I recently heard that the Wilton schools are dropping Chicago math in favor of Singapore math. This gives me hope for the future in ways that have nothing to do with how kids are taught to multiply.
First, as a parent, I have been appalled by Chicago math. The "logorythmic spiral" approach described by teachers just never made sense to me. (I can't think of other areas in life where important skill sets are taught in fragments and where necessary practice and repetition are derided as mindless memorization --what's wrong with memorization?) I am impressed that the powers that be at the Wilton schools woke up to the fact that the Singapore kids are cleaning up on math skills while U.S. kids have been languishing near the bottom of the heap internationally.
So this development gives me hope that there could be progress in other areas as well. Here's one: the childhood obesity epidemic.
Hans Kraus, whom I wrote about in my book, JFK'S SECRET DOCTOR, back in the 1950s was the first to identify the problem that American children weren't getting enough exercise, and that there was a direct correlation between sedentary lifestyles, not enough exercise, fitness, and mental and physical health. True, Wilton kids seem fitter than most in the U.S., but we still have a long way to go. Many kids, unless they are on a sports team or doing exercise outside of the schools, are too sedentary. So here's a proposal for getting our kids to exercise more, submitted in the spirit that if our schools can drop Chicago math for Singapore math, anything, even extremely unlikely, can happen.
Bike lanes for kids to bike to school.
Granted, this would mean some major overhauls. Wilton isn't set up for kids biking to school. We don't have the dedicated bike lanes, houses are sprawled around our beautiful town, there is the question of what they would do with their 238 pound backpacks on the bike and at the school...
Lots of challenges with this one, I realize. But I toss it out for a starting point for discussion: How can we get more exercise built into our kids' lives? How can we get our kids to move more?
I'd love your comments on this.