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Discussion Starter #1
We petitioned for my second grader to have math subject acceleration for next year. She aced the third grade state achievement test, and scored 99.8% on the total test of the KeyMath 3 Diagnostic Assessment. We have percentile scores and scaled scores for each subsection (16-19 on each).<br><br>
{Skip to the end if my verbage is too much}<br>
She has been recommended for acceleration, but we have no other details as to the amount of acceleration. I understand that her school gives kids in the gifted program does both grade 4th and 5th together in the 4th grade as a matter of course, doing pre-algebra in 5th grade. DD is not currently in the gifted program because of the district requirements of both 95%ile achievement and IQ>127. She blew the IQ out of the water, but performed 89%ile total battery for the end-of-second-grade achievement test in December. We are awaiting scores from the second shot at the achievement tests given in April.<br><br>
I suspect given some of the other notes in this report that they will push that she not be put in the gifted program for 4th grade math next year. DH and I agree that the gifted 4/5 accelerated math is appropriate. The report commented that she spent 25 minutes on one problem multiplying fractions. Turns out she was figuring out in her head how to do it -- she'd never seen it before.<br><br>
Reading the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FDeveloping-Math-Talent-Educating-Advanced%2Fdp%2F1593631596%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1274222394%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">CTY</a> book on subject acceleration, it recommends that acceleration occur for 95%ile for in grade tests, and >85%ile for above level testing. It also recommends having testing that gives a median grade level equivalent. I understand from reading what I can find on the web that KeyMath 3 does produce a median grade level equivalent score, though that has not been included on our report. I suspect having this information will certainly help in making the case for the gifted 4/5 class next year.<br><br><b>question 1</b>: Anyone know how to translate "Scaled scores" or percentile by grade to a median grade level equivalent?<br><br><b>question 2</b>: Any experience with a two-grade subject acceleration spread over a year?
 

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Just so I understand (I have a hard time understanding and interpreting test results. Definitely not my strong point!), she is in 2nd grade now, will be 3rd in the fall, and with her math is functioning on a 5th grade level? And, you are asking that she be accelerated in math to the gifted 4/5 (is it a multiage class?) class? Honestly, that sounds very reasonable. It allows her to stay with her age-mates for most subjects (something I have found that school administrations are disproportionately keen on), while still getting her academic needs met. It is CLEAR that even grade level differentiation is not going to cut the mustard for her in math.<br><br>
I think that schools freak out a bit when a kid shows such disproportionate progress to their age. I think they panic and go back to a much more vague stance of not accelerating due to "social/emotional concerns." They seem to fail to see that by meeting their academic needs, they will also be giving the kids confidence and self esteem, which will, invariably trickle down to social confidence. They see them as a single need, when, really, academic needs are separate. It's frustrating to articulate, and it is like trying to grab hold of a stream of water.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm trying to figure out what these scaled scores mean in terms of grade level performance. We have the scaled score and percentile, but not the grade level equivalent. I suspect that everything but addition+subtraction (lowest subtest score) will be operating at a grade 5+ level, but I don't have those scores.<br><br>
Options are 4th grade math in one of the typical 4th grade classes, or gifted 4th grade math that does grades 4&5 together in one year.<br><br>
The gifted 4/5 class is for 4th graders in the gifted program, with about 8 kids in the room. DD will be in third grade, and because we didn't hold her back a year for being young-for-grade in a district where parents hold >1/3 of all students out a year, she will be more than 2 years younger than several kids in the math class either way.<br><br>
I'm not concerned about the social aspect. I think the accelerated option will be a good thing for her socially for other reasons. I know the school will be concerned, but we're building the case for her at the moment.<br><br>
I am a tad leery of the prospect of sending my 10 year old to the jr high for algebra. It's probably unjustified, because I understand that part of this KeyMath test was an algebra readiness test, which she passed handily.
 

