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    #48077 - 05/22/09 06:31 AM Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch?
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Sorry about the long title. We're in the process of going through a lengthy testing with dd#2. I'll update on that as we continue to get in results, but as of the two IQ tests she's taken thus far (one last year and one recently), we have reason believe that she is at least HG. She is having a really horrible school year in 3rd for a variety of reasons and not performing much above average in school, however.

    Some of these issues will go away next year in that she will have a different teacher. One that won't however is a bad mismatch with the math curriculum. The district she is in uses everyday math which just doesn't work for dd. At this point, she thinks that she is bad at math and she hates it. I am actually pretty sure that math is one of her stronger suits if it is taught to her in a different way.

    The main issue seems to be that they introduce multiple ways to do something all at once and expect the children to learn them all before getting one down. For instance, they learned lattice method, partial products, and traditional multiplication all at once as soon as they were introduced to multi-digit multiplication. The traditional method was shown like once and then dropped while the other two were expected to be mastered together. The traditional method is the one that makes the most sense to dd, but she is marked wrong if she uses it b/c she isn't using the method they are asking for. It is too much info all at once and not the way she learns.

    I know what the 4th grade curriculum looks like b/c dd#1 was in that grade last year and it is not going to work any better for dd#2. It's mostly a repeat of 3rd grade material.

    We have two school options next year:

    1) keep her where she is with a better fit of a teacher, but the same curriculum issues
    2) send her to a nearby school in our home district that doesn't use EM.

    The pros of #1:
    * known teacher for 4th whom we like and have a good relationship with
    * continuity
    The negatives of #2:
    * the EM curriculum
    * despite an IQ in the HG+ range she won't get a GT label or qualify for GT services b/c her achievement scores have sunk like a rock this year and she needs a math achievement score in the 98th+ percentile to be subject accelerated and a reading achievement score in the 95th+ percentile to go to the TAG reading class next year. This is going to be really tough on her self image b/c she already feels stupid and it will make her feel badly that she doesn't qualify for things her sister did. She's a pretty competitive kid.

    The pros of #2:
    * they don't use EM
    * she would track with the kids from this school to middle school
    * same school breaks as her sister, who is in this district for middle school
    The negatives of #2:
    * this would be her fourth elementary
    * in talking with parents whose kids go there, they feel the following:
    - the principal can't admit when she's made a hiring mistake, so poor teachers don't leave
    - the school, while IB PYP, isn't as academically challenging as our neighborhood school (which we didn't find challenging at all and is less challenging than the school dd#2 attends now). I worry about her making little academic progress, which is already a concern.

    I'm trying to come up with other options as well. If these were your two choices, do you know what you'd pick, though?
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    #48079 - 05/22/09 07:00 AM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: Cricket2]
    twomoose Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/05/08
    Posts: 127
    Don't get me started on the topic of lattice multiplication...grrr....
    But, for all the detractors of EM, my kids have done well with it. I agree it is very confusing to introduce more than one way to multiply. DD used to ask me which way to solve a multiplication problem, to which I would reply, "Just multiply will you?!" I have spoken with several math teachers who agree it is confusing, although one of them said that truly some kids don't understand the traditional algorithm and lattice works better for them. Hmmmm...
    There are no easy answers regarding which school would be better. We are in a similar position (moving DD for a better math curriculum but would be different breaks from DS, versus continuity of friends and fine arts at the current school). We are leaning towards continuity/stability, even though we know she would be additionally accelerated in math (but the "other" school doesn't offer language arts acceleration that she will get at her present school). There are trade-offs everywhere.

    Could you tutor her in math over the summer to get her up to speed, then re-take achievement testing in the Fall? I know this is difficult - I sympathize.

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    #48085 - 05/22/09 07:48 AM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: twomoose]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Originally Posted By: twomoose
    Could you tutor her in math over the summer to get her up to speed, then re-take achievement testing in the Fall? I know this is difficult - I sympathize.

