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Use the Web Code found in your Pearson textbook to access supplementary online resources. Open Letters to Reformers I DON’T Know. At the NCTM conference last year I attended a talk by Scott Baldridge, lead author of the Eureka math curriculum, which is also called EngageNY in New York. Education Week recently compared different math curricula to see which were truly ‘aligned’ to the common core and only Eureka math had top scores. Eureka math had top scores. Look at all the green blocks for Eureka in the infographic below!
We always hear from common core supporters, including even Randi Weingarten, that the common core is wonderful — it’s just that darned implementation that is spoiling its reputation. So if this Eureka math is the one that is the purest interpretation of the common core, well, then it surely will be superior to anything we’ve seen in the math classroom up until now. After a few minutes of listening to Baldridge it was clear that he was a very passionate man who took a lot of pride in the curriculum that he and his team developed. It was also clear that he knew very little about crafting good lessons. His master vision reminded me a bit of the kinds of things I would think about before I became an actual teacher and learned so much about pacing and about the sorts of things that get students motivated to learn and retain math. Eureka publishing — wouldn’t ya know it? I’m certain that this is a curriculum devised by amateurs.
First of all, some lessons are full of errors. Second, some lessons are unnecessarily boring, and third, some lessons are unnecessarily confusing. I should note that I have not gone through every module in every grade. I also did not search through to cherry pick examples that were particularly bad. I just randomly picked some important topics to see how they covered them and either I just happened to find the only four bad lessons in my first four tries or there are so many flawed lessons in this project that randomly selecting a bad one is quite likely. It’s a bit like evaluating a singer and the first few songs you listen to are out of tune.
How many more do you have to listen to before you can safely assume that this is not someone with a lot of talent? On the second page, they introduce the concept of raising a negative number to a positive integer. Yet, here all over lesson one module one for 8th grade EngageNY teacher’s edition, we see this mistake. Screen shot 2015-05-17 at 11. Screen shot 2015-05-17 at 12. They are choosing to imply the parentheses.
Isn’t this just a notational thing? Maybe, but there are two more oddities. Student Outcomes’ written at the beginning of the lesson. Screen shot 2015-05-17 at 8. The second bizarre part is that they are not even consistent since out of the twenty times that this concept is presented, eighteen times are incorrect while in two places it is correct. So Tim is allowed to write it incorrectly, but Josie and Arnie are not. How is the student to know what he or she should do on this issue?
To make matters worse, these lessons have been up for two years and this error has not been corrected even though it would be quite easy to simply upload a corrected file to the website. Does this mean that nobody reported this to them? Or are teachers following this lesson because they are supposed to? But it definitely is a bad sign when curriculum authors can make such a basic mistake. It is much more likely that we are dealing with incompetent curriculum authors than that it was just a careless error. Informal Proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.
The Pythagorean Theorem might be the most famous thing in all of elementary math. Throughout history cultures from around the world have independently discovered and proved the curious fact that in a right triangle, the longest side is always equals to the square root of the sum of the squares of the two smaller sides. I do appreciate that they want to begin the unit with an informal proof, of which there are hundreds. The one they chose to use was once that required a lot of computation and manipulation of symbols and would probably fall flat on a group of 8th graders. Screen shot 2015-05-18 at 11.
It’s not that I don’t like this proof. I just think that if you’re advising the entire country on which visual proof of the Pythagorean Theorem to use, this, from a pedagogical point of view, is not the ideal one. Also the pacing is off since in one lesson the teacher is supposed to guide the students through an involved proof of the theorem and then also do a bunch of questions practicing the theorem. This is too much for one lesson which will result in the students likely not understanding the proof or how to apply the theorem. The examples remind me of something out of an old workbook from the 1960s.
We’ve got the magic bullet right here; they introduce the concept of raising a negative number to a positive integer. I think if Archimedes were still alive, we may still be able to cut our losses. Similarity in CCSS based on dilations, we went with Eureka because they said it wa all about discovery and stories in math. What Scott Baldridge and his financial backers claim for Eureka Math is not the responsibility of the people who wrote the Common Core, i never showed it to anyone, use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract. S: After we drop 9 fingers, these lessons have been up for two years and this error has not been corrected even though it would be quite easy to simply upload a corrected file to the website. If you have any specific advice, but shouldn’t be the end all and be all of our math program.