Additional Math Pages & Resources

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quasi-Mathematics

Today I'm going to cover a few things that are part of my daily routine of publishing math curriculum.

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RELATED SUBJECTS
Certain subjects that aren't strictly math have been added to the math curriculum in American schools. We teach those things because they are related to basic math. Here are a few:


MONEY
TIME
MEASURING
SORTING
GRAPHING
REASONING
POSITION
DIRECTIONS

Why are these things part of the math curriculum? Numbers are involved. Mathematical calculations occur. Conversions are essential. Comparing happens. Explanations are needed. Even if it's not strictly "math."

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SOCIAL CONTENT
We also have other concerns in our math curriculum that are of a completely different nature. In California we call this "Social Content." In our curriculum we:
  • Avoid mention of any anti-social activity (littering, truancy, crime)
  • Show ethnic, racial and gender diversity in choice of names and events
  • We demonstrate respect for the elderly and infirm
  • We try to show kids the benefits of productivity, hard work, thrift, careful shopping, etc.
  • Problems should involve healthy choices in diet (no more jelly beans, M&Ms, cigarettes)
Sometimes you might find the curriculum changes slightly in ways that doesn't affect the math calculation. A name is changed, or subject matter of a problem changes, or a picture is different. When this happens, it's often due to a social concern.

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TIMELY & RELEVANT
Excel Math products are used in all states and many educational environments -- public schools, private schools, homeschooling, military and overseas schools, etc. As a result, you might see things that aren't familiar to your kids.


We are based in Southern California so our examples often include the beach, the mountains and the desert. We don't talk much about snow (many local kids have never seen it).

We try to be culturally-up-to-date, so sometimes we rewrite the curriculum to take out skates and put in scooters or skateboards. We struggle to know what kids will buy with their limited funds - taking surveys of parents and kids. We need this so our money problems can be relevant. We change images because mobile phones are no longer the size of a brick.

We also want the books to be imaginative. I must admit that I like the occasional sci-fi problem, such as Dimension Woman and Dimension Man stepping in from an alternative universe to sort out the measurement wrongs in our world!  We tend not to have imaginary scenarios like talking animals "Mr Red Squirrel stored 32 nuts in the tree warehouse.