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Math Curricula: How Do They Work for Gifted Kids?

"Mathematically gifted students have needs that differ in nature from those of other students. They require some differentiated instruction...  Yet recent studies have found few instructional or curricular modifications in regular elementary classrooms...  In grades 9-12, students may be able to select honors, advanced, and AP courses; however, even in these more homogeneously grouped classes there is a range of differences that need to be acknowledged." Dana T. Johnson, Teaching Mathematics to Gifted Students in a Mixed-Ability Classroom

CMP: Connected Mathematics Project (Connected Math) Reviews...
Grades 6-8, was and continues to be developed by the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) at Michigan State University.  "Overall, the program seems to be very incomplete, and ... is aimed at underachieving students rather than normal or higher achieving students,"  "little or no coverage of the properties of arithmetic; exponents, squares, and roots; fractions, decimals, and percents; and the book is devoid of algebraic manipulation," and more...
Good math, bad math: What is math? Finding the fun in good math, Squashing bad math and the fools who promote it
"What is math, really? I hear people throwing around phrases like "elegant" and "artistic" regarding math. I don't understand how this can be. To me, math is add, subtract, etc. It is purely functional. Is there something you can compare it to so that I can understand?"  This hits on one of my personal pet peeves. Math really is a beautiful thing, but the way that math is taught turns it into something mechanistic, difficult, and boring. The person who posted this question is a typical example of a victim of lousy math education...
Mathematically Correct
Mathematics Program Reviews and Information.  Covers California math, Saxon, Singapore, Integrated High School Math, and many more...
Middle Grades Mathematics Textbooks: A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Evaluation of 13 middle school mathematics textbook series.  Good news: There are a few excellent middle-grades mathematics textbook series. The top two series, Connected Math and Mathematics in Context, contain both in-depth mathematics content and excellent instructional support.  Bad news: There are no popular commercial textbooks among the best rated. Most of the textbooks are inconsistent and often weak in their coverage of conceptual benchmarks in mathematics. Read Ranking by Quality of Instruction (requires Adobe required for Ranking only)
Resource Guide to Mathematics Curriculum for High Ability Learners in Grades K-8 by Center for Gifted Education, The College of William and Mary
...to help the teachers, administrators, and parents of high ability mathematics students explore the materials on the market today. The guide gives a set of criteria for judging new materials and gives examples of different types of materials that meet those criteria...
Singapore math Review...
Singapore Math is the actual curriculum used in Singapore from 1982 to 2001 (English is the language of instruction in Singapore).   Primary Mathematics U.S. Edition (for grades 1-6) & New Elementary Mathematics Syllabus D (for grades 7-10)  "Recommended for those who want a challenging math series with a proven international track record that will carry them part way into advanced math. This series integrates pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry and includes some advanced math topics"
UCSMP Everyday Mathematics Reviews...
Pre-kindergarten through 6th grade mathematics curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project.  "The overall evaluation of this program is mediocre, but that is far from telling the whole story. It is unusual in that some topics, such as perimeter and measurement, are covered quite well while other topics, notably addition and subtraction of whole numbers and to a lessor [sic] extent the work with time, are given a fairly weak treatment."  "Implementing it at the lower grade levels will undermine the students' ability to take traditional college preparatory math courses when they enter high school"

Last updated August 01, 2016

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