at the Little
Angels Kindergarten, and are its main selling point. Its 2-year-old
pupils are taught to count to 20, 3-year-olds are introduced to
computers, and 5-year-olds learn to multiply, solve math word problems
and write one-page essays in English, tasks most Japanese schools do
not teach until at least second grade

If parents want to raise uberkids, that's their perogative, but
it's a really bad idea for universal public education. As a Chinese
who's keeping score, the Indian immigrants are the only ones who
consistently do better than Jewish kids in most awards and test
scores. Asians overall aren't as strong, and Chinese in particular
win some and lose some. If there is one thing we need to stress
from schools like this, it's that they are opposite of what TERC
and EM are doing.

"5-year-olds learn to multiply, solve math word problems
and write one-page essays in English"

The seattle math standards already require 5 year olds to write word problems in english. The samples in their hand out are a joke. Some 5 year olds like mine were expected to READ colors without any instruction in reading colors. My 1st grader on his first day of HOMEWORK was told to write down a list of 10 words, use each in a complete sentence, and write them down in alphabetical order. We are such a nation of complete suckers that they can give us this stuff without complaint and get away with it. This "my standards are higher than yours" game is way out of hand.

This is from our draft standard:

Kindergarten problem solving:

Grandma went to visit her three grandchildren and discovered they each had
holes in every finger of their gloves. She will sew up their gloves. How many
glove fingers need to be fixed?
The above is a good problem for kindergarten because
• it focuses on a major kindergarten goal: five as a benchmark number;
• it has multiple entry levels. A struggling student can gather two friends
and count fingers, while a more mathematically sophisticated child can
count up by fives or tens; and it has multiple solution strategies: act it
out, draw a picture, look for a pattern, use manipulatives.

What is a "struggling" kindergarten student? One that can't multiply or count by fives?

What is the mathematical solution for this problem? When does multiplication appear in draft standard?

Who determined that five is a benchmark number, and why is it in the standard?

Why am I the only reviewer to notice what is wrong with this standard?