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Ok, I understand you, now. It really sounds like the gifted 4th for math, covering 2 years of math in one year would really be ideal for your daughter.<br><br>
As far as the social aspect, the things that helped us to convince the school district to if not agree that this was the best course, at least to stop resisting it, were to assure them that we were aware of the implications for her in the long run, to give her specific examples where she has integrated as equals with older children (brownies, swim lessons, out of school friends), as well as shoot down every single argument they had where they claimed to observe "immature" or age appropriate behavior (like when they claimed that she was timid when she started with the 1st grade reading group, but admitted that she settled in nicely after a few weeks, I turned that around and asked them who wouldn't be a bit shy and timid in a brand new situation.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">). In short, they were putting their own insecurities onto her, when she, in reality is just fine. They also took her apparent happiness as a sign of intellectual stimulation. On the flip side, I'm sure that if she had acted out her frustration in any way, that would have been turned on us as an indication that she wasn't mature enough as well. It's like proving a negative. They took my concerns that being differentiated to such a degree within the classroom as being isolating in and of itself as being silly and unjustified. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><br><br>
Interestingly, they backed down pretty quickly when I would ask for SPECIFIC examples that indicated that she wouldn't thrive in a different classroom.<br><br>
As far as scaling the scores, I only have my kids' MAPS scores to go on. Both of my two big kids scored about the same on the tests. For Emily, they were saying that she was around 95-98% for end of 2nd grade English (literacy, etc.). That same score equated to around 55% for 3rd grade English. I could not tell you, though, if that would translate across tests and grade levels, though.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Geofizz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422985"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am a tad leery of the prospect of sending my 10 year old to the jr high for algebra. It's probably unjustified, because I understand that part of this KeyMath test was an algebra readiness test, which she passed handily.</div>
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Ostensibly she'll continue with kids she already knows?<br><br>
In high school I attended a <a href="http://www.kamsconline.com/about" target="_blank">selective high schoo</a>l for math/science. I was on a college prep plan (took calc in 12th grade), but was not nearly as talented as Karen. However, there was a group of students (maybe 10 out of 75?) who had taken pre-algebra and then algebra as a group and then took calc in 9th grade. They traveled as a group and were quite close friends, even when they had other friends from other sources.<br><br><br>
WTG Geofizz and Mr Geofizz for continuing to advocate for your child. I suspect an incredible giftedness in math is trickier to handle in a classroom setting than the same in language arts --- teachers are more comfortable with stuffing a new book in the kids' hand and calling it instruction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gah!<br><br>
So I just got off the phone with the intervention specialist.<br><br>
The "normal" trajectory for gifted math kids (10-13 kids at our school out of 120-130 per grade) is:<br>
*4th grade gifted math they call "replacement math" goes through 4th grade fast, and spends most of the year on 5th grade math.<br>
*5th grade gifted math is then 6th grade Everyday Math<br>
*6th grade does *pre*algebra at the middle school<br>
*7th is algebra<br><br>
DD appears to have finally qualified for gifted based on this spring's achievement scores, which evidently makes the discussion a bit easier.<br><br>
The IS is thinking "replacement math" is the right class for DD, but we need to talk about the pros and cons in the meeting next week, including how the classroom is structured, and her biggest concern is DD's processing speed in such an environment where kids are really fast. She sees this as an aspect of DDs age. She mentioned being impressed with DDs sticking to a single problem 4 times in one 10 minute conversation. She seems to be holding up the gifted teacher as the source of the roadblock there.<br><br>
We will have to have an intervention meeting every single year to evaluate. Yuck.<br><br>
They have not had any kids doing subject acceleration lately. There was one potential 5th grader this year, but the family decided against it because he'd have to miss part of recess to get to the middle school a block away.<br><br>
I am significantly more comfortable with DD doing prealgebra in 5th than I was with algebra. It's still a kind of irrational discomfort either way.<br><br>
The IS could not give me a grade level equivalent for Keymath or an above grade level percentile. According to the publisher, that's not true - it can provide both. However, none of the topics DD missed on the Keymath test are at the 3rd grade level. Most are 4th, 5th or beyond.<br><br>
So we're getting there.<br><br>
All will be decided next Wednesday.<br><br>
On having kids she knows when going to the Jr high for math, it appears as though she'll be in the general population, and about 3/4 of all kids at the jr high take prealgebra by 8th grade, so she won't be with a cohort.
 

