# HELP!!!!! Math Issues

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I would agree with that, but in my district I don't see it happening too soon. I guess time will tell. Here's the other HUGE issue. At the high school level there are NOT enough math teachers. I am still two short (long term subs are in place) with an additional two that are simultaneously student teaching and teaching. They have NEVER been in a classroom. If they make it through until the end of the semester I will be surprised. There just is not enough supply for the demand and as much as I chuckle at the job security, the ramifications as many retire in the next 5 years is enormous.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:I agree that there are issues.

But I think a reason for that is the kids right now had to switch mid stream. The kids you have in high school didn't get this foundation in elementary school. This isn't how they were taught to think about math, so they need to learn to shift their whole mind set on the subject. The teachers haven't been able to do that yet. So how can the kids?

I do think when you have kids who started off this way you will see very different results. If they are getting the instruction done properly, they will be thinking mathematically at a much higher level.

I've always been a math person (since middle school) and this was tricky for me. But what I realized as I got into it was that some of these strategies are the way I really did math. They are things I figured out on my own and didn't even realize I was doing. I thought everyone did them, but working my with team on curriculum made it clear everyone doesn't. So the other teachers were really struggling to convey it to the students. Once the teachers really understood it, the kids did amazing. Our test scores topped the district and we did almost no FCAT prep. The kids can do computation in their heads too.

But I know it's not being taught that way everywhere. At my own school I see the other grade levels struggling. I really think we all need some serious ongoing staff development to help with this transition.

Quoting mjande4:I commend your commitment and dedication on the topic! My problem with "new math" is that the current result at the high school level is lack of knowledge of the basics. The students don't know their math facts and the rigor is non-existent. Our university, which is well-known, and large has all these new fangled ideas, as well. There is NO ONE on board except the publishers. It's all about "feeling" the math. Give me a break! We are not in a psychology class. I don't like to see students, and low income schools are where this "new" curriculum is ALWAYS rolled out of, used as guinea pigs. I am not sold and know the discontent among many parents, teachers, and students is VERY high on this subject.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:The current methods of teaching focus on a deeper understanding of the concepts behind the algorithms before presenting them. It uses models and manipulatives to show students the process. When kids do learn the algorithms, they are faster and more accurate because they understand the purpose behind each step. It moves past lower level rote memorization of steps, to a higher level of comprehension of the concepts. This paves the way to mastery of more complex math skills.

Teachers are watering it down by briefly presenting the more difficult concepts and still placing the most emphasis on the traditional methods. Many teachers don't invest the time in the hands on learning for students to really understand. They are more comfortable with a direct instruction delivery method, where "new" math is better taught through student discovery. It took me a great deal of effort and lots of help from our district math director to understand what I was supposed to do. But most teachers didn't get any staff development to help them shift their thinking about math instruction. I do think the younger teachers coming out of college are more prepared for this. It's going to take schools in the US a while to adjust.

The perception that it's too hard or confusing becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. When parents and teachers don't think kids can do something (or think it's not worth doing) they aren't going to embrace it on their own and thrive.

Quoting VeronicaTex:I taught 3rd/4th grade Math in the Bilingual/ESL classroom. It was a very difficult age to teach because my kids had never been exposed to Math Problem Solving at that young an age before. My Bilingual advisor told us that those children coming from those countries usually did not do Word Problems until the 7th grade.

Our kids in our District in Central Texas had more exposure to simple Word Problem Solving-Grades 1 and 2.

I do not recall the Math Curriculum we finally decided on, but it did an excellent job of transitionng from the concrete to the abstract, and teaching the process of solving a Math Word problem successfully.

Can you explain a little more to me about what you mean about the "New Math" ?

Also, how are teachers watering it down?

Thank you so much,

Veronica

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Quoting Mom2Tabitha:My daughter's teacher followed up after my discussion with the principal. She sat with Tabitha today and they went over 3 ways to do it. Tabitha can use ANY of them on her work. Tabitha seems to like the "box" method whatever that is. If it makes sense to her, I am all for it.

As for math homework taking 1.5 hours or more a night...that has ended. When I feel Tabitha has maxed out on it for the night. We are done. As long as I put a note on the homework, the teacher will call it complete. She does request that we do the word problems (usually 2) and at least 3 of the other problems. No more all night battles!!!!! YAY!!

The math program at my daughter's school (and most the rest of the county is called Go Math. I hate it (and so do many other parents.) It meeds the Sunshine State Standards. So, it is what they use to prepare for the No Child Left Behind crap. Well, better days are ahead.

