friday, January 16, 2009

Doing my research…myself

Just wanted to share with you my reading and study on math. Lest anybody think I get all my info from the Ed Center, the truth is I actually get very little over there. Sure, I’m receiving updates from the Math Planning Team, but those aren’t too detailed. Mr. Vallerini and Mrs. Lenhard are the Board Members on the Curriculum Committee, so they are more involved with them. I’m sure I could get all kinds of materials at the Ed Center, but my style is to do my own research. Below is a list of what I’ve been reading the past year or so (approximately 90% of this was sourced be me directly…the advantage of self-employment is plenty of time to surf the web…some of them are on my shelf waiting to be read ASAP).

Please suggest any reading you think I should be doing!

in no particular order (list updated 1/17/09)…

Books

The Equation for Excellence: How to Make Your Child Successful at Math (Vohra)

Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math without Breaking a Nail (McKellar)

Math for humans: Teaching Math through 8 Intelligences (Wahl)

Math Wars: A Guide for Parents & Teachers (Latterell)

Standards-Based School Mathematics Curricula: What are they? What Do Students Learn? (Studies in Mathematical Learning), (Senk & Thompson)

What’s Math Got to Do with It? (Boaler)

What Successful Math Teachers Do. (Posamentier)

Articles & Reports

“A Formula to End the Divide,” Posamentier, Bergen Record, 6/19/07

“Abandoning traditional math approach doesn’t add up.” Posamentier, Bergen Record, 6/11/08

“How Does it Add Up?” Views on Math Education.” Posamentier. Education Update, Inc.

“Where Has All the Knowledge Gone?”, Boaler, Education Week, 10/8/08

“Reaching for Common Ground in K-12 Mathematics Education,” Ball, et al., Notices of the AMS, 10/05

“Study Suggests Math Teachers Scrap Balls and Slices,” Chang. NY Times 4/25/08

“Report Urges Changes in Teaching Math,” Lewin. NY Times 3/14/08

“Clarifying Misconceptions about Investigations in Number, Data and Space,” Prince William County Schools Mathematics Focus Group

“Are We Failing Our Geniuses?,” Cloud. Time. 8/16/07

“10 Myths (Maybe) About Learning Math,” Mathews. Washington Post. 5/31/05

“Learning from Singapore Math,” Leinwand & Ginsburg. Educational Leadership, 11/07

“On Professional Judgment and the National Mathematics Advisory Panel Report: Curricular Content,” Thompson. Educational Researcher, 12/08

Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel

Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2006

Websites

What Works Clearinghouse, U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences

Mathematically Correct

Mathematically Sane

Math Panel Watch

National Assessment of Educational Progress Mathematics Study 2003

Math Forum at Drexel University

Posted by Laurie Goodman at 1:11 AM

Labels: math

6 comments:

She is well read.

18 January 2009at3pmYou can look at the work by William Quirk Ph.D.. Very interesting and informative..

18 January 2009at4pmWell, if she has been reading, she needs help with her comprehension.

18 January 2009at10pmHey, math geeks.

Help me out here, isn’t “mathematically sane” the web site run by that lunatic who got kicked off the Drexel blog. His name was David something.

I think he revamped his web site so that his name doesn’t come up any more.

18 January 2009at10pmWell Laurie, with all that you have read, what’s your opinion (Yes, not of the Board, etc.)? Should you vote to approve more reform math programs or do you think traditional math best serves the needs of our children? You must certainly have figured out an answer to this question.

19 January 2009at12amShe’s a blowhard…

19 January 2009at1pmLaurie,

I wish you all the best with your research. I’m concerned, however, that you are having a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff.

This is not so complicated; it’s made to seem so as a smokescreen because this camouflage is one way the education industry (a mental as well as physical monopoly) protects itself from the imposition of higher standards from those looking in on it.

All this boils down to is a fight between maintaining higher standards (traditional math) and administrators needing to secure the breathing room to lower standards (reform math) so the available teacher pool actually looks better on paper.

With reform math, you can designate, say, a social studies teacher to teach math. All that person would have to do is follow explicit instructions, or their program training, or rely on the computer guidance for each class lesson.

Teaching traditional math requires much, much more. The teacher would actually have to know math and would need to have the experience and intelligence to use various methods to ensure that their students get it and can execute the work independently.

Granted, we don’t have an overflow of teachers in this latter category, hence the “dire necessity” for educators to come up with a reform math shift to our education platform. For them, it’s shift or die. For our kids, it’s shift and die.

Laurie, it’s the politics at work here. It’s not really about math at all. If it were just about math, then math would be taught using traditional methods with a sprinkling of new approaches as individual students require them.

Step away from your research and look at the much bigger picture. Then you will understand the role you are playing in either encouraging educators to take the easy way out, or to strive for much higher ground.

Be prepared for them “not to like you” if you choose to hold them to higher standards.

The question then becomes, are you up to that task?

So, who are you Laurie? One of Them or one of Us?

19 January 2009at4pmyes the cover up and smoke screen ….dumb dumb math is for dumb dumb’s

19 January 2009at5pmwhat do you care your kids are all going to live in subsidized housing and collect food stamps …great way to prepare for the future

19 January 2009at5pmlooks like laurie suporters are swamping the blog….lol

19 January 2009at9pmok so you read a book once ,what did you learn?

19 January 2009at9pmThe moderator refuses to post positive comments about Laurie. Shame on you PJ. You must have honed your trade at Fox News.

19 January 2009at10pmMs. Goodman doesn’t seem to understand the difference between reading and research. Research involves detailed analysis to uncover new information or new understanding.

She should be reading and analyzing our middle school NJASK math scores which are published on the district web site.

The percentage of our 7th graders who achieved advanced proficiency (PAP) is 8.5 points below the mean of their DFG peers (J)! Last year, as 6th graders, they were 5.5 points below the mean. As 5th graders, they were 5.6 points above the mean, and as 4th graders they were 7.6 points above the mean. This cohort experienced a drop of more than 16 points in three years.

Our 6th graders are 2.9 points below the mean. Last year they were 3.7 points below the mean, and as 4th graders, they were 7.3 points above the mean. This is a drop of more than 10 points in two years.

The trends are clear. Our children’s math performance is in steep decline, and there is a definite correlation between this decline and the introduction of Regina’s sub-standard math programs.

Here’s another way to view these trends. In this 7th grade class there are approximately 37 fewer students achieving PAP, than would be expected from an average J district. But as 4th graders in 2005, this same class had approximately 33 more students achieving PAP than the average. This performance shift of 70 students is dramatic, a clear signal that something is very wrong.

A “reader” will simply read Regina’s report and accept her assessment that we are doing well, and that there is opportunity for growth. A “researcher” will know how to interpret the data intelligently, recognize the need for a change, and declare the Ridgewood Math Experiment a failure.

So, Ms. Goodman, are you a reader or a researcher?

19 January 2009at11pm503 say something about laurie that shows she is working for the betterment of our kids education and stop the silly politicking….

19 January 2009at11pm