CSD # 2 PARENT QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
CUllED FROM PARENT SURVEY AND COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD 2 TESTIMONY
K – 5 (school not identified)
Why is it that my son comes home with no idea on how to go about solving the night’s math problem? I’ve also heard the same from other parents.
Why is there not assigned intense practice of any given topic?
Parents have no way of gauging the child’s progress. We need a math glossary/ vocabulary and a set of written strategies so parents can know the students are learning…The curriculum seems very fragmented
May sound premature for a fifth grader’s parent, but as the world gets “smaller” how does TERC fit in with what other countries are using?
Some school’s tests scores seem (unexpectedly) wildly different from some others that seem on the same “level” – why?
I complained about the math programs to my children’s teachers, principals and math staff developers. Some acknowledge the shortcomings of TERC but say their hands are tied. What you are doing isn’t working !!!
Why not give parents a choice between the progressive program and a more traditional one.
I would like to know if grant money was a major impetus behind the implementation of TERC and CMP
I would like to know if
District 2 will address the fact that prominent mathematicians and scientists
feel TERC and CMP are bad programs! These programs are at the very heart of the
“math wars” and were removed from both
Can you tell me how much time on average do children require playing specifically which games before they can reasonably be expected to master the ‘facts” of multiplication? How does this compare with the time taken to gain mastery when taught by means of rote memorization?
At what stages in a child’s career is she , or he, expected to have acquired mastery of basic skills?
Are the teachers responsible for teaching basics – adding, subtracting, multiplication and division facts? Or, are we as parents supposed to provide that for our children?
I just want the teaching of algorithms to be part of the curriculum. My daughter used to say she wanted to be a mathematician when she grew up. She struggled on the NYS test because she didn’t know the standard procedures. Now she thinks she’s a failure at math. Last year, 50% of the students in the T & G program didn’t make the District 2 cut-off for the SP middle school programs. The directors of eight private schools told me kids from District 2 schools are far behind in math.
I’ve been a math room volunteer for the last eight years. Contrary to popular belief, kids enjoy working with numbers. My heart breaks for the hundreds of kids who fall farther behind each year; the kids who in the words of student teacher, “can explain anything to death, but can’t get the right answer.” For the sake of our children, please let District 2 use math curricula that teach them math.
My daughter, a bright verbal child is completely baffled by the abstract side of TERC. She doesn’t “get it” and has had weekly private tutoring for a year. She needs rules and alternative ways to do math. She needs memorization and rote learning. How does your method address this kind of child’ needs.
My son has been seeing a tutor. He is an above average student, but it was never noticed by the school that he was not understanding the process of TERC. All children can not be expected to learn through one system. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to do some memorization and traditional methods along the way.
Many parents are upset and frustrated that TERC is the sole means of learning. It must be taught and or supplemented by other methods. In particular CALCULATION LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD ! Take a look at national standards, private schools, other public schools ! This is a huge and troubling issue which needs immediate attention.
There seems to be enormous disparities between the math curriculum as it is delivered in different schools.
Math is a gut – it’s kindergarten level. They do their math homework in less than 1 minute. Our teacher says the lesson plans are set by the district and she has little flexibility. Her solution was to suggest that the parents can tutor their child in math fundamental at home. Please help a poor parent understand why this policy is in place. When will out children learn the basics that they need to function in high tech world. Why is math give such a low priority?
I have been concerned about my child’s math for some time. He seems to be involved in activities that make no sense, such as the estimation of simple addition problems. Why is he spending so much time cutting out “measurement rods” of paper?..he would loose them.. he never understood what function was served by these little pieces of paper.
Our child seems very under-challenged in math. The homework seems very simple. What can be done in 5th grade to keep them motivated and challenged.
My son’s math curriculum is very confusing. He is not learning the basics and yet he is being taught concepts which have no meaning without a sound foundation. The result is that he is confused and demoralized. We have been forced to hire a math tutor to cover just the basics, and after only a few lessons he is happy again with mat. He tackles the tutor’s assignments with an eagerness I never see for his regular school math homework. We are loosing the clarity of thought that is the hallmark of math understanding.. I need not add that our children suffer for it, not the parents and not the teachers.
