Math- Everyday Math Program

Updated on October 18, 2013
S.P. asks from Mont Clare, PA
14 answers

Is this a good math program for my school?

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answers from Miami on

The good thing about Everyday Math is that it circles around with concepts. A child may not quite be ready for the concept the first time around, but it will come around again and teach it a different way. One thing to remember is that the teach makes all the difference. If a teacher works hard to teach it, THAT is what teaches the children. The math method is not the teacher.

One thing I didn't like in 6th grade was that the boxes weren't big enough for the kids to show their work. Not showing one's work from the beginning is a bad idea because the kids get used to not doing it, and then it's hard to get them to later when it's essential.

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answers from Detroit on

If implemented correctly it is wonderful. People that say it jumps around are probably thinking about the "Math Boxes" pages. They are designed to review previously taught concepts so that they are not forgotten. Think about when we were in school. You were taught a concept then didn't see it again until the following year. This way it continuously reviews.

It teaches the deeper thinking that kids need to really understand math. It has revamped a bit in the last few years and now talks about traditional methods as well. However, if you look at the other ways it teaches concepts, such as partial products, it really helps the child to use place value to multiply. Yes - they learn traditional as well because it is "quicker", but by emphasizing place value the child will be able to estimate better and also recognize if an answer they have is way off.

I like the investigative way it teaches. Kids learn more and remember more when they discover something themselves than if they are just told. "Tell me and I'll forget, Show me and I'll remember, Involve me and I'll understand." Really, for our kids to succeed on a global level they need to be able to reason and understand.

If you look at the Common Core Standards, you will find that Everyday Math meets the higher level thinking. People don't like change, they don't like to see their kids struggle. But some struggling is good. It teaches perseverance and teaches the kids that things aren't always going to be easy, but they CAN do it.

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answers from Detroit on

Our district uses Everyday Math in the elementary schools (K-5). They move on to Connected Math in middle school (6 - 8). I currently have a 4th and a 7th grader and both have gone through the program from kindergarten and have thrived. (I am currently a SAHM but my background is in math and computer science if that makes any difference as far as my opinion goes.) And almost every school in our district scores high on the math portions of the state testing.

The program is a spiral curriculum which I understand but can't explain. But basically instead of teaching everything in one chunk, it introduces a concept, the a month or two later it revisits & adds on to that concept, and then another month or two later it revisits it & adds on again. Here's a link to the web site for an explanation:

I actually like that it teaches the kids different methods for adding, subtracting, etc. When my kids were learning the different methods, if they calculated something wrong, they would try a different method to see if they could do the problem correctly with that method, and then they would go back and see what they did wrong with their original calculations. And some methods worked better for my kids than others. Both have worked their way to using the traditional methods for calculations but my oldest will still pull out one of the other methods on occasion if she just can't get a problem worked out the traditional way.

I also like that the program checks that the kids understand what they are doing. Some homework (and maybe even test) questions, ask the kids to solve a problem and then explain what they did in words. (I find it difficult sometimes to do that. I know how to do the problems, but I find that it can be harder to try to explain it.) In my experience, the knowledge sticks with my kids better when they can actually explain the process rather than just do it.

The teachers at my kids' school do make sure the kids learn the traditional methods also. And to make sure they know their basic math facts, the teachers do timed tests for addition, subtraction, and multiplication tables throughout the year. Maybe that makes a difference.

At the end of 5th grade, my older child passed both the 5th and 6th grade end of year math assessments and was placed into a 7th grade math class as a 6th grader. Based on the math testing done last year, she is now placed into a 9th grade Advanced Algebra class as a 7th grader and doing well.

One thing that I have heard from a teacher at my kids' school is that it's not the best program for kids who struggle with math. I can't remember any details on why though. My kids don't struggle with math, so I can't give any feedback from that perspective either.

And I do have a friend whose district switched to Everyday Math when her daughter went into 5th grade and it was a struggle for her. But my friend will also tell you that there wasn't any extra support offered to the students & parents during the transition year. And she didn't feel that the teachers had much support either.

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answers from Boston on

My school district has used it for 10 years. My oldest son's class was one of the pilot classes for K & first grade, then they rolled it out to everyone. It does take some getting used to but I don't have any complaints about it. As mentioned below, it spirals through concepts vs just teaching in a straight line. By 4th grade, the kids have a pretty good foundation in geometry and have already become familiar with the concept of variables, the foundation for Algebra. Contrary to what has been written below by some people, math facts ARE a core part of this curriculum. They work with "triangle cards" (flash cards with addition and subtraction on the same card) in first and second grade and have timed test on those facts, then move on to multiplication and division in 4th grade and have timed drills for those too.