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Everyday Mathematics is garbage mathematics. It is not suited to gifted kids, to average kids, or to below average kids. It teaches topics without logical order, and places a high value on group work and verbose explanations of things that should be straightforward mathematical thinking. It does not offer sufficient practice to develop automaticity with calculation, and it does not offer difficult problems to practice problem solving skills.<br><br>
I would accept the "replacement math" class that the school is offering. But I would purchase the Singapore Math curriculum and use it every day at home for 45 minutes. If your child is gifted in math, then they need instruction that emphasizes abstract familiarity with numbers and problem solving.<br><br>
There is a placement test on the Singapore website. When you finish the 6B textbook and workbook, you can move on to the Art of Problem Solving curricula. These are designed to foster mathematical thinking for middle school and older students.<br><br>
I would love to say that there is an accommodation that the school could make that will prepare your child for her eventual college career and beyond. But most schools do not, and if your school uses Everyday Mathematics, it's not a good sign. So get ready to do a lot of fun afterschooling, and accept whatever changes the school will make. Your DD will need your help to reach a science or math career--if you rely on the school, she will be disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can rant about EM with the best of them. That's not the topic of my thread here. EM is a fact of life in all schools within 50 miles of here, public or private. DD is quite clear that doing extra math at home is not what she wants. She wants what she does at school to be worthwhile. As such, I'm not looking for a replacement curriculum to be done at home. We would like to continue our "do what you d*mn well please" approach to our evenings and weekends. We're clearly thriving in that approach.<br><br>
DD seems to be learning math just fine in spite of EM, scoring 99.8%ile on a nationally normed test and passing an algebra readiness test at age 7. She's frustrated with the pace of instruction (her quote "it's not a spiral if we're just going in circles!"), and that's what we're addressing here.<br><br>
Replacement math will be EM, just accelerated 2 years in one. We'll be out from under the EM thumb in 5th grade when she takes pre-algebra.
 

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A curriculum is only as good as the teachers delivering it. EM is the most widely used "reform" math curriculum in the country. It will not hurt a gifted child!!<br><br>
Our district regularly sends the top 5% of graduating students to successful careers in math and science; quite a few go to places like MIT, and the Ivys. I do not see them "hurt" by EM. On the contrary, most ace AP calculus in high school, etc.<br><br>
Geofizz, some kids are ready for algebra in 5th grade!! So I am sure your daughter will thrive with the accelerated program!!
 

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For those who believe in educational research here are some links for EM:<br><br><a href="http://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/about/student_achievement" target="_blank">http://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/abo...nt_achievement</a><br><a href="http://www.jstor.org/pss/749808" target="_blank">http://www.jstor.org/pss/749808</a>
 

