Thursday, October 2, 2008

Everyday Math Sucks

So Girl's school for the past 3 years has been using this Everyday Math program. The logic of it makes sense - for the most part. You essentially learn a topic and come back to it continuously throughout the year. It's not like other programs where you learn it, test it and then never touch it again. That part makes sense. But the way they teach them to do things just seems ridiculous!

Take this problem for example:

Partial-Sums Algorithm

2 6 8
+ 4 8 3
6 0 0
1 4 0
1 1
7 5 1
  1. Add 100s
  2. Add 10s
  3. Add 1s
  4. Add partial sums

Really - you have to go through all that work to get that answer!?! You can't just teach them to carry the number like we learned. (I thought it worked pretty well that way.)

And this one:

Add-Up Algorithm

I really don't think this makes ANY sense! Why make them go through all the extra work?

And then there is the issue of money. The way they have been teaching money is like this:


P = penny
D = dime
N = nickle
Q = quarter


But the problem now lies in that my child can't look at coins and tell what they are because they don't have a P,D,N or Q on it and their not all the same size! They rarely use actual money or pictures of actual money.

So when this problem on her most recent math test came home wrong I couldn't get upset with her. They never actually use coins or pictures of coins for anything - except of course on this test!

She looked at it and figured it was the biggest coin so it had to be a quarter. (And to make it worse the coins really aren't even to scale.)

I'm really struggling with the fact that she isn't learning the basics that everyone has always used. Could you imagine an adult standing in line at the bank trying to add up a deposit slip and have to go through all of this to get an answer?

Does anyone elses kids use this format? Does it make sense to anyone else? If your kids use it, do you and your kids understand it?


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Everyday Math is the worst program ever! People are actually pulling their kids out of school in Maryland over it. If you go to the Washington Post website and google Everyday Math, you might find the article they wrote about it several months ago. It is all educational theory that seems to have been developed by people who have never worked with little kids. Young students do not need to know the why behind math - it just confuses most of them. They just need to learn to do it, and after they do it for a while they start understanding the principles behind it.

If you want to give your daughter something reasonable to work with, order the A Beka math workbook for her grade. (or the grade below, they tend to be a little advanced) Very basic, very simple, and they give lots of practice....

ChiTown Girl said...

OMG!! I HATE Everyday Math!!! I teach in the Chicago Public Schools System, and we adopted this horrid program about 5 years ago. It's the worst program I've ever seen in my nearly 20 years of teaching!!!! I'm so sorry your daughter is stuck with it! My suggestion would be to just show her the "right" way to do things when you have time. Sadly, she'll have to keep doing it this stupid way for school.

I'm so glad I clicked over from another blog! You are beautiful by the way, even in those silly yearbook pictures! I'll be saying a prayer that your husband makes it home safe and sound.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

This is, indeed, the most asinine method for most people. To be fair, there are a number of ways of learning but that just means a curriculum (and teacher) should take them into account - not hammer on just one method.

Bah. Best of luck!

Michelle said...

For some reason my bloglines JUST NOW updated that you had 10 new posts! All this time I didn't think there were any posts from you because bloglines wasn't showing anything new!

Anyway, our previous next door neighbor was a Kindergarten assistant and we were talking to her one day about Kayla going to K etc...somehow we got on the topic of what they teach and she mentioned this Everyday Math program; she was explaining how addition and subtraction was different and tried to explain how it was done. She lost me! I said what? you don't carry the number over? There's a different way to add? LOL I didn't understand how she was explaining it and forgot about it until this post! Now I see it from your pictures and whoa! That makes no sense at all! Then I see from your first commenter that yes this is how it's taught in MD! Ugh, we're going to be there next year! I remember telling our neighbor, so I have to learn a different way of adding/subtracting now so I can make sure I'm teaching Kayla the same way? I just don't understand how this is supposed to be any better...why change it around? And if so many teachers and parents don't like it why are they continuing to use it?

Cynda said...

I agree with Suburban Correspondent. Order A Beka math. It is the best and gets you right to the point. The schools are really doing our kids an injustice by dumbing things down. They think they can't tell the presidents apart so they don't ever try.

Jessica said...

Wow, that is crazy. Are you homeschooling? I use Rod and Staff, but it's also my first year so I don't have a lot to compare to. I have a lot of friends who use Math U See.

robin_titan said...

I agree with you I hate that program!

actually I have math in general so anything, including programs, having to do with math I automatically hate haha

MelADramatic Mommy said...

So far we haven't had to do this and thank goodness for that! Who thought of that? It seems to make it much more difficult than need be. I'm still trying to figure out the second problem!(Second comment for giveaway)

Anonymous said...

What??? I have a BS degree and I could not even figure out those problems. I am glad I live in the South where we do not have all that "higher" math. HAHA. This is my extra comment. Stacy.
mcginnis135 at bellsouth dot net

Mommy Mary said...

haha glad I'm not the only one to find this post so late..
That is one of the many reasons I'm hs'ing my girls

Anonymous said...

GRRR...I HATE EVERYDAY MATH!!! Our schools have used it for 3 years now and I am continuously needing to re-teach at home the skills they SHOULD be learning. over and over my kids say "Oh so THAT is how it is supposed to work, your way makes sense" and I am just teaching them from old curriculum materials I was given by retiring teacher friends.

Anonymous said...

THe program stinks for us because it lacks repetition which is needed for my little learner. I never saw them go over enough rote facts of skip counting then the throw huge numbers at them. The private school we are in uses it as well as the public school. I am at my wit's end!

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