Last year, selected teachers switched to the Pearson Realize curriculum to pilot it. These teachers either used it for some lessons, a couple of units or for the entire book throughout the year. This year is the first year that Camas is implementing this new curriculum for all math classes. There are both pros and cons to this new curriculum.
With the online aspect of this new curriculum, students are able to get immediate feedback on whether they got problems wrong or right. This immediate feedback also shows the student how to get to the answer by offering hints, if they do get a problem wrong. That aspect of the curriculum has caused students to talk to other students and have more discussions about how to do the problems. “They are having more discussion with each other. I think some of the questions that the book poses about the explore and reason. It’s not just saying how you do it… It poses questions to you that you have to analyze and have discussions about,” says Mrs. Heather Siewert, an Algebra I and Geometry teacher at Camas High School.
This new curriculum has also caused more students to understand and learn topics faster than with the last curriculum. Siewert commented “I think that
my grades, that there is a more positive correlation now that we’ve done a new curriculum.” The Pearson Realize curriculum has also been made so that it is aligned with the newer math standards. With the last curriculum, the standards shifted while the curriculum stayed the same, because of how old it was. This helps teachers get an understanding of what they need to teach so that their students meet all of the standards they need to.
Though, some students still are struggling with learning the topics using the online textbook and notes. Samantha Voogt, a senior at Camas High School, mentioned how “It’s really hard to follow along with teachers and get notes. Like, I struggle with that a lot.” Some students learn better by taking notes rather than doing more hands-on examples. The online textbook and notes for this curriculum deal more with hands-on examples, which has been a challenge for students who learn better through taking notes.
Another problem that has been brought up is that online homework can be very strict about how a student has to answer a question. If a student answers a question right, but in a different order or form the program will mark it as wrong. This `can be very frustrating for students. Maliyah Plummer, a freshman at Camas High School, commented, “When you answer a question, you can get it easily wrong. It would be the right answer, but it could be in the wrong form or it can want you to put it into a fraction…It’s super frustrating, and you can get them wrong more easily.”