Friday, January 29, 2010

KUOW Wants Your Input On Math Curriculum

I had had an e-mail exchange with KUOW on this issue but Dan got the information about their upcoming story. So here it is if you are interested and want to participate and/or listen:

In preparation for a segment to air on Feb 3, KUOW wants to hear from you.

KUOW has an item that they want parents to tell them about experiences with "Discovering" math textbooks and other inquiry-based math education.

They need to hear from you by Wednesday morning. They're asking for input from parents, students, teachers, and "other," but you have to be at least 13 years old to submit.

Go to and click on the light bulb on the home page.

The light bulb is beside:

What's your experience with the new math textbooks?

Do you have a child in school who is using the new "Discovering Mathematics" textbooks? What is your experience with inquiry-based math education? Answer this question


ArchStanton said...

Note also that they are asking about levies right below it:

School levies: what are the issues in your community?

School districts across the state are preparing for votes on levies and bond measures. It's not the greatest time. With a recession dragging on, people are naturally tax-averse. Not all levies are new taxes. Some are renewals of taxes that were approved when times were better.

If you have a levy on your ballot, how do you plan to vote? What are the issues?

mkd said...

My comments on math: Saxon or Singapore. I just started tutoring six new elementary kids because they all FAILED math, two in the second grade.

Since multiple schools and different teachers are involved, I have to assume that the content failed the kids and not the other way around.

LG said...

Here is what I wrote to KUOW:

I used to teach HS math, I majored in math, and I can tell that the inquiry-based math books are building up some terrific concepts. In Integrated I my daughter did some exercise that calculated the second derivative of equations, though they didn't call it that. (Derivatives are first-semester calculus.) Also that year she had a fabulous teacher who actually TAUGHT MATH. Other teachers have interpreted "discovery" to mean that they shouldn't teach anything, perhaps because they didn't know how and weren't trained.

I tutor at the Columbia City library's homework help sessions. Almost everyone there is a first or second generation immigrant. They are lost with the level of English involved, and is there no way that their parents could help them.

Even the parents of my daughter's friends who did well in HS math and speak English fluently often can't make sense of the textbook questions. You really have to have a very sophisticated understanding of and familiarity with math to be able to help children with these books.

I would love for our math education to be up to the level of these textbooks, but it's just not there.

Rose M said...

At the Roosevelt Choice Night one math teacher told parents that Roosevelt preferred the Unified texts they used previously. He said that he can work with the Discovery texts by adding much additional calculation practice. He also said that they were applying for a waiver to use the same texts as the UW for pre-calc and AP classes. He thinks they cover more material in depth.

He also answered a question about the difference between Calculus AB & BC compared to college courses. He said the main difference is that the UW does not allow use of graphing calculators, but high schools use them because students are not capable of doing the calculations manually.

Shannon said...

I commented that my problem is that they don't give my son the depth and mastery of the work. Also, I am frequently unable to help him with homework mysteries because apparently my approach "Is not how we are supposed to do that!"

Central Mom said...

Report from a recent Alt School open house (not mentioned to preserve the little autonomy they have)...parents told flat out by principal that they do not use the District K-5 textbooks. They sit in the classroom in case of a surprise audit. And yes, the school is meeting testing standards in math. Apparently this testimony was met w/ much happiness from parents at the Open House and is a selling point for the school.