Prior to adopting Everyday Math (EM) three years ago, our PSSA scores were in the 60-70% range (grades 3-4 only started to “count” recently). During those years, we used several disjointed programs (including a traditional math program called Saxon). The Schick staff researched various math programs and decided to adopt EM. At the end of the first year of teaching EM, we recognized the need to supplement EM with traditional ways of teaching basic math skills (i.e., facts, arithmetic).
Different students learn at different rates and in different ways. That is why we provide them additional opportunities to learn math in various ways. There is not one way to teach math. The strength of traditional math is rote memorization and the ability to automatically recall basic facts. (i.e., Saxon math). Traditional math tended to teach one way to solve a problem, and it usually depended on the teacher’s preference and personal learning style. Traditional math worked well if the teacher’s way of solving the problem matched the students’ learning styles. There was little tolerance for students to solve problems in their own way, even if the student arrived at the correct answer. A large number of students were frustrated and learned to dislike math.
Understanding math concepts and problem-solving are the biggest strengths of EM. Students stay more actively engaged through the use of manipulatives. EM is multi-modal (auditory, visual, kinesthetic). The goal is to teach students to “think” using math, as opposed to rote memorization of algorithms.
Traditional math tends to be passive and primarily auditory, relying heavily on drill and repetition. It is a great way to teach arithmetic. It is less successful at teaching math concepts and problem-solving. EM does not stress drill and repetition which is why we supplement EM with memorization activities. Some students never learn their math facts regardless of which method of teaching math is used. We blend the strengths of EM and traditional math to accommodate different learning styles to reach as many students as possible.
We provide tutoring for students according to their needs. We have made consistent gains in the past two years since adopting EM. (see reverse side). Our students’ performance on standardized assessments is proof positive that our approach to teaching math is working. Visit Everyday Math to learn more.
Everyday Mathematics has developed a section to help parents better understand our program. The Parent’s Corner contains:
- Content Emphasis at each grade level
- Routines at primary and intermediate level
- Background about how the program was developed
- Information on how children learn using EM
The United States Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences recently released their latest What Works Clearinghouse report. The “What Works Clearinghouse” is responsible for researching the effectiveness of programs in various subject areas. Everyday Math was the only program of the five major elementary programs researched that showed, “…potentially positive effects: evidence of a positive effect with no overriding contrary evidence.” Click here to read the report.