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Posted by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 11:05 PM
• 19 Replies
So I have a 2nd grader. We use Christian Liberty. Today I was comparing work with a 2nd grader from our church who attends the local elementary. The school gives the 2nd graders timed tests every Friday in math. They have 10 minutes to do 100 addition problems, then 10 minutes to do 100 subtraction problems. The sum or difference of each problem is 10 or less. They haven't learned to carry or borrow yet. My 2nd grader has learned to carry and borrow up to 4 places, but hasn't had timed math tests. What does your 2nd grade math look like? And do I need to do timed tests?
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 11:05 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Timed tests are just ways of practicing to make the facts faster and easier in their minds.   Like flash cards.   If you do flash cards, you basically are doing timed tests, only timed tests give them the added challenge of writing the answers quickly.   It's not a big deal either way, but I know that KNOWING the facts easily and quickly sure help with the bigger problems.

by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Maybe we should add in a little bit of flash cards. I need to find some...

Quoting KrissyKC:

Timed tests are just ways of practicing to make the facts faster and easier in their minds.   Like flash cards.   If you do flash cards, you basically are doing timed tests, only timed tests give them the added challenge of writing the answers quickly.   It's not a big deal either way, but I know that KNOWING the facts easily and quickly sure help with the bigger problems.

by on Oct. 6, 2013 at 12:45 AM

If that is something you guys would enjoy.   Just make sure you don't feel pressured to "keep up with the Jones's" type mentality.   There are other ways of learning math facts.   Games, recitations, making posters of the fact families, racing back and forth putting together math puzzles, using online games (a free site that has a lot of fun games is called shepperdsoftware.com.

Whatever your child does to learn best and in the most fun way, find a way to work that into it.

Quoting Britty1987:

Maybe we should add in a little bit of flash cards. I need to find some...

Quoting KrissyKC:

Timed tests are just ways of practicing to make the facts faster and easier in their minds.   Like flash cards.   If you do flash cards, you basically are doing timed tests, only timed tests give them the added challenge of writing the answers quickly.   It's not a big deal either way, but I know that KNOWING the facts easily and quickly sure help with the bigger problems.

by Silver Member on Oct. 6, 2013 at 2:15 AM

I wouldn't worry about timed tests.  It is just to see how much of the basic facts they have memorized.  Just keep doing what you are doing and your kid will be fine.  We use a lot of flash cards only because DS hates worksheets.

by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm going to take a different position here.  I also have a second grader.  While flashcards do increase the speed and ease with which a child can do calculations, I've found (I have three older children) that there is a difference between being able to "shout out" the number and write down the number -- especially in a timed test environment.  I think it has to do with not getting immediate feedback, but whatever the cause, I've noticed a difference.  In any event, being able to do those calculations, on paper, fast, is critical to being able to do computations of longer problems easily.  I wouldn't do timed tests just because the school does, and 100 problems in 10 minutes seems to me to be overkill and not really a "speed" test -- I'd do 10 problems to start in say 1 minute and then, if you feel that he needs help building concentration and focus for speed work over a slightly longer time increase by 5 or 10 problems each week.  I've also found that doing a speed test every day or almost every day  rather than once a week works better -- or at least it does/did for my kids.

by on Oct. 6, 2013 at 10:15 PM

This is very good advice, too.   I agree with her as well.   We didn't do a ton of timed tests...  However, when we did, we did them daily in small spurts.  10-20 problems at first.

Quoting JKronrod:

I'm going to take a different position here.  I also have a second grader.  While flashcards do increase the speed and ease with which a child can do calculations, I've found (I have three older children) that there is a difference between being able to "shout out" the number and write down the number -- especially in a timed test environment.  I think it has to do with not getting immediate feedback, but whatever the cause, I've noticed a difference.  In any event, being able to do those calculations, on paper, fast, is critical to being able to do computations of longer problems easily.  I wouldn't do timed tests just because the school does, and 100 problems in 10 minutes seems to me to be overkill and not really a "speed" test -- I'd do 10 problems to start in say 1 minute and then, if you feel that he needs help building concentration and focus for speed work over a slightly longer time increase by 5 or 10 problems each week.  I've also found that doing a speed test every day or almost every day  rather than once a week works better -- or at least it does/did for my kids.

by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:14 AM
That might be a better idea... thanks!

