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Anyone else frustrated with the way your kids are learning math??

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by DsMom, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. DsMom

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    Suddenly...math is no longer math...but math/language arts. My kids in grade school can't just learn to add/subtract/multiply...they have to EXPLAIN in writing why they did what they did. So, they can do the math right, but not explain it right...and get it wrong.:mad: My son with ADHD is very weak in his writing abilities...but is usually pretty good in math. But this new way of teaching discounts his math ability...and his grades suffer because of his weak verbal abililty.

    Am just so frustrated. They also just can't do basic calculating anymore...they do it this funky new way with little math "trees" where you round numbers and then add or take away numbers...instead of just lining up the darn numbers and adding them. A one or two step process now takes four or five steps. What a collosal waste of class time.:mad:

    Sorry...vent over.:(
     
  2. ecs1516

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    I agree with you. What was wrong with how they used to teach math?
     
  3. sarahspins

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    It didn't take up nearly as much class time or generate nearly as much take-home work.... :rolleyes:
     
  4. mmgirls

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    yes and since "I" don't know what the heck the little simbols are that the use to do 2nd grade math, "I" the mom is wrong and "thats not how my teacher taught me to do it. My second grader does not like when she did what what she was taught and I tell her is is incorrect and try to show her how I do it and she looks at me like I am from another planet!
     
  5. 3kidlets

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    Yes. My son s in 4 th grade and is really struggling with math. They have to do several nonsensical steps to do a very basic problem. Complete waste of time and confusing. There is something very wrong when a parent can't figure out what the heck they want!
     
  6. misscaitp

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    I sort of have a problem with it, but at the same time I'm alright. After being in the classroom, including teaching a math lesson, and taking a math class for education majors it does seem like a lot of work. The reason for the writing is pushed more towards the Common Core and standardized testing. Here is a link to the common core standards:

    http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Math%20Standards.pdf

    There is really a push towards the student understanding what the problem is asking as many children can do the work but they never answer the question because they lose focus on what it was asking, this is really true in the younger grades. So I really understand it bringing it back to what the question is asking.

    Also with say addition and substraction the focus is on making sure the child knows that when doing 38 + 20 they know that when adding they are not doing 3 +2 but 30 + 20. Place value is huge.

    So there really wasn't a problem with the system other than it didn't teach to the test.

    Also with the Common Core you are forced to move on even if the student doesn't understand. This is what happens when teachers are not involved in the planning of expected curriculum. Teachers hate this standard box and many feel they are doing a disservice to their students. I know I felt terrible when trying to teach 4th graders division when many couldn't do 2 digit addition or subtraction.

    When I was in my teaching placement I had to try to catch on to the new terminology because it seems like everything has a different name or there is a mnemonic for everything.
     
  7. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I like it. It's not what I had, but I think the program our school uses is valuable. I think you have to think like an educator to really get it, but still, I think it's an improvement over old school. And fwiw my kid had hardly any Math homework till 6th grade :cwds:
     
  8. sarahspins

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    JMO but that's what's wrong with it NOW.... what happened to teaching to gain knowledge rather than "to the test".? The test is complete BS.. because all standardized tests do is measure the LOWEST level that is considered acceptable... which is pretty darn low, and they over complicate many concepts so that how well they are being taught in the classroom can be measured (note: the current tests really do not measure what they are actually learning, the standardized tests have become twisted into measures of teacher performance, not student performance).

    I want my kids to be taught MORE than that... I want them to understand math how numbers work and to be able to calculate answers quickly without having to line up a set of blocks or draw pictures and I don't need my kids to have their grades look poor because they can do more mental math than their teachers can, which has so far been an issue with ALL of them, even my 5 year old.. they don't understand why it's necessary to "show" their work when it's so fundamentally simple that they shouldn't HAVE to.. I mean really, how do you SHOW single digit addition/subtraction - I find it incredibly stupid that showing work for such low level math is REQUIRED now. It's math, not art class!

    It's really frustrating to try to explain to your kids why they have to take "baby steps" in their math homework just to make their teacher happy when all they do is complain that it's stupid because the questions are already way too easy and "boring".
     
  9. mmgirls

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    My 2nd grader is coming home with word problems. Which she setts up fine but by the time she getts to the math she is spent!

    I just wish they sent home something that explained what they are learning.

    I have learned allot of "tricks" but they have always been based upon a common knowledge.

    No Matter which way you look at it, a parent should know how and why they are doing it a particular way. And how to help them learn it that does not contradict what they have learned.
     
  10. Charliesmom

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    My daughter is in 4th, too. She is really struggling because they are teaching all these other methods to solve multiplication/division instead of the basic way we learned it. Heck, I can't figure it out. You would think they would teach long division first and then teach the "tricks".
     