Math, like music, is a process that requires repeated practice , memorization and deeper understanding. Just as it would make no sense to teach a child how to play piano by just teaching music theory, it makes no sense to teach math without utilizing some degree or repetition and practice.
TERC was not recommended by the US DOE’s “Expert Panel for Mathematics.” (Textbooks are)among those qualities that the Panel and the NCTM identify as necessary in a math curriculum: “A good mathematics textbook is almost always an essential element in implementing the curriculum.” TERC has no textbook.
The NCTM advises there should be an ongoing system of assessment, including regular written tests. AS far as I know there is no such system in TERC If a student is absent or doesn’t grasp the material, there is no way of recognizing the gaps in his/her knowledge to address them.
The methods used exclusively in TERC are so time-consuming and take so many steps…There should be a balance between the use of standard algorithms and other strategies to solutions.
At what point if ever will algorithms be taught?
When are kids allowed to use algorithms? How are they prepared for this (middle school)after TERC math ?
Why does the policy regarding teaching standard algorithms change year-to-year and from class-to-class? A few years ago we were absolutely discouraged from teaching our children the standard procedures (we were told it would confuse our children, and impede their progress). Now it appears some teachers are saying they’re important to know. And if that is true, ie that standard algorithms are important to know, why are parents responsible for teaching them?
If we teach only the TERC method our children won’t be prepared for Hunter, Lab, etc. We have seen several kids (very bright) come from PS 234 requiring math tutoring to understand middle school math.
Math is a language and its ability to be understood is based on the algorithms the district seems to de-emphasize. Shouldn’t this language be taught early and practice repeatedly?
My son is in first grade. My son enjoys math but often feels that “it is too easy for him.”
What is the evidence that TERC plus the teaching of standard computational methods does not benefit students?
Why are noted mathematics professors in the NYC area so against TERC ?
Why don’t the children have math workbooks with instruction and some kind of guided examples? Our 5th grader explains that her teacher goes over the homework in class, but since nothing is written by the teacher to refer to later, she frequently doesn't remember. Take the mystery out of this curriculum
We have watched our daughter work on problems, decide correctly which function to use and end up with the wrong answer because she was trying to count out 4 X 5 (for example) instead of knowing “by heart” the solution is 20.
TERC is appropriate for K-3 but woefully insufficient without supplementation. From what we’ve observed CMP is no better. We are leaving CSD #2 in large part because of extreme dissatisfaction with the math curriculum.
Too many parents have pulled their children out of public school in this district and moved them into other districts or private school; or as in our case pay for private tutoring to catch them up with basic skills they should get in elementary school. TERC needs some work!
In TERC, algorithms and practice are discouraged. As any good mathematician or math teacher knows, one first teaches a concept, and once that’s understood, an algorithm is developed to enable one to perform the desired operation. How could a responsible educator say that if a student is unable to multiply or divide large numbers its ok because he or she can use a calculator to find the answer?
I am concerned about the lack of basic computation skills in my child. I also question the effectiveness of student-centered heterogeneous math groups in middle school.
Will the mastery of efficient problem-solving techniques ever be emphasized /promoted alongside an understanding of process?
Does the district realize the number of parents seeking private tutoring ?
As a parents of one daughter who has recently started middle school with a very shaky foundation in basic math – not due to her ability – but most definitely due to the TERC - “count your beans” method; we have a suggestion. We agree that understanding the concepts of each basic function is key, but it needs to be coupled with the ability to have, at their fingertips, the answers to these basic functions, ie coupled with rote memorization.
My child is in 7th grade. His class is currently working in the third of eight booklets in the 7th grade CMP program. (April) This concerns me.
I often do not understand the math instruction my children receive. If they ask for help, I show them my way of dealing with a problem , which is not what their teachers explain.
Sixth graders are asked to find the median of data by folding strips of graph paper.
Last year a group of sixth graders discussed writing to the district o complain that math had been turned into Language Arts 2.