Math Wars

Discussion in 'General Education' started by jw13, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 18, 2008

    That's why I keep saying we need BOTH. They go hand in hand. You can teach concepts till you're blue in the face, and the kids might understand them, but to actually use them, certain things need to be learned to the point of instant recall. On the flip side, you can memorize an algorithm and be able to apply in in a limited situation, but unless you know the concept behind it, you won't really be able to fully grasp what you're doing and why you're doing it.
     
  2. peridotylayne

    peridotylayne Companion

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    Jul 18, 2008

    I had a student this year who I am so VERY proud of. She was a bilingual denial (fluent in english, but couldn't spell if her life depended on it for lack of phonics). She was also dyslexic, but that's beside the point. She came to me from 3rd grade making a 43 on her TAKS math. She had a few core problems.

    1. She didn't know her facts AT ALL
    2. She didn't understand all of the WHY and most of the HOW when it came to basic math.

    I started tutoring early with her on the WHY of addition (regrouping) and subtraction (regrouping). Once she got that we did LOTS of practice with the how. Once she got that down we moved on to the WHY of multiplication - (I actually did this as whole group instruction because my entire class of 20 didn't know that multiplication was repeated addition.) When we went to computer lab she did multiplication facts instead of what everyone else was doing.

    Division took her a while, but by the end of the year she did it better than most in my class.

    She left my class passing her 4th grade TAKS with an 81 .. a far cry from a 43. I just hope her 5th grade math teacher keeps working with her.
     
  3. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    Jul 18, 2008

    I want to refer to what mmswm said earlier in the topic. I find that happens way too often. Calculus students can do calculus - no problem. It all makes sense. They mess up on their algebra, and that goes back to what they've been learning since middle school.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 18, 2008

    Blue...sometimes it's worse than that...the students I was refering to were messing up in the arithmetic. We're talking about 4th grade stuff here. I'm with teachergroupie on this one. The powers that be keep searching for some magic bullet, a once size fits all sort of thing that every teacher can use for every student. No such thing exists, and our kids are paying the price of the administrative stupidity.
     

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