Sunday, November 1, 2015
enVisionmath2.0 ©2016 -- A wordy mess impedes the learning of arithmetic
If children are struggling readers, EnVisions 2.0 will make sure they struggle with math.
Here is one person's opinion:
EnVision Math was terrible even before their CC 2.0 edition. But, you can't tell how bad it is until slightly later than K-2. It's even more constructivist than Everyday Math, but it isn't as rapidly changing of content (every 2-3 days in Everyday Math.) It falls apart for kids around grades 3-5.
The word problems aren't bad per se; Singapore math is incredibly heavy in word problems. The issue is that Singapore math also teaches mental math and then mastery of the algorithms, and a method for doing the word problem (bar modeling.) EnVision doesn't teach the algorithms, and they don't teach mental math strategies to mastery, nor the consistent technique of bar modeling. Everything is a lesson in pure constructivism, starting over from no knowledge every grade.
Word problem heavy math is something that people saw in other nations' math curricula, and thought they should try to bring here.
But they lack:
a) the mathematical knowledge to write mathematically correct word problems, (if Sarah has two pints of milks, and Tom has 1 cup of rice, how many pounds do they have?) and
b) they don't teach reading well enough for students to succeed at it. Instead, the teacher teaches "key words" because the student doesn't know how to parse the sentences with their anaphora or prepositions.
This turns math into "-less than- means subtract", and "-of- means multiply." Which works right up until the problem is ....
Alice has 10 fewer pieces of candy than Bob. If Alice has 22, how many does Bob have? Or, even better, if 6 of 8 socks are red, what fraction are red?
Another person teaching 2nd grade observes of EnVision CCSS 2.0
I and another teacher discarded Everyday Math early in last school year. We began using EnVisions it was considerably better than Everyday Math. During the summer the District purchased EnVisions 2.0. That book is considerably weaker than the previous version. The tests 2.0 provides are so word problem heavy that it is hard to tell if the students understand arithmetic. I am teaching first semester grade 2 and many students are not way above grade level readers. The 2.0 materials are making the learning of arithmetic far to confusing for too many students. I am rewriting tests to test arithmetic to see if my grade 2 students are learning arithmetic. If a student is currently struggling with reading, they should not automatically be forced to struggle in math class; but that is exactly what EnVisions2.0 imposes on such children.