Elizabeth Toal
Christina Chiocchio
Kelly O'Sullivan

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Produced by The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project
Copyright: Wright Group/ McGraw Hill
Latest Edition: 2007

Website: Everyday Mathematics
Average Cost of a Classroom Resource Kit and Materials: $300


Brief Description:
Everyday Mathematics serves all developmental levels of Pre-K through 6. The theoretical framework for this program is based on teacher's building on student's knowledge and experiences. All children begin school with a certain knowledge from which to build and by making use of this knowledge, teacher's can help each student reach their potential. It is important to make connections between mathematics and student's expierences in order to provide a deeper understanding of the curriculum. This program also makes use of Vygotsky's theory that children learn more through social interaction and collaboration. This program is distinguished by their focus on real life problem solving, balance between whole group and self-directed learning,emphasis on communication, facilitation of school and family cooperation, and the appropriate use of technology. The following six strands of mathematics skills are included: algebra, data and chance, geometry, measurement, numeration and order, patterns, functions, and sequences, operations, and reference frames. There are many factors to this program that accommodate students with mild to moderate disabilities. For example, all concepts are introduced in context and make use of student experiences. Also, the program can be incorporated into daily classroom activities. The communication incorporated within the program alleviates confusion and promotes discourse within the classroom. There are also home links and study links available for students to use as practice and review. This program also has a variety of instruction. Everyday Mathematics utilizes whole-group, small-group, partner, and independent instruction. There is a balance between teacher directed instruction with oppurtunities for independent exploration.

Analysis of the Program:
The Everyday Mathematics curriculum has been influenced by numerous research studies on how students learn math best; also these same research studies helped to form the NCTM standards. These resources have provided information on the development of lessons, activities, and teaching suggestions. Also, it has been shown that manipulatives facilitate modeling concepts and communication about these concepts, therefore promoting the development of children’s thinking about mathematics. The problem solving approach and everyday concepts in Everyday Mathematics are similar to many constructivists’ classrooms but are also based on Dewey’s conception of inquiry-based learning that connects to students’ everyday knowledge. Students practice their literacy skills in Everyday Mathematics by explaining and discussing their mathematical thinking. Being able to verbalize in their own words their thoughts and strategies gives children the chance to clarify their thinking and gain new insights into the world of mathematics. Skills are taught in a developmental progression, each mathematical sill progresses in difficulty and complexity as the grade levels progress. This program uses a sequence of skills that are necessary and taught in the grade level prior in order to build on an individual concept. Therefore, the knowledge students need for a “new” math concept builds off the material that was taught the year prior.

This program uses a balanced approach that includes whole-group teacher-directed instruction, as well as small-group, partner, and individual activities. These activities balance teacher-directed instruction with opportunities for open-ended, hands-on explorations, long term projects and on-going practice. This program provides multisensory instruction. There are “choral” fact drills that are sung and will help auditory and oral learners. There are fact triangles, fact cards and various math games that will also help kinesthetic learners. There is a wide variety of activities that incorporate multiple senses and are sure to satisfy any type of learner. Everyday Mathematics provides various opportunities to practice and master skills. Throughout the program, the students are encouraged to talk about and explain their thinking which allows them to become more knowledgeable of the skill. In order to master a skill, a student should be able to explain it in his or her own words. This program encourages this. Also, there are opportunities for family members to participate in the student’s math learning as well. There are study links that the students can utilize to further their practice outside of school. Everyday Mathematics is unique because it teaches all strategies for a certain skill until mastery and then this allows the students so choose a strategy that works for them. Most math programs teach one strategy and this can be detrimental to a student that does not master the strategy. In this program however, multiple strategies are taught so students can find one that works for them. This also allows for meta-cognition. Students can think about what they have learned and decide which strategy they have success with. This program teaches a multitude of strategies using a variety of tools and manipulatives that coordinate with any general education math curriculum. Everyday Mathematics provides several tools to help educators monitor student progress. An assessment handbook is included with this program and should be read prior to administering lessons. Within the handbook are checklists that can be used to monitor daily progress. Teachers can carry the checklists on clipboards and record comments as they observe students. It is easy to assess student progress over time because all of the lessons and checklist items correlate to state standards. Educators will be able to assess the students' achievements against the grade-based standards.

Everyday Mathematics provides CD-Roms, teacher's manuals, sample lesson plans, guide books, assessment handbooks, differentiation handbooks and activity books with manipulatives. The Everyday Mathematics is recommended for all group sizes. The variety of instructional techniques that are used with the program allows for teachers to make accommodations and modifications for all students. The program promises success for all learners, making Everyday Mathematics a program that is appropriate for inclusive classrooms. The Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Foundation at the University of Chicago provides professional development opportunities for educators that wish to use the Everyday Mathematics program. Through the center, teachers may receive leadership consulting and implemenation support, attend workshops, and schedule in-school coaching.

Strengths and Weaknesses from a Teacher Using the Program:
"Everyday Mathematics correlates strongly with the standards that my students must reach and fits in very well with the curriculum. However, the program can be stronger if it was not so language based because it would benefit a wider audience of students. In my specific classroom, the program is not normed for special education students and some of my students struggle."


Reflection:
After reviewing the program, we believe that we would use this in our classroom. There are many potential benefits to using a research-based program with differentiated instruction and a wide variety of instructional opportunities and activities. This program can be incorporated in to the classroom daily and there are many opportunities to further explore the skill until mastery is reached. While the teacher we interviewed felt that the program did not benefit her students, we feel that that does not mean that it is not a beneficial program to use in our own classroom.

Sources:
Everyday Mathematics Online
Success with Everyday Mathematics
New Math Curriculum Formula for Success from Curriculum Review Journal