Math Homework Controversies

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by SF_Giants66, Oct 3, 2014.

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  1. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    We've had these textbooks for three years. My kids have personally cracked open the covers five times in those three years. I only use them when I have a substitute, and I'm reasonably sure my administration won't walk in for an observation, since I'd get docked pretty severely for using them.
     
  2. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Why are textbooks supplied if they are not to be used? That's mightily confusing.
     
  3. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    We don't do skill practice in math at my school during the day. Students are expected to do this at home as their math homework most nights. I don't think there's a "wrong" way to practice multiplication or addition as long as they're getting the right answers (which I check when I check hw) so I think it's useful for my students in developing math fluency.
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Calculator?
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    So I asume you only use them with a substitue for the problems, as A2Z was saying. It is a resource for problems.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I have the substitutes read through the lesson with the kids too. There are some substitutes that I trust to be literate, but not to actually teach the kids anything.
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Systematic reading and writing instruction....including PHONICS. In SMALL GROUPS. Made from SMALL CLASSES.

    If I threw money at anything, it'd be a guided reading library and high quality classroom libraries for every room K-8. Teachers will do what they do when given the right resources.
     
  8. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Textbooks suck. They are old school and outdated. I've used a textbook in college math maybe a couple times in all the years. I even sold one of my books as new online because I only ever opened it two times throughout the course.
     
  9. DrivingPigeon

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    I didn't read all of the replies, so I'm just responding based on the original post.

    In my district, many elementary teachers send home the daily homework sheet that goes with our curriculum (Math Expressions). I choose only to send it home if I feel that students have a very good grasp on the concept. If I send homework home and they're confused, their parents may teach them a more confusing way to solve the problem, or the wrong way. Or they just try to complete it on their own, and everything is wrong.

    I extended my math block to 90 minutes this year. During that time, I'm meeting with students one-on-one, and in small groups. I feel that I'm meeting the needs of my students during math time, and allowing them sufficient guided and independent practice. I don't see the need to send math homework home, really.

    I remember the extra practice being really helpful when I was in high school, though. My textbook had examples and directions. Teachers could also post how-to videos online (either created by themselves or taken from websites like Khan). My teachers were always willing to help me before and after school, too.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    So, what is new school, SF?
     
  11. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    I'd imagine "new school" would be using video tutorials (like Kahn Academy), which many of my students prefer over reading problem solving in a textbook.
     
  12. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    It is not really even about a math textbook, it is about reading A textbook and being able to understand it and apply it to something.
     
  13. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    If they're using a calculator I would say they're not really doing it all.

    Plus, with no work on the page if any of them were using a calculator I'd know. I know from the work we do in class which students know their facts, so I know they're using mental math on the homework. If they were using a calculator well then so be it they know their facts anyway. The students who don't know their facts have work shown on their paper so I can tell they didn't use a calculator.
     
  14. a2z

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    A student who doesn't know math facts can use a calculator and still show work. They just have to use the calculator for each step and write the answer appropriately.

    I've seen kids do that with multiplication charts as the tool instead of a calculator. The chart actually helped them learn the facts because they obtained and accurate answer for every fact. Since it was more multi-sensory to find the answer, it ended up sticking after using this method for a while. Using the calculator didn't do the same thing.
     
  15. SF_Giants66

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    I've gone to Khan Academy, and it is good, but not really stimulating enough for me. It mostly is one guy talking and writing down problems with an electronic pen.

    I like the interactive videos and modules that give step by step example problems.

    These are much preferable to text books, and the way young minds are brought up with technology today, reading text books just really isn't the way most people learn the best. It's not about the ability to read, it is just that we don't generally have the patience to learn as much reading pages and pages of text books.
     
  16. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    This is third and fourth grade math. If the equation is 4 x 8 and they use a calculator...what step are they going to show? I would know if they were using a calculator. Not to mention if they're getting all the questions right on their homework and can't do a thing in class it would kind of be an indicator something is up. It's pretty easy to catch kids who don't do what they're supposed to when they're 8 or 9 years old if you pay attention.
     
  17. a2z

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    I didn't say you wouldn't know they were using an aid when you saw the work in class. You said you didn't think there was a wrong way to practice facts. My point was some might use a calculator to practice and that would be the wrong way.

    I did say that in multi-digit multiplication it is possible to use the calculator and show the process work but have the calculator do each individual calculation in the procedure.

    For some, they may think that using a calculator and seeing the right answer is a way of practicing. I honestly see guessing as the worst type of practice. Adding up can work but it is painfully inefficient way of learning facts. Using a calculator seems similar to using a multiplication chart, but the multi-sensory use of the multiplication chart tends to help strugglers.
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

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    I totally disagree. But I'd imagine that you'd consider me old school and outdated too.

    You know what though? Textbooks got me my college degrees. College degrees that led me to three successful jobs in two different careers. One of those careers you're struggling to join. So far it looks like those "outdated" books worked pretty darn well.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

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    Yes, young minds are lazy. They start out inquisitive and then slowly, as they have more information GIVEN to them, they get lazy. It is our job to make sure that our students' minds are WORKING. That does require patience and the ability to figure out things by reading information here and there. To feed information to students immediately when they demand quick answers, does not help them.
     
