I was curious if anyone use envision math or saxon math. My school district is looking at these two programs to purchase for next year. I have seen presentations on both but I would love to hear what others have to say about these two programs. envision's technology is impressive and has a wow factor, and Saxon focuses more on math without the bells and whistles, but you can easily integrate technology into your math lessons. Many classrooms have Promethean boards and more are going to be purchased next year. I am one of the lucky ones to have an interactive board, and have had a blast using it so far this year.

Tags: envision, math, saxon

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We have used and are using the older version of Saxon from when the founder of the series was still alive. It has since been bought out by a major publisher that has made some changes, so I am limited on what insight I can give on the new modifications. I have not seen the Envision before.

That being said, here are the pros and cons of Saxon that I see from the original versions.

Pro:

The repetition of concepts on a daily basis over time does seem to help the majority of students to master the material.

I have seen very high test score in my students (my sample size is small because I teach in very small groups).

The texts are very thorough. You will not see concept holes in Saxon. It builds up to concepts incrementally, so a lot of thought went in to the coverage of concepts needed.

Cons:

Concepts are not clustered by topics that are related, so I have added in concept maps that give a big picture view of what concepts are related to other concepts and how. That helps the big picture kids to scaffold the information storage in to their minds. I am personally that type of a learner, so I know that can be a big help.

Students sometimes feel that Saxon is a lot of work. I am not so sure that is a con, but it is a reality. Since I teach in a small group type of setting, I can gauge individual mastery of the students pretty easily and have allowed the students to skip the problems in the problem set that they personally have displayed mastery over. That makes them feel like they really earned something in mastering the concept though and is a big motivator.

Like you, I see Saxon as lacking the bells and whistles and some of the fun of the more computerized curriculums. I teach online though and since my environment is Elluminate, I make whiteboard games and activities and link the students out to online interactives regularly. Elluminate and Smartboards are very similar in the design of activities, so if you like to create Smartboard activities and link to websites you will find it to be no trouble to add the glitter in to the program.

You didn't mention what grade level you are teaching in the post here. What level will you have? If it is a level I have interactives for, I might be able to send some resources along that will work with your Smartboard.
I teach 5th grade. We haven't been informed of a decision yet, I am leaning toward Saxon so hopefully that is what we do get. Just looking at the program I thought that technology could be easily incorporated so I like hearing that from you.
I teach Saxon and I find that it works really well

I love the repetition and the worksheet format for K - 3rd Grade

The only con I have is that until the second part of third grade the work will seem boring to your higher achieving students.
I am familiar with the Saxon series. It seems to fit the description "a mile wide but an inch deep". Lots of topics, but not much depth into them. I would stay away from Saxon. Hope this helps! I have taught from the Core Plus Curriculum (reformed) as well as the traditional curriculum.

Mike
I would take a look at CARNEGIE LEARNING. I had great success with their books and software in South Florida. Their Bridge to Algebra can work with some 5th grade classes.
I have used Saxon for 25 years. The 'mile wide but inch deep' was not accurate at all. I have experienced a great deal of success using their high school curriculum including several math contest winners at different levels in different states. Is it perfect? No. I do supplement with a variety of materials and activities.

My wife has taught 5th grade with Saxon for years. She has had a lot of success.

Our 8th grade used Saxon last year and was ranked 1st in the state for all schools in Wyoming.They have been using the newer junior high series for three years.

Each of us teachers has taught using Saxon for years and thus know how to compensate for it's weaknesses.

Note: we have looked at their new textbook series. Very rigorous. All five standard areas are address thoroughly. We are excited.

There are several good companies offering outstanding math curriculum. Saxon is one of them.

Sorry I don't know much about Envision. You should also evaluate them closely before making a decision.

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