  11. Beach bum

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    The problem we are facing is that we are deemed "a school in need of improvement in math" and that the school system has changed the math program 3 times in about 6 years. They did this in an effort to fix the problem and have only created more problems. Currently we are on a new program called "Singapore Math." It has it's pros and cons. Currently, I'm seeing more cons, but IMO it's because we are learning the new ways of this program. The teachers are still learning it too. I don't like that the tests are nothing like what the kids see in the books (ie. familiar problems that they did in class/homework), the questions are crazy tricky. Beyond what you really would use in everyday life (even in the life of carb counting and figuring doses!), and they are almost traps. Kids who generally love the challenge of math are really getting hung up. I have one child who really struggles and when I approached the school about getting a tutor they basically said there is no one out there who can tutor her because this program is so new to the area. Great. Luckily, we have a great math teacher who has blocked out one afternoon a week and kids can go to him for help.
    My biggest peeve is that the school gives no support for the parents. No website to refer to so that we can help understand it too and help our kids.

    I like that they are challenging the kids with the new math, but I'm finding that it's teaching to the test to achieve the best score. Not all the kids are understanding HOW they got the answer, or WHY the answer they got was wrong. IMO, it's more important for the kids to understand the how's and why's and how to do their work efficiently. Meaning, show work when necessary, but when it's obvious it's not needed, don't. If it's a question where the teacher says to themselves "how the heck did they get that?" then work should be shown. I'm one for there's always benefits to new ways of doing things, but as I said, this new program for us, has it's downsides too.
     
  12. DsMom

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    I have a son in 4th grade, and because they are doing this new math, they have had to take them back to a first grade level to teach them from the lowest level how to do this. So, instead of progressing with 4th grade math in the way they have already mastered, they have spent months teaching them what they would have learned had they started this math in first grade.:eek:

    As much as I dislike the math, I dislike this even more! If you are going to teach a new way, start with the first graders and let them come up through the grades learning the new way....but let the older kids go on with how THEY learned it from the start. Don't make them go backwards!!
     
  13. danismom79

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    Eh, I don't mind it so much. I consider it a good thing for them to learn why and how they are arriving at the solutions. That also helps the teachers see the kids' thought processes. That's what school is really supposed to be about - not just learning facts and numbers, but learning how to think. There's a lot more going on in math class than calculations.

    I have a hard time helping my daughter sometimes because I solve things differently than she was taught in class. They started some "new math" in elementary school, but admitted that by high school, they would be doing things the "regular" way. I don't see the point.
     
  14. DsMom

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    I agree it's important to learn how to think...but if my son gets the answer right, then he obviously thought the problem through correctly and solved it (unless it was multiple choice and he just guessed...but they don't have multiple choice on his regular tests). However, he may not have the verbal ability to put that process into words and then write it down. So, they are really testing his verbal and writing abilities in addition to the math...and he can be good in math but still get a poor grade. That's what frustrates me.
     
  15. danismom79

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    Geometry is going to be a beast.
     
  16. BittysMom

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    My 6th grader has a really cool "math brain". He can manipulate numbers in his head and envision the answers some way (that I don't understand) but he then doesn't know how to do the math on paper or put it in writing. He gets frustrated because even for some pretty hard problems he "just knows" it.

    There are times I've spent almost an hour trying to teach him how to do a problem that he had figured out seconds. Such is school though. I tell him that it's cool and will benefit him when he's an adult.
     
  17. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  18. Izzi

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    I'm in high school, but after I graduate I'm going into Elem. Education. I have started some classes at school and shadowed a 2nd grade teacher. She said the way the teach math now is completely ridicolous. She doesn't get the point of it so she showed the kids the method OP was talking about and showed them the methods ww were taught. She said it does take up extra time, but that time comes from their art time during the week.
     
  19. Beach bum

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    My daughter who struggles with math would so benefit from this. I think her outlook would be much more positive knowing that "if I can't figure it out this way, then I can always try it this way." This way, there are detours around the road blocks.

    I whole heartedly agree that problem solving is only one piece of the pie, but the biggest piece is working with each kids unique math mind.
     
  20. virgo39

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    Our district uses the University of Chicago Everyday Mathematics course materials. At first, I was puzzled by the first and second grade curriculum, but I have come to like it a lot. They introduce concepts that are then reintroduced the following year. And I think that some of the work I didn't see as particularly useful early on, is intended to help students develop "number sense." They also use a letter at the beginning of each unit to explain what is being taught.

    That said, DD struggles a bit with math and we use some apps for the iPad (Jungle apps and Mathopolis) and traditional flash cards to work on her math facts.
     

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