Quoting JKronrod:

I'm going to take a different position here.  I also have a second grader.  While flashcards do increase the speed and ease with which a child can do calculations, I've found (I have three older children) that there is a difference between being able to "shout out" the number and write down the number -- especially in a timed test environment.  I think it has to do with not getting immediate feedback, but whatever the cause, I've noticed a difference.  In any event, being able to do those calculations, on paper, fast, is critical to being able to do computations of longer problems easily.  I wouldn't do timed tests just because the school does, and 100 problems in 10 minutes seems to me to be overkill and not really a "speed" test -- I'd do 10 problems to start in say 1 minute and then, if you feel that he needs help building concentration and focus for speed work over a slightly longer time increase by 5 or 10 problems each week.  I've also found that doing a speed test every day or almost every day  rather than once a week works better -- or at least it does/did for my kids.

by Group Admin on Oct. 7, 2013 at 8:34 AM
1 mom liked this

Nope, no timed tests whatsoever here.  I do have the kids play math games on the computer which is a timed thing, but I do not think timed tests really do anything but cause anxiety.  There are other ways to learn automaticity which is what the PS is trying for there.  They have a large # of students per teacher and really do not have the time necessary to do the other ways of getting the kids fast at their facts.  If your child can do the timed tests and not get anxious about it, or they even like doing it, then sure, but don't just do it because the PS is doing it.

by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I agree that if it's causing anxiety one shouldn't 'force,' but the goal should be to get the kids to the point that they AREN'T stressed by this type of work, and the only way to do that is, eventually, to practice in a timed environment.  It's like sports or anything else: speed and confidence are important and those only come with repetitiion and practice AND competition (in this case against the clock).  Sure there might be some stress, but is it CONSTRUCTIVE so that they improve and feel confident or is it DESTRUCTIVE causing anxiety? Simply saying no timed tests, ever (although I don't know that's what you are saying) is going to do them no favors when they need to be able to figure out whether a particular business deal is good or bad in their head, quickly, or be able to do a ball-park estimate, fast, for a client about the costs of a remodel. There is always going to be stress in the real world.  Timed tests help to prepare them for that.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

Nope, no timed tests whatsoever here.  I do have the kids play math games on the computer which is a timed thing, but I do not think timed tests really do anything but cause anxiety.  There are other ways to learn automaticity which is what the PS is trying for there.  They have a large # of students per teacher and really do not have the time necessary to do the other ways of getting the kids fast at their facts.  If your child can do the timed tests and not get anxious about it, or they even like doing it, then sure, but don't just do it because the PS is doing it.

by Group Admin on Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM
1 mom liked this

I disagree.  I don't think timed tests are ever necessary and I do not believe that timed tests are helpful in the later in life.  My kids can do mental math very quickly when it is needed, but they have never done timed tests.  They cook and they can quickly double, triple or quadruple a recipe in their heads.  We just use real world applications and games to get them fast and accurate.

Quoting JKronrod:

I agree that if it's causing anxiety one shouldn't 'force,' but the goal should be to get the kids to the point that they AREN'T stressed by this type of work, and the only way to do that is, eventually, to practice in a timed environment.  It's like sports or anything else: speed and confidence are important and those only come with repetitiion and practice AND competition (in this case against the clock).  Sure there might be some stress, but is it CONSTRUCTIVE so that they improve and feel confident or is it DESTRUCTIVE causing anxiety? Simply saying no timed tests, ever (although I don't know that's what you are saying) is going to do them no favors when they need to be able to figure out whether a particular business deal is good or bad in their head, quickly, or be able to do a ball-park estimate, fast, for a client about the costs of a remodel. There is always going to be stress in the real world.  Timed tests help to prepare them for that.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

Nope, no timed tests whatsoever here.  I do have the kids play math games on the computer which is a timed thing, but I do not think timed tests really do anything but cause anxiety.  There are other ways to learn automaticity which is what the PS is trying for there.  They have a large # of students per teacher and really do not have the time necessary to do the other ways of getting the kids fast at their facts.  If your child can do the timed tests and not get anxious about it, or they even like doing it, then sure, but don't just do it because the PS is doing it.