Wednesday, January 23, 2008

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


Chris said...

What a wall of text! You expect people to read this crap? Connected Math may or may not teach math skills, but your post is certainly evidence that you lack publication skills.

Just sayin'

BlArthurHu said...

This is from another survey. The amazing thing is that CMP doesn't have ANY math content in the student textbook, and nobody cares to call that dangerous except for a few crazy parents. Look up how to do anything, and it says "based on your observations, come up with your own way to XYZ and make sure it works with these examples"

Is this the way YOU think we should replace the books that taught our rocket and nuclear scientists of the 20th century?
How far would Einstein or Newton get if he used a textbook with NO instructions on how to multiply fractions or decimal numbers, and didn't even have "least common denominator" in any book?