    Unfortunately, no. We ran into this with dd#1 when she was a 4th grader. Her MAPS math score was in the 97th percentile -- 1 percentile too low to be accelerated -- and they don't redo the MAPS test until too late in the fall to make a difference on placement for that year. By the time they retest achievement in the fall, they won't rearrange placements for that school year. Her scores from this spring pretty much sink any chances she has of getting GT placement for math at least.

    Reading may be more flexible, although I think that math is innately her stronger subject. She was in the 99.7th percentile on verbal on the WISC, though, so I don't imagine that she has a verbal weakness. She just isn't reading tremendously above grade level and has some issues with writing conventions (run on sentences, poor punctuation...) We're trying to rule out learning disabilities (2E) with the testing as well.
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    #48091 - 05/22/09 09:22 AM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: Cricket2]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Quote:
    * known teacher for 4th whom we like and have a good relationship with


    This would sway me the most! smile

    Does the school have the information about her WISC? Keeping her out of GT classes because she missed the cutoff by 1 percentile? Uuugh! Hopefully the retesting will help show what she needs.

    Thanks for the information about EM. That's what they're using in DD7's school. My biggest complaint so far is that the level/pace has been too low/slow. We've been working around it with afterschooling and supplemental workbooks that I sent in.

    You might find these links interesting about EM
    http://ednews.org/articles/one-step-ahead-of-the-train-wreck.html
    http://www.hoover.org/publications/ednext/3853357.html

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    #48093 - 05/22/09 09:32 AM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: inky]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Originally Posted By: inky
    Does the school have the information about her WISC?

    Yes. Her current teacher has expressed the opinion that it is falsely high b/c she is sure that she isn't gifted. The school counselor has told me that her high scores (WISC and the few times MAPS have been high) are possibly due to "good guessing."
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    #48095 - 05/22/09 09:53 AM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: Cricket2]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    Now I remember from the RIAS thread. "Good guessing"...Grrrr mad

    I'd probably still go for the known good teacher but fight hard to get her into GT classes. I'd also afterschool math this summer with something that works better for her than EM.

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    #48096 - 05/22/09 09:58 AM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: Cricket2]
    twomoose Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/05/08
    Posts: 127
    Well, Cricket, many gifted kids are good guessers, as in, making good inferences. I wouldn't dismiss a kid who guessed well enough to get a high WISC score.

    I'm aware of the controversy about EM. Several newer math programs try to get away from memorization/standard algorithms and towards a conceptual approach. Just google "fuzzy math" and you'll get more of the same criticisms. All I can say is that so far, DD11 and DS5 are excelling in math - not sure if that's in spite of or because of EM.

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    #48098 - 05/22/09 10:22 AM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: twomoose]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    I'm not trying to lambast everyday math across the board. It may work well for some kids. It just isn't a good fit for my kid.
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    #48104 - 05/22/09 10:45 AM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: Cricket2]
    Belle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/15/08
    Posts: 435
    I remember a few years ago when I used to teach, our county was looking at a new Math series and Everyday Math was one of the curriculums that was looked at. Every single grade level teacher that was on the textbook committee really did NOT like Everyday Math at all. I don't think any single teacher even had something nice to say about it - so needless to say, that wasn't looked at any further :-)

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    #48143 - 05/22/09 07:40 PM Re: Would you move a child b/c of curriculum mismatch? [Re: Belle]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Well, I had a conversation with the GT coordinator at school#2 today and they use Investigations Math at that school, which is another fuzzy math curriculum. I am probably going to just have to spend some time w/ dd this summer reviewing more traditional math and giving her more advanced material if we are ever to hope to have her match her ability with achievement.

    School 2 will not consider subject acceleration for math. For reading and math they just basically group w/in the classroom (doesn't everyone?) and the GT teacher comes into the class and works with small groups of kids. That is totally inadequate IMHO, but that's one of the reasons we left our neighborhood school in the first place, so not surprising. That aside, school#2 is new and small in dd's grade and has few GT identified kids as a result. Thus, the GT coordinator felt that she'd have more time to devote to dd there.

    Honestly, our current school has a better GT program. Unfortunately dd doesn't qualify for it.
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