Friday, August 15, 2008

Professor B (a math supplement)

Click HERE for the Home of Professor B

A response from Paul about Professor B.

Hello Anne:
I don't know if my small experience with Professor B math qualifies me as "knowledgeable" or not, but here goes:
My daughter attended Discovery Elementary in the Mukilteo district in the late 90's, where professor B was used. I attended a couple of "parent night" events where it was demonstrated. What I saw was a program for early grades to develop automaticity of math facts. The structure was fast paced and game like, and very oral. It was not used as "the" curriculum, but as a supplement. The kids seemed to enjoy it, and I don't see how it could have done any harm. Anything that helps kids nail basic math facts as early as possible is a good thing, IMHO.
We've since moved to the Northshore district. My daughter will be a senior next year, and will be taking Calculus. Back when she was in grade school I was utterly unaware of the insanity manifest in the math programs in our public schools. My eyes were opened while she was in junior high, and I managed to avert disaster in her case by a narrow margin. If not for the IB program she's in right now, I'd be home schooling her in math yet, or having her take math at our local community college, to avoid the disaster known as Core Plus
A while ago I found a web site for professor B, and was somewhat dismayed. I don't speak Eduspeak fluently. I came away wondering if professor B is a bit of a nut, or if he is trying to baffle the education community with so much of their own jargon that they buy in by default.
Hope this helps!

Anyone else with Professor B knowledge is encouraged to post comments.


Anonymous said...

The Professor B program is not fuzzy. That is my opinion based on my experience with one CD.

Last summer I used the 6th-8th grade CD with my daughter. This was to help her be better prepared for grade 6. She loved the Professor B CD. I sat though the lessons with her so I would know what was addressed. I was impressed. It was very straight forward solid math without a bunch of frills. I have taught 6th grade math for a number of years and have seen a lot of programs.

Some of Professor B's written material (promotional) seem a bit kookie. The developer is definitely not a reform math person as far as I can tell. If he is, he has me fooled, and can usually spot those fools very quickly.

I can recommend Professor B's programs.

... and my daughter did very well with her math in 6th grade. She will be in pre-algebra this year. If not for Professor B and my work with her she would be a lost TERC baby stuck in the remedial math track for life (with lots of company, unfortunately).

dan dempsey said...

Which leads us to the question as to why TERC/Investigations is sitting as the number three rated book in the preliminary IMR report from OSPI.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree - the DOE misrepresents textbooks by lumping them all into one category -exemplary. Much of elementary math is memorization and learning of standard algorithms up to complete proficiency.

TERC and EDM don't even come close and actually subtract from learning.

My horror was having to live with teaching Core plus every day. In California, I could ignore Connected Math, but in Fuzzington you were actually forced to teach it with nothing else. A bunch of bigots and fools - a very depressing place.