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Old 09-21-2010, 03:19 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Tools to teach math....

I found out from my 7th grader that she does not understand fractions.. Stupid freakin' "new" math. I am grinding my teeth together and just so frustrated. I was in Algebra in the 7th grade and finishing pretty complicated formulas. My kid can't do fractions.

I can teach it to my daughter, but I hate making up problems. So I came across this website which generates math problems and keys! YAY. Wanted to share them with you all.

http://www.freemathworksheets.net/general-math.php

I used it also to teach her math the other day when she missed math class. This way she did not get behind.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

That site is really good.

There seems to be a world-wide problem with math. I've also had many hair pulling evenings trying to help the boys. I mean primary school, it should not be that difficult! But, due to the 'new ways' of teaching, the parents are at a loss to help their child understand. Which makes me wonder ... If the kids are struggling at school, having to ask for help at home (and in return, getting even more confused) if the teacher's are not getting the 'new method' across, how great is it really?

I don't think there's a, one method, out there that all the kids will understand, but the way we learnt, most did. As the saying goes, 'why re-invent the wheel' -improve it, rather than throwing out the old and bringing in the new, perhaps the new method should have just been added for the small group of students who do work things differently.

This, I came across is suppose to help the parents understand the new why of teaching math. Confused the ____ out of me.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11258175
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

I was homeschooling my daughter when we lived in Connecticut and I was involved with a network of homeschooling parents statewide. this was the consensus for the very best online math supplimental. It's not free, but is worth every penny, especially in the context of teaching to children (and adults) of multiple intelligences.

www.mathusee.com
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

The new math reminds me of when they did away with phonics when my oldest was in school. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The new math works great for some kids, the old way works better for some. Just like some kids do better with whole language and some with phonics. Now the schools teach a combination of both, math will hopefully catch up.

My son is the latter group. Math was filled with frustration and meltdowns until he went to middle school where they have not adopted the new methods exclusively. In fact some of the teachers still do the old ways exclusively. M has thrived and I am thankful he spent two evenings a week the summer between with a schoolmates dad transitioning between the two.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

Humm my sons strongest subject is math but when he does have questions this new math is like french to me. I think Ill copy these links for reference. Thanks
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

Are you guys talking about the Everyday Chicago Math being the 'new way'?

Honestly, I don't mind it... but kids need to be shown different ways of solving problems and be allowed to use whatever method they understand. No two people do math in the same way, I think it one way, Delia another, etc. It has to work for the individual.

the concept of the Everyday program is to get them thinking math and able to break things apart and put them back together in their heads... but it is missing something between the paper/grids they do and the brains!

I have taught my kids the way I know and insist that the beauty of math is there is one answer and many ways to get to it. They can use whatever way works. They can check their answers in whatever way works.

The struggle for us is when the kids were getting frustrated that they had to do it how the teacher said and wouldn't let me show them alternatives. Once they listened to the alternatives 2 of them were better able to do it the way the teacher said. One does better with how they teach it at school. I say, WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU!

Also, I've been insistent that they learn their tables. That lacks in this program and there is no excuse for it. You HAVE to know your facts if you are going to succeed at math. Being the pita mom I am, I have had homemade flashcards in the kitchen drawer for years now. They used to be addition/subtraction now they are up to the 12's tables. I'm going to add up to the 15's tables.

The teachers are finally implementing the "tricks" this year which they didn't do last year when Olivia was in 5th grade. e.g. if the numbers don't add to 9 it isn't divisible by nine. Has to be divisible by 2 and 3 to be divisible by 6, etc. They are really remembering the rules and it is helping them greatly. THAT is the stuff we used to learn in school, I like that
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

Quick rant: We have been working our buns off to teach my 4th grader to absorb math concepts. She's learned well- this girl can now do quite a bit of math in her head, like 470 - 250 + 18. However at school, she has to write out all the steps, which she often forgets to do. And, of course, she loses points now for not showing her work.

Honestly, I get that teachers want to make certain that the kids aren't cheating and using calculators or phones, but seriously?? Kid is sitting *right there* and you know she's not cheating! Isn't absorbing and using the concept the important thing here?
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

This always urks me, too. The idea of this program IS so that the kids will land being able to do the higher calculations quickly in their heads... so if they are there, shouldn't that mean math program, teacher and child have succeeded?

That being said, as math becomes more complex, the writing out is key so that both teacher and student can see where the mistake was made.... I recall in algebra, calc classes that certain amount of points would be taken off depending on how many errors you made within the calculation, even if the end answer was wrong, it wasn't a blanket number of points off...so if they get used to writing it out, they are better off.

