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Am I just that out of touch with math?

Posted by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM
  • 22 Replies

Okay, my daughter is 9 now and since she started school they've taught her to do math by estimation, and as a result I feel she's struggling because of that. Now they want her to get exact answers but for years have told her to estimate the answer and while I've worked with her at home to get exact answers she'd get upset with me and has struggled to learn her math facts, she finally has addition down but is now struggling with multiplications and division because it requires EXACT answers not estimations.

Well, she had homework tonight that says "Estimate then multiply to get the answer" one of the numbers was 4,456--now, the way I was taught to estimate is you start in the ones column and work your way up. She says "No, mom, you start with the first two numbers." Am I wrong? Have things changed that much?

by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM
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Replies (1-10):
goddess99
by Michelle on Jan. 16, 2013 at 6:35 PM
1 mom liked this

My dd is 10 and I've seen that math too. Thankfully she doesn't need my help because it makes no sense to me.

Janet
by Ruby Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

 I can't do third grade math. They do everything so different.

NiCo86
by Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM
they have most definitely changed the way they teach kids these days. one method was so hard to grasp, even for my son, that i showed him a completely different approach. his teacher was pissed, but my son finally understood the math. /
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timeforprogress
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

If your child is 9 and only now being exposed to basic arithmetic, then everyone responsible for her education up until this point has failed her.  If it were my child, I would have to take responsibility for not reinforcing those skills at home, and also concerned with the quality of the education she is receiving.  Make sure you are aware of what your child is learning or not learning from the core curriculum, and also bring up the issue with her teacher. 

Teachers really are for the most part doing the best they can, so be kind.  Our children are falling behind the rest of the world, because they lack proficiency in math.  Many elementary school teachers are not mathematically proficient people, but they are expected to teach math.  I think there is just a lot of misguided but well meaning experimentation based on successful techniques for other subjects.  Just make your case to her teacher without berating them.  They may not realize that it makes it harder for students rather than easier. 

Basic arithmetic is the language of math its as important as spelling is to writing.   

MamaMoopsie
by Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 1:24 PM

 She isn't just now being exposed to basic arithmetic. She's been adding and subtracting since she was in Kindergarten, but where the schools have pushed estimation instead of learning the math facts I've been pushing learning the math facts (1+1, all the way up) at home but my SD has the mentality that teacher knows best and I know nothing...so it's been a constant struggle, not to mention when she goes to her mom's for the summer they don't work with her at all and she forgets a lot of the basic things and puts up a wall and makes math that much harder for herself.


Quoting timeforprogress:

If your child is 9 and only now being exposed to basic arithmetic, then everyone responsible for her education up until this point has failed her.  If it were my child, I would have to take responsibility for not reinforcing those skills at home, and also concerned with the quality of the education she is receiving.  Make sure you are aware of what your child is learning or not learning from the core curriculum, and also bring up the issue with her teacher. 

Teachers really are for the most part doing the best they can, so be kind.  Our children are falling behind the rest of the world, because they lack proficiency in math.  Many elementary school teachers are not mathematically proficient people, but they are expected to teach math.  I think there is just a lot of misguided but well meaning experimentation based on successful techniques for other subjects.  Just make your case to her teacher without berating them.  They may not realize that it makes it harder for students rather than easier. 

Basic arithmetic is the language of math its as important as spelling is to writing.   


 

MichelleMc
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM



Quoting timeforprogress:

If your child is 9 and only now being exposed to basic arithmetic, then everyone responsible for her education up until this point has failed her.  If it were my child, I would have to take responsibility for not reinforcing those skills at home, and also concerned with the quality of the education she is receiving.  Make sure you are aware of what your child is learning or not learning from the core curriculum, and also bring up the issue with her teacher. 

Teachers really are for the most part doing the best they can, so be kind.  Our children are falling behind the rest of the world, because they lack proficiency in math.  Many elementary school teachers are not mathematically proficient people, but they are expected to teach math.  I think there is just a lot of misguided but well meaning experimentation based on successful techniques for other subjects.  Just make your case to her teacher without berating them.  They may not realize that it makes it harder for students rather than easier. 

