Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CMP Word's Worst Math Book Continued - P R SQUARD

My 7th grader just showed me his Crap / Connected Mathematics Project CMP 1 book which simply expects them to know that the area of a circle is p r squared to get the volume (you multiply by height). But the 6th grade book treats the method as the answer to a derivation exploration that isn't in the book. It only appears in the teacher book as "one possible answer", and in the letter to the parents. In fact, EVERY standard and formula method if you look it up in the index looks like "based on what you have learned, can you devise an algorithm or method to compute adding fractions / adding decimals / area of a circle / etc. The term "common denominator" does not appear anywhere in fractions, not even the index. It shows up in ADDING DECIMAL NUMBERS (??). There is a formula for area of a trapezoid on the cover of that book - that is the ONLY formula they actually give you in the entire student book. My understanding is that CMP 1 did not even expect students to learn standard methods at all. All of this information is on a 4 page "math review" card you can buy at Kinkos.



Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to give the impression that you are not intelligent, but if you are not a teacher (specifically math in this case) and you have not been trained on the CMP curriculum, you really should take a step back for a minute.

I have taught the CMP curriculum at both the middle and high level for over 5 years now and find it is extremely useful and much better at creating and developing higher thinkers in our students today versus how we learned in the 70's and 80's. I taught the old school method too- so don't think I'm some brainwashed youngin'.

Long story short- the reason you see "can you create an algorithm..." is because when it comes down to it, the method that makes the most sense to you as an individual is the one that you not only will remember, but perform correctly in the future during real life situations.

We were force fed formula after formula, and rarely (if ever) told why and how it came to be. Our students today, through the CMP curriculum, learn the how and why before they ever get the formula, so that later (in higher math classes, science classes, or real life) they can apply their thinking processes and problem solving strategies to problems that we don't have a standard formula for. Back in the day, if we didn't have a formula that we were taught, we couldn't solve it.

My students prove over and over again that sometimes just the thought process is enough and the formula comes naturally, instead of part of a memory recall.

And lastly, the curriculum is designed to be guided by a trained teacher. It is also designed so that students work in groups to investigate math problems to find a solution. It is NOT designed to be able to go home and teach yourself, nor is it full of formulas and basic facts so that mom and dad can just tell a kid how to do it (sometimes incorrectly, which can be impossible to fix!). The investigating process is huge.

If you don't get it, it's because you don't teach it and that's okay. That's why I get paid my pathetic paycheck- because I will teach it, and teach it correctly, so that your child can go on and be successful and make millions. :O)

BlArthurHu said...

There is ONE way to compute area of a circle. It's PI R Squared. And it's not in the book. Anyone who has not been completely brainwashed can recognize that's total bullhockey. In mathematics, there is a standard or best way to do just about everything. And that's the one thing you will NEVER find for anything in CMP. How people with advanced degrees can't figure this out amazes me.

Intelligent people do stupid things all the time. Connected mathematics project proves it.