Homeschool World Forums     Home     Mall     Catalog     Articles     Contests     Events     Groups     Forum     Contact  
Homeschool World Forum Forum Index Homeschool World Forum
Read thousands of forum posts on topics such as homeschool law, getting started, curriculum, special needs, homeschool vs public school, and much, much more!
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

What in the world is "Spiral" method??

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Homeschool World Forum Forum Index -> Math
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Jenamarie
User


Joined: 19 Jan 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject: What in the world is "Spiral" method?? Reply with quote

I keep seeing this word mentioned in math curriculum reviews. What the heck is the "spiral" method? What are the pro's and con's of it? What type of learners is it best suited for?

Thanks. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jill
User


Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A spiral curriculum basically keeps revisiting the same skills over and over with increasing difficulty over a period of time.

IMO, it works well with some subjects, not so much with others.

We use a spiral curriculum approach for history. We did a "surface" study of world history when my kids were younger, then American History, now we are on our second "pass" of world history - this time a little more in depth. We'll cover American history again next year with more depth. Then we'll repeat the process so by the time they finish high school, they will have done a 3rd round of each.

Science is another subject that lends itself to a spiral curriuculum. There are things kids are not ready to learn about in early elementary, but can comprehend in high school. Just because they are young, they don't have to be shut out from the subject entirely.

I'm not convinced it works for math though. For example, my daughter's school used a spiral curriculum for math. They worked on basic addition and subtraction for a few weeks, then they'd take a break from that and work on fractions for a few weeks, then they'd take a break from that and do multiplication (yes, multiplying in 1st grade.) Once they got through several topics, they'd "spiral" back and repeat them....addition and subtraction again, fractions again, ect. She didn't know if she was going or coming, and when I brought her home in 2nd grade, she was struggling with all the math concepts they had covered.

To me this type of spiral math curriculum is different than "reviewing" math concepts you've already taught and kids have mastered to keep in practice. This particular program "left" addition for several weeks to cover fractions then moved to multiplication. Math skills build on each other, so I'm not sure how you can fully understand multiplication without having a firm grasp on addition. Confused I discussed this with her teacher who totally agreed with me, but of course had to continue with what the district demanded. Maybe it made the kids "feel smart" if they could multiply at 6 years old?

Hope that helps!
_________________
Jill
http://www.homeschool-by-design.com
Where love and learning go hand in hand.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
dkocur
User


Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 30
Location: Fort Worth

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any subject that you can understand at a high level and then drill down endlessly into details (such as history and geography) would be a good match for the spiral method. With math (and reading for that matter) you start with the tiniest details and build upon them. The spiral method just doesn't make sense for them.
_________________
David Kocur
UberSmart Software
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Munchie33
User


Joined: 24 Oct 2011
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The spiral method certainly does work better for some subjects than others. Any subject where you have to learn a lot of facts works well. History, for example, can be taught as a general overview when children are younger, but as they get older different parts of history can be revisited again and again and again, going into more detail each time.

A major strength of the spiral method is that rather than always learning something totally new and difficult, children build on what is already familiar to them. It is much more comfortable, and called 'scaffolding' by education researchers. Basically, if you give a child a fact like "The French Revolution began in 1789", it is meaningless unless they have a context for it. What is France? What is a revolution? How long ago was 1789? What was life like then that made people revolt? Etc. So if you teach big overviews first and then start revisiting various parts and narrowing in as they get older, they will always have a context and not struggle with new concepts.

The beauty of the spiral method is that it can be adapted to all learning types. Visual learners can revisit topics through visual means, kinesthetic learners through kinesthetic means, and so on.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Homeschool World Forum Forum Index -> Math All times are GMT - 6 Hours (CST)
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Homeschool World Terms of Use  •  Privacy Policy  •  Copyright ©1993-Now Home Life, Inc.