Was scrolling through and saw your question about Everyday Math. I also teach first grade. Our school adopted it K-5 so initially it was overwhelming for the upper grades. I questioned some things that first year, but once we got through it, it made sense. I do think that the program teaches higher level thinking skills. It helps develop strong number sense. I like the spiral but it is hard for me to let go and move on if a student doesn't get it the first time. I love that students learn there are many ways to solve problems. Our students were working with time, money... much earlier. I love the games. I don't like that it uses the symbols for the coins instead of real coins most of the time. Students need to recognize the coins in real life. I teach the touchpoints on the coins (another program) which helps my students be more successful. I do believe students are not as strong in knowing the basic math facts. Now that you have been using it, what do you think about it?
I am a 4th grade teacher who has been teaching math from EM for the last 4 years. The first year was really rough - but I am sold! The students come in knowing so much more than they used to. It moves very quickly from subject to subject though and students who struggle with math get frustrated quite quickly. I have really enjoyed teaching EM, but as I said, it was a pretty steep learning curve for both teachers and students in the beginning.
WE used to use EM, and then we chose a new program...I was skepticl at firt of EM but when I had to give it up I was really soooo sad. The games and the spiral really work, I second Amanda's advice. It makes math real and fun for the students. Giver it a shot, you may just love it . I teach 2nd grade in California and California did not adopt EM as a choice...so sad..
My school district has used EM for many years now. There was a period of a few years where everyone seemed to struggle to catch up to the program. Now we easily get through all the program in a school year. The new edition that came out last year is great because they used a lot of teacher feedback to improve it. Two tips: Use the games and trust the spiral!
Amanda, we've been using the Everyday Mathematics program for several (over 10) years now and it seems like a fantastic program. I do not teach math but have had three children move through the program. What I notice is that the kids learn to understand Math on a deeper level than I did at their age. They "get" the process and therefore can apply it more readily to the world around them. They also can approach mathematical problems from more than one angle because the program encourages this. If you want to email a mathematics teacher at our school I'd be happy to make the contact.