  20. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    And my point is that a good teacher would pick up which students are using a calculator and put a stop to it. If I thought a child was using a calculator obviously I know they're not practicing their facts and I'd put a stop to it.
     
  21. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree with this. Homework, in my opinion, should be minimal. It´s also important to know it´s controversial and a hot topic. The most important thing to remember is it should always be to reinforce what has been taught in class, or review a concept. It should never be given because there wasn´t time to cover it in class. It should always be pretaught in class. It´s not fair to the students (or parents) to expect them to learn it all by themselves as homework.
     
  22. SF_Giants66

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    It could be because you're much older than young people today and don't have the same brain wiring. Times have changed and we have to change with them. I've done very little with textbooks in any of my college courses, and I have an associates degree as well as being only 1.5 semesters away from my bachelor's degree.

    Just because textbooks have worked for you, doesn't mean they are still likely to work for others.

    We're not in the baby boomers and older generation. We grew up with different methods of learning and the technology age. We don't need textbooks when we have better ways of communicating to learners.
     
  23. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    :spitwater: (that was my coffee, actually)

    Oh, SNAP! Did you really just old-shame?

    GET OFF MY LAWN!!
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My daughter is 20, certainly a child of the technology age. She couldn't do without her textbooks--"old-school" bound ones at that. Be careful about making sweeping generalizations.
     
  25. SF_Giants66

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    Old shame? Not really.

    However, brains are wired based on their ways of learning. I don't think textbooks are generally the way people learn the best today. Those who grew up before the internet are more capable of learning the old fashioned way with books, while those of us who grew up during the technology generation prefer interactive learning.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Yeah. That's called not being taught to learn from reading. It is an epidemic in today's society. It has nothing to do with the actual brain, just what is being done to the brain.
     
  27. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I completely disagree with this idea. Relying solely on interactive learning is the lazy way out of teaching. Children need to learn how to use and learn from all kinds of books, including textbooks. That is a skill that is sorely lacking in our children now.

    Who passed the law that said children in school should be entertained all day?

    I am reminded of the Twilight episode where there is a man who loves to read. Some kind of catastrophe hits and he appears to be the only survivor but he is sorrounded by books. Thought he would be happy as a clam for the rest of his life until he realizes his glasses are broken.

    Interactive lessons have their value, but so does the actual task of thumbing through a book to find the information you need.
     
  28. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Um. When you say things like "you're much older than young people" and "your brain is wired differently", that is stereotyping and old-shaming.

    Also, please stop using phrases like "we(used to indicate so-called young people) don't need textbooks". I (a self-proclaimed "young person") do not want to be lumped in to a vicious and down-right incorrect stereotype like that. Speak for yourself.

    And, I would be cautious about being boastful about earning two college degrees while using a textbook "very little". It's kind of like saying you visited Hawaii and spent 22 hours a day in your hotel room.
     
  29. SF_Giants66

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    Textbooks are the way of the stone age. It's that simple. I would still get good grades without them. I open them when I have to, but usually just go on the internet and learn the way that brains absorb more information. Digital and vocal sticks more than words on paper.
     
  30. TeacherNY

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    That was my first thought.

    (Also, the Twilight Zone episode you mentioned was my favorite!!) :D
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    "Different" is not necessarily "better". See also http://mic.com/articles/99408/science-has-great-news-for-people-who-read-actual-books: research indicates that sustained reading from print both requires and builds skills that reading online and via Kindle don't.
     
  32. SF_Giants66

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    It's not really a law. It's just that books are for novels and literature, and are outdated for math.

    I suppose someone in this generation can learn better with a textbook if they are the minority, such as the ones raised by old school people who still use a phone book and send checks in for their credit card bills.

    As a teacher, I'll be able to tell these parents when they walk into school with a bun in their hair.
     
  33. SF_Giants66

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    Yeah, the internet can change brain wiring I agree, but I just don't think textbooks are necessary, and they take up too much space.
     
  34. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    :eek:hmy:
     
  35. SF_Giants66

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    That was supposed to be funny!

    Old school stereotypes.... Hair up in a bun? Ha ha?
     
  36. gr3teacher

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    Nothing is necessary. You could teach a group with nothing but sticks and a dirt floor if you needed to, but that doesn't mean textbooks don't have their purpose. Being able to read, comprehend, and apply information from a book is a very useful skill for people to have. CAN you learn without them? Sure.
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

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    Huh. Stereotyping is funny. I think that's much less new school than old oafishness.
     
  38. SF_Giants66

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    Reading skills are not my job as a math teacher. The ELA teachers are handling that.
     
  39. SF_Giants66

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    Okay, sorry if anyone was offended. It was supposed to be funny. People in person laugh.
     
  40. kcjo13

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    People in person aren't laughing at your jokes.
     
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