Delia is a math head. I tell her to just write the answers down and then do the math on the back after.LOL A way of checking her answers which is also an extremely important habit to get into while young.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

LSL I was laughing when you said your daughter was having trouble with fractions! My 10 yr old just started them and is having troubles. We spent time on the weekend with it, and even though math is "stupid" and "lame", he was getting better.
We baked on the weekend and I had him doing the measuring. So if it called for 3 1/2 cups of oats.....I gave him a 1/4 cup measuring scoop and had him figure out how many. As the cookies were in the oven, I said "These will taste great cause we made them with fractions!" He said "What?" I told him how he had used fractions to figure things out.....and he just got mad cause he had been "tricked" LOL. He still ate the cookies though.....
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

I don't mind there being different ways to learn, my problem is that they are not teaching different ways. For instance, I remember having to memorize my multiplication tables in the 3rd grade. My daughter still does not know hers. Granted she can figure them out with no problem, however, sometimes there is something to be said about knowing them off the top of your head without thinking. So when it comes to then doing easy algebra, or doing fractions quickly--- she's at a loss.

My kid is identified as a talented and gifted kid. So it's not like she doesn't understand.

Once I explain something to her, she gets it really quick. But the switch from grade school to middle school -- where they switch teaching methods on them, has hurt her.

There is a gap, at least in my school district, in this area that my daughter has been caught in. There are simple things that by the 7th grade, a child should just know (ie fractions, multiplication tables, short division) and she does not.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

And that is where the problem is... they have forgotten about the basics and the things that must be memorized. I used to teach, this program was the "new spectacular thing" back then. I think I lucked out because I knew these pieces were missing so have made sure they got that part at home. Ticks me off that it isn't being done in the schools...though I have seen a trend towards teachers adding them into the curriculum.

And why the switch, they do that here, too. WTH will they gain by the first 6 years getting math one way and then being plopped into another way come 6th grade.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

That is what I am saying about the baby being thrown out with the bath water.

The whole point, I was told year after year, was for them to understand the numbers and not just beingdoing formulas. And I get that. However, it did not work for my son. He spent all of elementary school very, very frustrated. Ours kids were absolutely not allowed to do math the old way, at all for any reason. The reason I was given for this? "The old way is easier and if you teach him that he won't try any other way? WTH?? Ok, really, I get this in theory, but in practice my son had no concept of place value. Additionally (no pun intended) he would do a subtraction problem the new way and get lost in the steps and come up with answer higher than the number he was subtracting from. In 4th grade for goodness sakes.

I am not against the new math, it works really well for a lot of kids. I am against teaching it to the exclusion of the old way which works better for some kids.

M's 5th grade teacher, though he disagrees with the old way, allowed and even taught it alongside the new way. They had to memorize their multiplication tables to 20 (which I did not get why they needed to past 12, but whatever), he taught long division. He gave in because of all the parent complaints of kids going to the middle school and not being able to function because the middle school teachers, half of them, will NOT accept the new way and there is no bridge between. Parents have been fighting this for years to no avail thus far. That is the only reason his 5th grade teacher caved and taught it that way though he was "breaking the rules".

Between his 5th grade teacher doing that and the summer of transitional lessons between the two M has done fine. Lots of his classmates have not. M's was the only 5th grade teacher to teach the old ways alongside. The only teacher to have them learn their facts.

M skipped 6th grade math and went straight to 7th, and has thrived with the old way. No more frustration, no more meltdowns.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

I am a victim of the old "NEW" math of the 60's. I met my 7th grade math teacher a few years ago and she said she was so sorry she bought into that math. She said she learned later that some people are left brain and others are right brain. one is good at Algebra and the other is good at Geometry.
ast year my #2 was struggling bad with Algebra just passed by 2 points. his year he is getting B's in Geometry. Go figure.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

Sometimes it is just a matter of having it explained a different way. Once the concept is grasped then refine the technique. Isn't it more imp. he can do division period, rather than not do it and struggle????
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

Quote:
Originally Posted by muskiedad View Post
Sometimes it is just a matter of having it explained a different way. Once the concept is grasped then refine the technique. Isn't it more imp. he can do division period, rather than not do it and struggle????
It wasn't at M's elementary school.....
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

cuisinaire rods are good for fractions but we also did a lot of cooking as Muskie suggested.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:44 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tools to teach math....

Thanks so much everyone for sharing the resources! We really like http://www.mathusee.com/
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