Elaine

I hate to tell you this, but all the math text book options the schools have meet the Sunshine State Standards. Go Math was chosen because it had the best research to back it up.

And as Florida transitions to Core, this math isn't going to go away. It really has nothing to do with NCLB.

It's harder than before because kids in the US are so far behind their peers in other countries. The kids need time to adjust to a whole new way of thinking about math. And teachers need to embrace it and stop trying to water it down so it won't be too hard.

The teacher thing is a big issue.

My teaching assistant's daughter is a former student. She always struggled in math. Her 10th grade math teacher is the football coach. (insert eye roll) She's really struggling. He just gives them practice sets then reviews the answers. She needs me and a tutor reteaching her to even begin to get it.

It seems like they have more out of field or alternatively certified teachers in math than other subjects. If my fourth grade teachers need to improve their math skills to teach it, I can't imagine how teaching high school without an intense mastery of the content.

It does go back to the bigger issue. Americans suck at math. In college everyone I knew got out of math classes as fast as they could. The few people who are really good at math go into engineering or other fields where they can make triple or quadruple a teacher's salary. So of course there's no one left (or few people) who are able and willing to teach higher level math.

Quoting mjande4:I would agree with that, but in my district I don't see it happening too soon. I guess time will tell. Here's the other HUGE issue. At the high school level there are NOT enough math teachers. I am still two short (long term subs are in place) with an additional two that are simultaneously student teaching and teaching. They have NEVER been in a classroom. If they make it through until the end of the semester I will be surprised. There just is not enough supply for the demand and as much as I chuckle at the job security, the ramifications as many retire in the next 5 years is enormous.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:I agree that there are issues.

But I think a reason for that is the kids right now had to switch mid stream. The kids you have in high school didn't get this foundation in elementary school. This isn't how they were taught to think about math, so they need to learn to shift their whole mind set on the subject. The teachers haven't been able to do that yet. So how can the kids?

I do think when you have kids who started off this way you will see very different results. If they are getting the instruction done properly, they will be thinking mathematically at a much higher level.

I've always been a math person (since middle school) and this was tricky for me. But what I realized as I got into it was that some of these strategies are the way I really did math. They are things I figured out on my own and didn't even realize I was doing. I thought everyone did them, but working my with team on curriculum made it clear everyone doesn't. So the other teachers were really struggling to convey it to the students. Once the teachers really understood it, the kids did amazing. Our test scores topped the district and we did almost no FCAT prep. The kids can do computation in their heads too.

But I know it's not being taught that way everywhere. At my own school I see the other grade levels struggling. I really think we all need some serious ongoing staff development to help with this transition.

Quoting mjande4:

Exactly!! Also the few "retired/layed off" engineers that have been hired to teach math are a DISASTER. Just because you KNOW the subject does not mean that you can teach it.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:The teacher thing is a big issue.

My teaching assistant's daughter is a former student. She always struggled in math. Her 10th grade math teacher is the football coach. (insert eye roll) She's really struggling. He just gives them practice sets then reviews the answers. She needs me and a tutor reteaching her to even begin to get it.

It seems like they have more out of field or alternatively certified teachers in math than other subjects. If my fourth grade teachers need to improve their math skills to teach it, I can't imagine how teaching high school without an intense mastery of the content.

It does go back to the bigger issue. Americans suck at math. In college everyone I knew got out of math classes as fast as they could. The few people who are really good at math go into engineering or other fields where they can make triple or quadruple a teacher's salary. So of course there's no one left (or few people) who are able and willing to teach higher level math.

Quoting mjande4:I would agree with that, but in my district I don't see it happening too soon. I guess time will tell. Here's the other HUGE issue. At the high school level there are NOT enough math teachers. I am still two short (long term subs are in place) with an additional two that are simultaneously student teaching and teaching. They have NEVER been in a classroom. If they make it through until the end of the semester I will be surprised. There just is not enough supply for the demand and as much as I chuckle at the job security, the ramifications as many retire in the next 5 years is enormous.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:I agree that there are issues.

Quoting mjande4:

The other glaring piece is that math is the ONE discipline that is sequential and requires HARD WORK! It takes a good work ethic to master mathematical concepts, particularly higher level. Most Americans want the "easy way out" and do not want to commit to this level of thinking. If they haven't been trained in early grades, it won't happen.

That's very true!

