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'Everyday Mathematics' Program Brings Changes to Kindergarten-Fifth Grade

The North Canton Board of Education approved the program Wednesday night. Students now will take art, health and physical education, music and library in a four-day rotation.

Starting next school year, students in kindergarten through fifth grade will see some changes in their class schedules because of a new “Everyday Mathematics” program.

The program and use of the Everyday Mathematics textbooks were unanimously approved at a special North Canton City Schools Board of Education meeting inside the Hoover High Media Center Wednesday night.

Essentially, Everyday Mathematics takes math and applies it to everyday life.

“It’s application of the concept — not memorization,” Curriculum Director Peggy Savage said.

“The one thing we want to stress is this is not how parents learned math. We want them to know that, and that we’re going to do what we need to do so that parents are comfortable with the program, too.”

The board had tabled the item at the Feb. 15 board meeting because of board members’ concerns that if a math class is doubled, the program would take away from special classes such as art, health and physical education, music and library.

The program allows students to take those special classes in a rotation of four days. If a student has art class on Monday, he’ll have it again on Friday. If there’s no school on Friday for whatever reason, he’ll have it the following Monday. The same goes for the other three special classes. The student will have one special class each day and continue the rotation.

Savage said teachers already are discussing ways to ensure students have no difficulty remembering the rotation. Teachers also will be trained on the new program in the spring.

One perk of implementing the Everyday Mathematics program is always knowing when the gym and cafeterias are free so that orchestra and band teachers can use the spaces, Savage added.

Board members asked Savage several questions about the program, which totals about $150,000 with the cost of textbooks.

Board member Chris Thomas asked why Savage chose Everyday Mathematics rather than increasing the amount of time spent in math class or choosing a different program altogether.

“There are districts in our county that were out-performing us," Savage said, adding those districts were using the Everyday Mathematics program.

Board member Jennifer Kling said the district already will see a lot of changes next year. That includes the Unified Elementary Design. She asked if Savage had given any though to transitioning the district into Everyday Mathematics.

“We had thought about it,” Savage said. “We had talked about it at the very beginning. And I can tell you that in the many districts who I have spoken with their curriculum directors, I have asked that question. ‘Did you phase it in? Did you do it K-5 immediately?’ They all did it K-5 immediately.”

See the attached PDF, provided by North Canton City Schools, for more information about Everyday Mathematics.

The board is scheduled to meet for a regular meeting at 6 p.m. March 21.

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