Innovative Curricula

Math land asks 2nd graders to cut out and paste a Fantasy Lunch.

Investigations in Number, Data and Space does not contain instruction on any traditional computation methods, except to mention that they are to be discouraged. These include regrouping, the standard formulas for computing an average and volume, the standard notation for longhand division, and using "R" to indicate a remainder.

It has no student textbook. It uses 100 charts and skip counting, but not multiplication tables to teach multiplication. A study shows that a second grader who used his knowledge of the properties of negative numbers got more accurate results than another who used a traditional borrowing method. The second grade book includes sheet music to the song "happy birthday" which is meant to be sung in several languages although words to other languages are not provided. Decimal math is taught using colored pencils and 10,000 grid chart. Converting to a common denominator to add fractions is not taught.

The introductory chapter for Matrices in the Core-Plus Mathematics Project spends a page explaining about Nike and the running shoe industry. It contains no information on how to solve any of the charting or data problems which follow. A matrix is used as a place to put a data table at the high school level. It has a separate "index of contexts" to non-mathematics topics such as "Monopoly", "Nike" or "global warming".

By contrast, math texts such as Singapore Math and Saxon math contain very little content or methods outside the field of traditional mathematics, and they make little use of sophisticated graphic calculators, or pictures of many diverse cultural or disabled groups.