I think the personality type and learning style of mathematicians and scientists is very different from those of great teachers. I've had many math and science teachers who have a hard time breaking it down and presenting it in a way that's understandable to novices. It's so common sense to them, they don't seem to be able to understand that students can't just pick it up. I'd rather have a teacher with the math skills, than a mathematician *trying *to teach.

Quoting mjande4:Exactly!! Also the few "retired/layed off" engineers that have been hired to teach math are a DISASTER. Just because you KNOW the subject does not mean that you can teach it.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:The teacher thing is a big issue.

My teaching assistant's daughter is a former student. She always struggled in math. Her 10th grade math teacher is the football coach. (insert eye roll) She's really struggling. He just gives them practice sets then reviews the answers. She needs me and a tutor reteaching her to even begin to get it.

It seems like they have more out of field or alternatively certified teachers in math than other subjects. If my fourth grade teachers need to improve their math skills to teach it, I can't imagine how teaching high school without an intense mastery of the content.

It does go back to the bigger issue. Americans suck at math. In college everyone I knew got out of math classes as fast as they could. The few people who are really good at math go into engineering or other fields where they can make triple or quadruple a teacher's salary. So of course there's no one left (or few people) who are able and willing to teach higher level math.

Quoting mjande4:Quoting maxswolfsuit:I agree that there are issues.

Quoting mjande4:

This has certainly been an interesting discussion this morning, ladies.

I have been out of the classroom a little more than 6 years.

I had a look at the STARRS test for 3rd grade and compared it to a released TAKS test. In Texas this has been changed since last year I believe.

It looked pretty much the same: It was pure word problems and there were four choices. I did see however, there might be a place where the choices were __not given. __ There would be a "griddable" answer. The article said that the reason was once childen had a preset answers in front of them, they would "choose" one and then prove it, rather than working through the word problem the way they had been taught: first, look at the question, decide what the problem was looking for, choosing an operation (which at my level was addition , subtraction, multiplication, and possibly simple division.) look in the story part of the word problem, choosing what was needed from there, draw pictures if they needed to and solve the problem.

I believe this was a little easier fo the kids in the typical classroom because, those kids, being Americans had exposure to the problem-solving process, whereas my kids in second and third grade had only to do sums and differences.

I saw two things: One did not surprise me: Kids do __not want to take the time __a word problem __requires. __

The other thing was this: During tutoring I showed them how to slow down and not be in such a hurry to solve the problem. I was able to see the results of the Math practice released test. It was very discouraging because it seemed like all that tutoring was in vain: They did what their instincts told them to do-get through that problem the fastest way possible.

Luckily their scores were not mixed in with the others their first year here.

Not investigating too deeply, I read that the test would be harder in the upper grades.

Ladies, can you make any comparisons in your respective classrooms with what is happening here is Texas?

Are Word problems part of the "New Math"?

Are Parents, especially younger ones, seeing this might be different friom the way they were taught?

Thank you in advance, ladies,

Veronica-Former Math teacher in grades 2-6 in the Catholic school, Multiage in the Public school (Grades 3-5 Bilingual/ESL)

This is absolutely true!! Also, as you know ELL's and or low readers have ENORMOUS difficulties with these problems. I teach a dual enrollement community college course at the high school and the toughest part for me to teach are the word problems. The students would rather get an F, then to read the problems. I have techniques that I use and teach them, which help, but my biggest obstacle is getting them to NOT shut down just because there are words. It makes me NUTS!!

Quoting VeronicaTex:This has certainly been an interesting discussion this morning, ladies.

I have been out of the classroom a little more than 6 years.

I had a look at the STARRS test for 3rd grade and compared it to a released TAKS test. In Texas this has been changed since last year I believe.

It looked pretty much the same: It was pure word problems and there were four choices. I did see however, there might be a place where the choices were

not given.There would be a "griddable" answer. The article said that the reason was once childen had a preset answers in front of them, they would "choose" one and then prove it, rather than working through the word problem the way they had been taught: first, look at the question, decide what the problem was looking for, choosing an operation (which at my level was addition , subtraction, multiplication, and possibly simple division.) look in the story part of the word problem, choosing what was needed from there, draw pictures if they needed to and solve the problem.I believe this was a little easier fo the kids in the typical classroom because, those kids, being Americans had exposure to the problem-solving process, whereas my kids in second and third grade had only to do sums and differences.

