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Everyday Math

By Murray Bourne, 31 Jan 2006

The article Go figure - "Everyday Math" shows there's more than one way to solve a problem, but it has parents lost in translation [which is no longer available] demonstrates two things:

  • Mathematics education is one extended experiment
  • Parents never have a clue what is going on in schools - especially in math

In the approach described, I like:

  • the use of manipulatives,
  • encouraging alternative approaches and
  • emphasis on number

However, from the article, it all seems rather disorganised.

It's called Everyday Math, a reform curriculum developed by the University of Chicago in the 1980s and now used by nearly 3 million students throughout the United States.

One alternative strategy:

For example, a child adding 326 to 575 would first add the hundreds column, then the tens, then the ones, then add up the results, a foreign strategy for many adults.

Students have a lot of difficulty with algebra when they have not mastered basic number skills. And those number skills must be couched in real-life problems.

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