Has anyone been using Investigations in Math for more than a couple of years? I like several of the activities but am concerned they take too much time and do not really want that to be my total program.
I have been using Investigations since 1998. If you have been using a traditional math program, it must be difficult to make the transition. We received a lot of staff development when we implemented the program; this was really essential in making it successful. As a 4th grade teacher, I've now had the benefit of working with kids who have had the program since kindergarten. It has been hugely successful in our district (100% of our 4th graders passed the New York State math test in 2005).
While Investigations is our primary program, I have definitely supplemented it with more traditional work where I feel it necessary. However, I really do feel it is a great program. As far as the length of certain activities, my experience has been that many young children need that kind of time in order to truly understand mathematical concepts. You'll always have kids who are great rote learners...but do they really understand the concept behind the algorithm? Good luck with it.
Our district is using it too.. i do like the games that the kids play and can be made into centers... and there are alot of gaps in the porgram , it does not support our Mass. state test.. so we do supplements... i was told by my math expert in out town that not all the kids need to master each unit or book because it comes up in another book or lesson.. i don't feel very confident about that but if i did stay with a unit until everyone masteres it i would be on book one still!!!!.. we have some other books to support called Nimble with Numbers..has some great activities for homework and daily practice and allows kids to share their thinking... it ia a long process but i am seeing it working the kids are having better number sense.. the biggest problem is gettting the parents to buy into it?? they are very apprehensive about this program...
Well i hope this helps!!!
I've been using Investigations for the past few years. Investigations had been implemented into my school district a few years before I started, but fortunately I have a great college methods course and student teaching experience. Since I've been teaching, I've attended several Investigations workshops. Many of the more experienced teachers in my school were very frustrated when the district adopted the curriculum. It is definitely a new and different way of teaching math compared to how it was being taught.
Our students (we go up to 5th grade) have had Investigations since Kindergarten. We see such a difference in how they think about math. I really like Investigations. I like the way it makes students think more abstractly, has real like problems, and encourages students to use their own strategies for solving problems.
There are times I feel that Investigations spends a bit too much or too little time on certain activities/concepts. If I feel it spends too much time, I will pick up the pace and condense the information/activities. If I feel my students need more time, I will supplement what I feel is needed. We also use Calendar Math and Practice Counts for curriculum, so I feel Practice Counts gives them the extra practice that Investigations may lack at times.
I agree with Amy...number sense...my students (even those who struggle more) have great number sense. Some of them can solve problems faster than I can. They've developed the number sense that I've been developing since I began teaching Investigations. Unfortunately some teachers still use the "old" methods (for example-borrowing and carrying for subtraction). When the kiddos come to me using that method, I don't tell them they can't, but they (and I) quickly figure out that it doesn't make sense to them and is more confusing.
Our parents were also apprehensive, although it seems to be getting better. It was difficult for them, because they are used to the "old" methods and would help their children using the methods they knew (which seemed to confuse the kids more!). I've definitely seen that parents are understanding and trying to help their children in a different way.