What I like most about this compared to the way I learned math is that in my opinion, it encourages flexibility of thinking. The exercises are designed to really stretch their minds around all of the different approaches to solving a problem. Mental math is a big part of this. So instead of just teaching kids to add large numbers by starting on the right, stacking and carrying, they'll teach them other approaches as well, such as partial sums. My 4th grader can use partial sums to add two 3 or 4 digit numbers in his head. I can't do that. EM also teaches young kids things like arrays, which I definitely didn't learn in elementary school, and statistics.

My 4th grader has a test tomorrow. According to his practice test and study guide, he is to demonstrate the following:
- partial sum and column addition methods for multi-digit numbers
- trade-first and partial difference methods for subtracting multidigit numbers
- read and write numbers to the hundred millions place
- interpret a tally chart and fund the min, max, range, mode and median
- construct a bar graph & line plot using given data
- draw polygons and identify right angles
- explain whether or not a given polygon is a parallogram
- measure and draw line segments to half-centimeter precision
- estimate sums and differences and explain your strategy

At this point, programs like EM, Singapore Math etc. have been around long enough that there should be statistics on math performance in districts that implement these systems that tells whether or not scores increase on standardized tests.

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answers from Philadelphia on

My youngest was taught by this method. Parents were specifically told not to confuse our kids by teaching the traditional method of multiplying and dividing. Now my daughter is in 5 th grade and I had to teach her the traditional method. Ugh!!!

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answers from Washington DC on

Newsflash! All the American math programs are pretty lousy...that's why our country is behind in this area. My school uses "Investigations" which is absolutely horrible.

I just answered another question about Kumon...we do this as a supplement....If you want it done right, you have to pay for it.



answers from Detroit on


we had everyday math last year..I thought it was confusing and covered too many concepts at a time.. a single page might have 5 different math concepts.. in the beginning of 2nd grade most kids did not know their basic addition facts... cause everyday math does not focus on facts.. just many different concepts..

the district got rid of it and bought math experience which I really love.


answers from Chicago on

My daughter was introduced to Everyday Math when we moved into a new school district when she was in 4th. I was very concerned because it seemed so difficult and so different than the math taught at her former school. To my surprise, my daughter grasped the concepts, the teachers worked hard with her because it was so new to her and she got an A! She's now in 6th grade and averages a B in math now.



answers from Philadelphia on

To be honest, I don't really care for it. They expect 1st graders to start doing math too early and the way the teach it is odd. My triplets are now in 3rd grade. They don't start with the basics. They expect young children to add up large numbers left to right rather than teaching them to stack them, borrow when needed, etc. Many parents over the years have complained about Everyday Math in this district that they use in elementary school. Once they hit middle school they use a different math and then it makes more sense to the students, so the many parents have told me here. We work through it as we have no choice.

**I wanted to add some examples. In 1st grade my kids were asked to add 125 + 463 = rather than stacking them on top of each other, and rather than starting with 1 digits and later in year maybe doing some 2 digits. Totally confused my kids. I had to teach them myself how to stack them to add and subtract and borrow. They do a ton of estimating in 1st, 2nd and 3rd rather than a short course on it and focusing on actual learning how to add and subtract and learning their tables.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets



answers from Denver on

Our school district tried it for a while, and didn't like the results, so they switched to another method. It was very confusing.


answers from Chicago on

My kindergartner is learning this now...and so far, I can't see what it's actually teaching him.
I've had to teach him the basic skills of subtraction to get through his homework.



answers from Denver on

When we moved, I specifically looked for a school district that DIDN'T use Everyday Math. Hated it so much. It was not a good fit for the type of learner my kids are.

Other parents have told me that it's horrible in elementary school, but by the time the kids hit middle school, something "clicks" and it all starts to come together. But for the kids who are struggling with the method, 5 years of elementary school is a long time to wait for it to "click". By then, they're already turned off math.



answers from Detroit on


They don't know how to figure anything out!

I agree with JC.



answers from New York on

When I was choosing a house based on school district, I actually tried to avoid districts that use Everyday Math! All those complaints you hear about "fuzzy math" are in reference to this type of program. It is highly frowned upon by mathematicians. It tries to make math "relevant" and interesting at the expense of good scholarship. For example, the program includes math journal time, with questions such as, if I were a number, what number would I be? The real problem is that it covers too many topics at a shallow level, and it jumps around. The math program that research shows really works is Singapore Math. It moves very slowly and covers the basics in great depth, so that at first, it seems easier than other programs. But those kids quickly catch up and then have a foundation for real mathematics. A school district in my county, Dobbs Ferry, NY, started it a few years ago and apparently it's been successful. If you are on the PTA, or somehow have a say in math curriculum, this is something you might want to research. There is a book out there called A Parents Guide to the Math Wars. It's poorly written but has valuable information.

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