Basic arithmetic is the language of math its as important as spelling is to writing.   


Seriously?

MichelleMc
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

THANKFULLY this new estimation wasn't something we had to deal with. I do NOT understand this at all. Why in the word did they ever add this I don't get. Um, when did we stop learning to get the answer?!?!??!?! My gosh. This isn't the only thing. There is the "10's" too. That one was out there too. A friend had to do that one. I was glad we missed that one too LOL. 

It is always easier to go with the way they learn it, because sadly, it has to be the way they are taught to do it. You can contact the teacher to explain the way they are doing it now to help you out. LOL.

timeforprogress
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Estimation is not basic arithmetic.  Estimation is a math tool for doing simple tasks that do not require accuracy like grocery shopping on a budget. 

I want to make it clear that I am not attacking anyone here.  You noticed a problem because you were helping your child with their homework, and that is fantastic.  My advice, as a graduate student working on her teaching credentials for math education, is to simply to keep doing what your doing, and get your daughter some flash cards.  Play games with her.  Quiz her when you are in the car to do mental math problems.  Have her help you bake, and have her help you double recipes or half them.  Engage her in problem solving that requires mathematical accuracy.  Do these things consistently and I promise she will be able to gain a foundation strong enough to withstand external forces beyond your control.

Also talk to the teacher and express your concern with the curriculum.  They need to know that there are holes in the curriculum.

Quoting MamaMoopsie:

 She isn't just now being exposed to basic arithmetic. She's been adding and subtracting since she was in Kindergarten, but where the schools have pushed estimation instead of learning the math facts I've been pushing learning the math facts (1+1, all the way up) at home but my SD has the mentality that teacher knows best and I know nothing...so it's been a constant struggle, not to mention when she goes to her mom's for the summer they don't work with her at all and she forgets a lot of the basic things and puts up a wall and makes math that much harder for herself.


Quoting timeforprogress:

If your child is 9 and only now being exposed to basic arithmetic, then everyone responsible for her education up until this point has failed her.  If it were my child, I would have to take responsibility for not reinforcing those skills at home, and also concerned with the quality of the education she is receiving.  Make sure you are aware of what your child is learning or not learning from the core curriculum, and also bring up the issue with her teacher. 

Teachers really are for the most part doing the best they can, so be kind.  Our children are falling behind the rest of the world, because they lack proficiency in math.  Many elementary school teachers are not mathematically proficient people, but they are expected to teach math.  I think there is just a lot of misguided but well meaning experimentation based on successful techniques for other subjects.  Just make your case to her teacher without berating them.  They may not realize that it makes it harder for students rather than easier. 

Basic arithmetic is the language of math its as important as spelling is to writing.   




timeforprogress
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Math education happens to be my passion.  I apologize if I come off a bit too brazen.

Quoting MichelleMc:



Quoting timeforprogress:

If your child is 9 and only now being exposed to basic arithmetic, then everyone responsible for her education up until this point has failed her.  If it were my child, I would have to take responsibility for not reinforcing those skills at home, and also concerned with the quality of the education she is receiving.  Make sure you are aware of what your child is learning or not learning from the core curriculum, and also bring up the issue with her teacher. 

Teachers really are for the most part doing the best they can, so be kind.  Our children are falling behind the rest of the world, because they lack proficiency in math.  Many elementary school teachers are not mathematically proficient people, but they are expected to teach math.  I think there is just a lot of misguided but well meaning experimentation based on successful techniques for other subjects.  Just make your case to her teacher without berating them.  They may not realize that it makes it harder for students rather than easier. 

Basic arithmetic is the language of math its as important as spelling is to writing.   


Seriously?


PinkButterfly66
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:09 PM
1 mom liked this

4,456 estimates to 4,400.  If she's having trouble with multiplication and division and keeping the numbers in their proper place, draw lines between the numbers to create columns.  Also, look into Touchmath.com for free downloadable worksheets.


To round out a number and then multiply or divide will let the student know what the actual number should look like.  Long division and multiplication is labor intensive and one wrong mistake (adding or subtracting incorrectly or transposing the number) will throw the final answer off.  By rounding and estimating, you quickly know if you're in the ball park or not. 

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