kitchen table math, the sequel: Envision or Math in Focus?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Envision or Math in Focus?

query from Peter Meyer

Any thoughts?


SteveH said...

"Math in Focus offers the authentic Singapore math pedagogy with fewer topics taught in greater depth at each grade level."

This was from their web site. Is this really true, or is it another attempt at educational redefinition? If you can't beat them, redefine them.

Allison said...

Math in Focus is Houghton Mifflin's distribution of Singapore's Primary Mathematics.

They bought the rights to it, and then supplemented it with various things that US texts usually have, like differentation guides, assessments, planners, more typical kinds of lesson plans. It's not the pure Primary Math series, but it is a whole heck of a lot closer than anything else out there. It has the basic content from the Primary Math series.

I would definitely choose it of the two.

Crimson Wife said...

Math in Focus is "new" syllabus Singapore. It's an Americanization of My Pals are Here math. I have previewed the 4th grade materials and it's similar to "old" syllabus Primary Mathematics but with a more step-by-step-by-step approach. I actually think it's better for average students than PM because there aren't the same kind of conceptual leaps.

The scope & sequence of MIF runs slightly behind PM but they arrive at a similar place by the end of 6th grade. Also, the MIF "Enrichment" book is not quite as challenging as PM Intensive Practice.

I'm not familiar with enVision but have heard it's okay as far as public school math programs go. Here is a thread from the Well-Trained Mind forum about it.

Anonymous said...

I tutor kids who are lost in Envision Math. How it works is that the kids learn new concepts every day and never get to master any of them. In Third Grade they worked on Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying (the most bizarre multiplying I have ever seen), division, fractions, measurements (metric and standard), area and volumes. Most of the kids seem totally lost. I would pick the other curriculum.


OrangeMath said...

enVision is sold as the "technology" approach to teaching math in a classroom. It actually has some strange ideas like the importance of "five." It has black covers - very sexy - very techy. Welcome to marketing.

CassyT said...

Heavens to Betsy, just saw this. Neither!

Biggest complaint from teachers using Math in Focus this year? There is less of the complex bar modeling and more of the "Tech Connection - Hands-On Activity" and "Let's Explore" problem solving.

Here's a "Hands-On Activity" from the 5A student text on subtracting unlike fractions:

Use a computer drawing tool. Draw models that show the difference for each pair of fractions. Then find the difference.
1.) 1/2 - 2/7
2.) 5/6 - 4/9
3.) 3/4 - 3/5

Anonymous said...

Hold on to your kid's district came up with their own very special blend math curriculum:

they use both enVision and EDM (which they had used exclusively, but now it's in an odd, ridiculous mixture with enVision as well).

The point above about mastery is interesting. I thought that it was just the way the district had cobbled together a scripted curriculum using the two sources that made it so bad, but maybe it was also partly enVision. Of course, the part where the lesson was actually, explicitly taught? Vanishingly small part of the 90 minute math block. And the scripted 90 minutes marched on, day after day, whether or not the kids understood. If they were really lost, the teacher was to work with them during a "DI" portion of the lesson, while the other kids played math games and did math activities.

I am wondering about the multiplying though -- my son just did 3rd grade last year and I don't remember particularly weird multiplication -- though that may just be because I've been exposed to so many that they are just a mush. I'm guessing maybe it was the partial products in a grid?