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Research of any kind should not require "belief." The point of research is that it makes belief superfluous. Sadly, the research that the University of Chicago Education department provides is not the kind of research that will appeal to those who do not already "believe"--thus, it convinces only those who were already convinced to begin.<br><br>
If your DD does not want to do math at home, then she must learn to wait patiently until her school decides to teach her real mathematics. Many schools find that real mathematics do not coincide with their political and educational goals. I hope your DD gets an opportunity to get the real stuff soon! She has plainly already seen through her elementary school's vision of spiral presentation and mathematical game-playing.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dessismama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444194"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A curriculum is only as good as the teachers delivering it. EM is the most widely used "reform" math curriculum in the country. It will not hurt a gifted child!!</div>
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I don't necessarily see EM as the problem, more that the teachers are unprepared to adequately use EM as it was intended.<br><br>
EM is difficult for some teachers to implement, especially with a gifted child. In my experience working with preservice teachers, it is totally possible that a gifted child in 3rd grade is more advanced in operational math skills than his/her teacher might be. I teach plenty of preservice teachers geology. Many of them cannot perform simple algebra. That makes a student who can do algebra a difficult student. Add to that the common characteristic of a gifted student not needing much practice, often being intense, and you end up with a nightmare experience.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bird Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15450844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Research of any kind should not require "belief." The point of research is that it makes belief superfluous. Sadly, the research that the University of Chicago Education department provides is not the kind of research that will appeal to those who do not already "believe"--thus, it convinces only those who were already convinced to begin.</div>
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I agree. It's kind of hazy because the "research" is mostly marketing for the product. I'd like to see more standardized research. Unfortunately there is not much out other. I see this problem akin to the idea of "whole language" vs. more traditional approaches to teaching reading. Turns out after 20 years that some kids learn well with one approach, others with the other and still others someplace in between<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bird Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15450844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If your DD does not want to do math at home, then she must learn to wait patiently until her school decides to teach her real mathematics.</div>
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The frustrating piece here for me is that if Geofizz's DD were failing, vs. being above grade level, the school would receive additional funding to help implement special services for her. The top 5% clearly do not receive the same treatment as the bottom 5%. Admittedly, this is a good problem to have but it still is tricky to have when it is <i>your</i> kid. My own personal experience is that boredom = poor behavior. That's not a message I want to continue to send my kid.<br><br><br>
(I'm surprised I have so much to say -- our issue is language arts, not math giftedness).....<br><br>
Finally I'm frustrated that if my child desires to go the extra mile in the subject in which she is gifted, then I have to do it at home. I'm left feeling like WTF? My kid who does a good job with school work needs to be bored in school during her "work" time and then during her "play" time needs to spend more time on academics? When does she get to be a kid. This is why homeschooling might be a better choice. But I have a gifted child. Homeschooling cannot possibly supply the level of social interaction my kid needs (and I'm sure Geofizz + Mr Geofizz find similar issues there as well).<br><br>
Sorry, not all about me. But some of hte same issues apply.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Alright, we've got a discussion on EM going anyways. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> This always happens, right?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dessismama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444194"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A curriculum is only as good as the teachers delivering it.</div>
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And an excellent teacher can teach despite the curriculum.<br><br>
A curriculum needs to fit the needs of the whole classroom and the teacher. In our current situation (8 more days, including 3 field trips!) the rigidity of EM is such that the teacher is unable to further differentiate.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dessismama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444194"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">EM is the most widely used "reform" math curriculum in the country.</div>
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I don't take popularity as a sign of quality.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dessismama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444194"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It will not hurt a gifted child!!</div>
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So far it is. We have a few options for next year. One will be EM in a room with a gifted teacher and 10 other gifted kids. The school is acting leery of this arrangement because DD mostly works in her head, not on paper. I see this as a consequence of DD's memory and EM's focus on mental math.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dessismama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444194"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Our district regularly sends the top 5% of graduating students to successful careers in math and science; quite a few go to places like MIT, and the Ivys. I do not see them "hurt" by EM. On the contrary, most ace AP calculus in high school, etc.</div>
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I don't equate success in a high-achieving district of the overall (or top 5% or whatever) as a sign of success of a particular program. In our upper middle class district, parents are not letting the school stand in the way of their kids' educations.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dessismama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15444299"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For those who believe in educational research here are some links for EM:<br><br><a href="http://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/about/student_achievement" target="_blank">http://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/abo...nt_achievement</a><br><a href="http://www.jstor.org/pss/749808" target="_blank">http://www.jstor.org/pss/749808</a></div>
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I believe in the scientific method and appropriately controlled studies. EM compared to a vacuum will perform well.<br><br>
Slavin and Lake (Rev. Ed. Res., v 78, 2008) rank EM fairly low, with "limited evidence of effectiveness".<br><br>
No where in any study have I seen an analysis of kids like my own who need to drill a bit on the facts, but only needs to see the concepts once. EM cycles through the concepts over and over again.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bird Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15450844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If your DD does not want to do math at home, then she must learn to wait patiently until her school decides to teach her real mathematics. Many schools find that real mathematics do not coincide with their political</div>
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OK, now that I'm done bashing EM, I'm going to defend it.<br><br>
EM has more "real math" than any of the Saxon or other math programs than I've seen. It starts with algebraic concepts in kindergarten. Kids don't just learn one wrote way of multiplying, they're actually given the tools to understand what multiplication really is, learn what magnitudes of numbers really are, and they strongly emphasize the importance of units. Being able to draw a picture of the mathematical problem you are trying to figure out is of first order importance to most higher mathematics.<br><br>
My beef comes mostly to the fact that kids cannot work ahead because of the group nature of the class.<br><br>
In gifted math next year (crossing fingers still) DD will be in with peers moving at a pace double the typical EM.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kerc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451639"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">EM is difficult for some teachers to implement, especially with a gifted child. In my experience working with preservice teachers, it is totally possible that a gifted child in 3rd grade is more advanced in operational math skills than his/her teacher might be.</div>
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We've already run into that with DD's "challenge" homework, but I don't see how this is related to EM. DD evidently drew her teacher a picture with a series of fractals in it, and the teacher didn't know what it was. Good thing it was a pretty picture. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kerc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451691"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The frustrating piece here for me is that if Geofizz's DD were failing, vs. being above grade level, the school would receive additional funding to help implement special services for her. The top 5% clearly do not receive the same treatment as the bottom 5%. Admittedly, this is a good problem to have but it still is tricky to have when it is <i>your</i> kid. My own personal experience is that boredom = poor behavior. That's not a message I want to continue to send my kid.</div>
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And we have the weird situation of a kid who refuses to misbehave, so her behavior and performance in the classroom has not been noticed much at all. We have coached "positive misbehavior" which did not go over well (we instructed DD to tell her teachers she wanted to learn more. The answer was that the rest of the class wasn't ready.)<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kerc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451691"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Finally I'm frustrated that if my child desires to go the extra mile in the subject in which she is gifted, then I have to do it at home. I'm left feeling like WTF? My kid who does a good job with school work needs to be bored in school during her "work" time and then during her "play" time needs to spend more time on academics? When does she get to be a kid.</div>
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Our take is similar. I'm her parent. I'm the parent of a whole person, not just a mathematics whiz. I'm the parent of a 7 year old who still struggles to pee in the toilet every time. I'm the parent of a kid who I am teaching to eat a varied diet. I'm the parent of a kid who craves quiet and alone time. I'm the parent of a child who needs to move, swing, run, and jump. I'm the parent of a child who craves friends but struggles to interact with her peers. At home, DD reads, digs in the mud, swings, goes to yoga, soccer, swimming, plays with friends. She spends 7.5 hours a day in school, which should be enough. We just ask that the 60 minutes a day in math be at her level. My problem is (and the original reason for the thread) is that I can't figure out what her level is based on these test scores.
 

