# TERC Positives

#### FROM: INDEPENDENT STUDY OF WASHINGTON STATE: K-8 CURRICULUM  REVIEW FINAL REPORT,  NOVEMBER 5, 2008

Summary, by blaineparents.org, Full text quote follows this summary

• Development of multiplication strategies for single-digit multiplication leading to fluency.
• Good representation of fractions and their addition and subtraction through clock and rectangular depictions.
• Students have the opportunity to maintain and practice learned skills and numerical fluency.
• Learn through exploration: discovery learning.
• Foundational concepts for area are well-developed in the main program. Supplemental activities provide practice with formulas for the areas of rectangles.
• Students develop strong visual models for challenging concepts such as fractions, multi-digit multiplication, and area.

“Investigations

The strength of Investigations in the multiplication thread is the
development of strategies for single-digit multiplication leading to fluency. The primary weakness is that the program does not lead to fluency with the standard algorithm. Although a supplementary activity does a nice introduction to the standard algorithm, relating it to the partial products algorithm and the place value area representation for multiplication, it is a standalone activity that is not mathematically incorporated into the program. The main program continues to develop multiple strategies, unaware that the standard algorithm has been developed, without providing the concentration necessary to provide fluency. With the help of a one-page supplement, the formulas for the areas of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles are developed. The work with triangles is weak: the height of a triangle is not defined. There are an inadequate number of good problems.

“The representation of fractions and their addition and subtraction, through representations, is nicely done in Investigations with their clock model and their rectangular grid model. However, this follows weak and confusing work in grades three and four that fails to give students a solid start. Work in Investigations is limited to fractions with sums of less than 2 and there is very limited work with mixed numbers, leaving students unprepared to deal with fractions as simple as 11/3. Most importantly, common denominators are not well-developed, leaving students to struggle with arbitrary fractions. A typical student, using this program alone, is unlikely to meet the standards at the top of each of these mathematical threads.”