Everyday Math: Sucks

What math curriculum did your district adopt? Mine adopted Everyday Math. Explain something to me; why do we need to adopt new curricular materials if none of us use them anyway? Actually I know the answer. Because all teachers need to teach the same thing, the same way, because research has shown that teaching all children the same thing, the same way, works better than tailoring the curriculum to the kids' needs.

No? What? I am wrong on that? Jebus. I thought my job was to try to teach as many of my students as possible as much as possible in the best way possible. Oh well. Silly me.

Everyday Math for 2nd graders begins with money. That's right, money. Not place value which is the foundation for what will be the major focus of 2nd grade math. And for the money unit I am supposed to ask kids to bring in coins! The district spent I don't know how many thousands of dollars on the new curriculum, and we have to ask poor kids to bring in change. We suck.

And then there are the "math coaches" who are there to help. In our math meeting today our coach told us the district has not yet figured out what assessments we will be using. The coach does not know if or when all teachers will get the materials that have not shown up yet. The coach does not know how we are going to share the materials (1 set for 2 classes), but that is our problem.

We were given an assignment by the coach: the scavenger hunt activity the faculty engaged in consisted of a couple pieces of paper with questions like; where do you find the ELL support in the teacher materials? The principal, who hates me so she sat next to me, couldn't find any of the stuff on the scavenger hunt list. Why? No, she is not stupid. It is that the materials are made for teachers, which means the Everyday math folks can sell us training sessions on how to use their unnecessarily complicated teacher guide (all teacher guides are like this, so, very few people use them, and the are simply overkill anyway).

The sequence of Everyday Math is out of whack, the daily lessons and activities--that must be followed--are less robust than what I do now. When I told my principal that I thought there were a few very powerful but simple things we could do to make our instruction more "regular" among grades, like using academic language, she agreed that would be good. I said considering everone is complaining about the new adoption, and it is no different that what it is replacing, and it is too complicated for anyone to put to good use this year, why don't we make a couple changes that are simple and powerful. Principal said we need to get on board with the new curriculum because not all teachers can handle the academic language on their own.

Okay. Fine. I guess most teachers are stupid, and we need scripted curricular materials. Except that some of us don't. Did I mention my scores?

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