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I understand your "whole child/whole parent dilemma," believe me, I do. We decided to take our children out of our local public schools when my older child completed kindergarten, because I recognized that their faulty curriculum (Everyday Math, "balanced" literacy) would result in afterschooling for my child. I did not want her to sit through the day in school and then have additional, worthwhile and meaningful education afterward. We decided to eliminate the middleman, and do our meaningful education at home.<br><br>
Likewise, I would never suggest that our way is the only way. We can barely afford to give up my entire salary to "pay" for our children's education. Also, I am using my own talents only for my own children, which strikes me as far from ideal. So I have no judgment for parents relying on their local public school; I have many days when I feel that their calculus supersedes my own.<br><br>
Nevertheless, I would urge you to look at the Singapore materials, or, if your DD has finished the topics taught by the Primary Math series, the Art of Problem Solving materials. <a href="http://mathprize.atfoundation.org/archive/2009/rusczyk" target="_blank">Here</a> is a lecture given by Richard Rusczyk about gifted children in the ordinary mathematics progression that I urge you to watch. (It's about an hour.) Mathematically gifted children are under-served by public education, yet our society needs their gifts so desperately.<br><br>
I hear where you are coming from--we need to find some way forward for our gifted kids, whether the education establishment will help them or not.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kerc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451639"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't necessarily see EM as the problem, more that the teachers are unprepared to adequately use EM as it was intended.</div>
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I cannot agree more. I have spent the last decade teaching preservice elementary and middle school teachers mathematics, by having them do it and engage in rich conversations about "elementary" mathematics. It takes forever to have them re-learn and understand basic concepts and figure out they need to know a lot more than what they are going to teach. I love this line of work, anyway!! It is very rewarding.<br><br>
Both DH and I have mathematics PhDs and we refuse to make our children do extra math work at home. They are doing very well on EM, I feel their understanding is better than mine was (I was taught in a Singapore-like curriculum and had no conceptual understanding of basic mathematical ideas until college, though I could manipulate/solve problems easily).<br><br>
DS is finishing 5th grade, and he can do a lot of things algebraic; he asks me good deep questions, he works mentally like a whiz. DD is finishing second grade and somehow has mastered multiplication and basic division, and again amazes me with her flexible number sense. Both might be a bit bored with the speed of the curriculum but they have learned to engage in creative projects/extensions while the class catches up. Both appear to be more gifted in writing/language arts for the time being, and we see more differentiation in the instruction for these areas. We live in state that is probably 49th in gifted education (there are virtually no gifted programs around!!) even though it has some of the highest incidence of gifted kids around and scores first nationally on all standardized tests.<br><br>
So we go by what the kids need--we follow their questions, we provide educational materials and support, and we show them day by day that we are still learning and growing intellectually.<br><br>
I do drill my special needs 7th grader. She just learned her basic facts, and it is paying off, her math skills are improving, and I know she will make it through high school, with extra tutoring (not done by us--I could never homeschool her--this is sure to ruin my relationship with my teen!).<br><br>
There is no magical bullet in math education... however, growing educational research shows that engaged students are better learners, and thus the Saxon-like curricula do not serve the needs of the majority of the kids.
 

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side note: dessismama come and join us on the professor mama thread -- we don't see a whole lot of action, but I'd enjoy hearing more about your work. (look under working mamas).
 
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