Review of 7th Grade CMP Text by Betty TsangReview of 7th Grade CMP Text by Betty Tsang
Variables and Patterns: Introducing Algebra (4 weeks)
That is the unit that has the bike tour journal. I was not that impressed especially when they introduce graphing calculators for simple straight line graphs. I believe the real life problems such as temperatures distributions in the day and or bike tour obscure the simplicity of math about straight line etc. After that unit, she plotted a graph of distance vs. time (of day) where she plotted points for every hour. When I asked her what is the distance the biker travels by 10:30 am, she told me that was impossible to answer since there was no points in the graph at that particular time!? (Actually she claimed that was what her teacher told her. I prefer to leave that as rumor or misunderstanding) The overemphasis on discrete integer values blinded the kid about extrapolation.

Moving Straight Ahead : Linear Relationships (4 weeks)
I have similar complaints as 1. I vaguely remember the section on slope which she learned more from her science class than math.
Accentuate the Negative: Integers (3 weeks)
My daughter cried her ways through drawing chips (red and black). That is the unit that convinced her to get out of Kinawa math to go to CHAMP -- about the most positive thing I can say regarding CMP.
Stretching and Shrinking : Similarity (4 weeks)
This is a good example that some geometry should be taught before diving into similar triangles, rectangles etc. I don't know how the activity with rubber bands works.
Comparing and Scaling :Ratio, Proportion and Percent (4 weeks)
It reads like Bits and Pieces II. Thus I don't think much about it in teaching ratios, proportions and Percent. Moreover, I will be surprised if most kids at this age will find the population census data interesting. However I do find Chapter 5 about estimating populations of deers in Michigan by sampling to be interesting.  On the other hand, I remembered Ylinne learned similar method to estimate the number of bats in a cave in 6th grade. Still I found the method interesting that I would not mind repeating it.
Data around us: Number Sense (2 weeks)
I don't know how to make out of the book. The only thing I can say is that both of my kids hate working with large numbers. I would say a couple problems to illustrate the points will be all they can take. They are definitely not interested in census data. However, for other kids, this may be good and is good PR to parents to hear that the kids are working with real data.
Filling and Wrapping: Three-Dimensional Measurement (4 weeks)
I believe this units can be taught with formula in a week to calculate surface area and volume. I think it is good that they illustrate the surface area and volume by folding cardboard. However, I have strong reservations about calculating the surface area of a cylinder by counting squares on a grid paper though. It is much easier to explain to the kid about area of the circles and multiply that by the length to get volume.
What Do you ExpectWhat Do you Expect                                                                                                                            
I do not know how much experiments they do with coins and dice. Tossing coins 10 times is all my kids can take. I think analysing one stage and two stage games especially if this is accompanied by softwares that illustrate the points may be fine. However putting out a page of nonsense pictograms on Pg. 71 is ridiculous. If they just want the kids to guess, it is not necessary to go to such extreme waste of paper.

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