I saw two things: One did not surprise me: Kids do

not want to take the timea word problemrequires.The other thing was this: During tutoring I showed them how to slow down and not be in such a hurry to solve the problem. I was able to see the results of the Math practice released test. It was very discouraging because it seemed like all that tutoring was in vain: They did what their instincts told them to do-get through that problem the fastest way possible.

Luckily their scores were not mixed in with the others their first year here.

Not investigating too deeply, I read that the test would be harder in the upper grades.

Ladies, can you make any comparisons in your respective classrooms with what is happening here is Texas?

Are Word problems part of the "New Math"?

Are Parents, especially younger ones, seeing this might be different friom the way they were taught?

Thank you in advance, ladies,

Veronica-Former Math teacher in grades 2-6 in the Catholic school, Multiage in the Public school (Grades 3-5 Bilingual/ESL)

I hear ya!!!!!

My kids were allowed to do all this in Spanish. Most of them did ok.

Once they started that test in April, there was nothing I could do about it, either.

At the very least they are getting exposure to __skills for life. __

I am hoping and praying they are doing better now in __taking the time...:) __

By the way, for people who do not know this there is a difference between social and academic English.

After one year in Texas the immigrant child is __required to take the test in English,__

My Bilingual director told us Bilingual teachers it takes from 5 to 7 years to arrive to the point of being fully functional in academic English.

Veronica

Quoting mjande4:This is absolutely true!! Also, as you know ELL's and or low readers have ENORMOUS difficulties with these problems. I teach a dual enrollement community college course at the high school and the toughest part for me to teach are the word problems. The students would rather get an F, then to read the problems. I have techniques that I use and teach them, which help, but my biggest obstacle is getting them to NOT shut down just because there are words. It makes me NUTS!!

Quoting VeronicaTex:This has certainly been an interesting discussion this morning, ladies.

I have been out of the classroom a little more than 6 years.

I had a look at the STARRS test for 3rd grade and compared it to a released TAKS test. In Texas this has been changed since last year I believe.

It looked pretty much the same: It was pure word problems and there were four choices. I did see however, there might be a place where the choices were

not given.There would be a "griddable" answer. The article said that the reason was once childen had a preset answers in front of them, they would "choose" one and then prove it, rather than working through the word problem the way they had been taught: first, look at the question, decide what the problem was looking for, choosing an operation (which at my level was addition , subtraction, multiplication, and possibly simple division.) look in the story part of the word problem, choosing what was needed from there, draw pictures if they needed to and solve the problem.I believe this was a little easier fo the kids in the typical classroom because, those kids, being Americans had exposure to the problem-solving process, whereas my kids in second and third grade had only to do sums and differences.

I saw two things: One did not surprise me: Kids do

not want to take the timea word problemrequires.The other thing was this: During tutoring I showed them how to slow down and not be in such a hurry to solve the problem. I was able to see the results of the Math practice released test. It was very discouraging because it seemed like all that tutoring was in vain: They did what their instincts told them to do-get through that problem the fastest way possible.

Luckily their scores were not mixed in with the others their first year here.

Not investigating too deeply, I read that the test would be harder in the upper grades.

Ladies, can you make any comparisons in your respective classrooms with what is happening here is Texas?

Are Word problems part of the "New Math"?

Are Parents, especially younger ones, seeing this might be different friom the way they were taught?

Thank you in advance, ladies,

Veronica-Former Math teacher in grades 2-6 in the Catholic school, Multiage in the Public school (Grades 3-5 Bilingual/ESL)

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- maxswolfsuit

Max on Oct. 14, 2012 at 8:23 AMI agree that there are issues.

But I think a reason for that is the kids right now had to switch mid stream. The kids you have in high school didn't get this foundation in elementary school. This isn't how they were taught to think about math, so they need to learn to shift their whole mind set on the subject. The teachers haven't been able to do that yet. So how can the kids?

I do think when you have kids who started off this way you will see very different results. If they are getting the instruction done properly, they will be thinking mathematically at a much higher level.

I've always been a math person (since middle school) and this was tricky for me. But what I realized as I got into it was that some of these strategies are the way I really did math. They are things I figured out on my own and didn't even realize I was doing. I thought everyone did them, but working my with team on curriculum made it clear everyone doesn't. So the other teachers were really struggling to convey it to the students. Once the teachers really understood it, the kids did amazing. Our test scores topped the district and we did almost no FCAT prep. The kids can do computation in their heads too.

But I know it's not being taught that way everywhere. At my own school I see the other grade levels struggling. I really think we all need some serious ongoing staff development to help with this transition.