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Thread: No Need to Memorize Times Tables

  1. #11
    Senior Member Terri's Avatar
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    I was not trying to discredit the need for the right answer nor was the speaker. What I got from her speech was that teachers should not just give full credit or no credit on math problems, but partial credit for the work that was correct and then explain where the error occurred. This is the teaching part of math. Just like when we train our dogs, first teach the concepts. Reward the dog for the things it does right, but correct the mistakes. School is not the real world, but a training ground. As the trainer all you can do is teach at the best of your ability and to always be fair to the dog. I was told once by a very good trainer that people are always fast to make harsh corrections, but slow to give praise. Kids are not much different than dogs when it comes to praise and harsh treatment. If we want our dogs to make it to their full potential we need to keep that drive alive. Kids also need to be encouraged to keep up their drive for higher learning. Most kids start hating math very early in their education. Why? Teachers kill the drive. Just like not all dogs will be field champions, not all students will be doctors, that is just a fact. How many dogs could have been FC, but due to the fact that they had a poor trainer. I read that hear all the time. So how many kids could have been doctors, but because of a poor teacher never took advanced math and science classes, but majored in English instead?

    Terri
    Last edited by Terri; 08-31-2013 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terri View Post
    I was not trying to discredit the need for the right answer nor was the speaker. What I got from her speech was that teachers should not just give full credit or no credit on math problems, but partial credit for the work that was credit and then explain where the error occurred. This is the teaching part of math. Just like when we train our dogs, first teach the concepts. Reward the dog for the things it does right, but correct the mistakes. School is not the real world, but a training ground. As the trainer all you can do is teach at the best of your ability and to always be fair to the dog. I was told once by a very good trainer that people are always fast to make harsh corrections, but slow to give praise. Kids are not much different than dogs when it comes to praise and harsh treatment. If we want our dogs to make it to their full potential we need to keep that drive alive. Kids also need to be encouraged to keep up their drive for higher learning. Most kids start hating math very early in their education. Why? Teachers kill the drive. Just like not all dogs will be field champions, not all students will be doctors, that is just a fact. How many dogs could have been FC, but due to the fact that they had a poor trainer. I read that hear all the time. So how many kids could have been doctors, but because of a poor teacher never took advanced math and science classes, but majored in English instead?

    Terri
    I always liked math a lot better than English. Seemed to me it made more sense at least. Teachers that I had may have made the math seem better.
    charly

    There ought to be one day -- just one -- when there is open season on Congressmen.
    ~Will Rogers~

  3. #13
    Senior Member Terri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charly_t View Post
    I always liked math a lot better than English. Seemed to me it made more sense at least. Teachers that I had may have made the math seem better.
    Teachers can make or break it for students. Another thing I was thinking, high school and college students are closer to entering the real world than students in grade school. These upper level students almost always get partial credit in math classes. My husband will take off points if the student forgot to put the word units as part of the answer, but got the number right. He does this to remind the student how important that is in the real world to not forget that important piece of information. He realizes they understand the concept, made a careless error, but they are still students. By the end of the class he hopes he has explained the importance of being careful not to make careless errors. Under some people's reasoning that is okay because it is more complex problems, but since they are almost in the real world then maybe they should get a big fat zero. In grade school the student is not ready for the real world for many years. This is the time to teach the concepts, point out the errors, but not forget to praise the positive. Partial credit is a form of praise for students. I'm just a bit more tolerant of careless error in younger students than older students. Just like I'm more tolerant of puppies making errors than master hunters, but even the best dogs make mistakes. Takes a pretty big mistake to get a zero at a hunt test, but I have heard about a lot of dogs getting sevens and eights on test. Not perfect, they got partial credit from the judge and earned a Q for the weekend. Who are we taking hunting the puppy or that master hunter? I know the master hunter is the dog that will be hunting and that is the real world.

    Terri

  4. #14
    Senior Member firehouselabs's Avatar
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    Taught by a nun (and proud of it!) who made us do EVERYTHING long hand, as in show ALL the steps. A fairly straight forward division problem would take up one quarter of a page in a wide ruled notebook. If along the way, we screwed up by transposing numbers or miscalculating, we could at least show step by step how we got to the final answer. The fact that we were writing it all out and were NOT allowed the use of a calculator (until the 8th grade when we got into scientific notations anyway) was teaching us the concept. Could we get partial credit for a "wrong" answer? Yes, but we had to have the work written out to show how/why we screwed up. You can't do that verbally!
    By the way, we were doing long division in the 2nd grade, the memorization of the times tables occurred in the 1st grade. We were reading in kindergarten and then only going to class for "half days". Remember those! Our nuns were NOT accredited teachers by the way, and Sr. Mary Michaeline (God rest her soul) would literally beat you for messing up. There was no ADHD, or other "syndrome". IF you had "ants in your pants" that got cured right away......she would swat them for you, while they were in your pants. She hated lefties, and by her and the good grace of God, I do NOT distort my wrist like a contortionist when I write or draw. Yes, the page smears sometimes, but not if you gently blow on the ink as you are writing.
    And speaking of writing, she threw out all of those long alphabet guides that kept getting more and more like printing instead of cursive. Yep. I learned PENMENSHIP along with spelling.
    I now work as the church secretary that the school is attached to- moved back home this last January. Here are some fun facts for our school:
    Since it opened in 1955- we have had grades 1-8, with Kindergarten opening in 1984.
    Of our 8th grade graduates which then go to our public high school, we have produced 98.5% of the Valedictorians and/or Salutatorians of the public high school graduates.
    Our teachers teach two grades in the same room (1st-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, 7th-8th) except for Kindergarten. This gives the underclassmen the chance to listen in on the advanced class so that they are further ahead, and gives gifted students a chance to learn without becoming bored.
    Our class sizes are small- my son is currently in third grade, his grade has 4 kids, and the 4th grade-same room- has 4 kids, for a class size of just 8 kids.
    Our tuition is HORRENDOUSLY low. Most private schools in the surrounding larger towns are on average- $1000-1500 a semester per child. Our tuition is $555 per child.....per year! Add a child, get a discount, have three and you get a deeper discount! Great for our Catholic families!!! This cost only covers the cost of books and supplies ordered each year by the teachers. And speaking of a supply list- when I lived in MO, it was a list that was a page long and included basic things such as sterile wipes, 3! Large boxes of kleenex, plus other mundane things in quantities that should have lasted for a couple of years, let alone the fact that every kid was bringing the same things! My list for St. Mary's....only had 10 items. Crayons, markers, pencils, paper, folders (2), erasers, glue, a small box of kleenex, brown paper bag to cover two text books (remember that!)and scissors. That's it. The only thing I had to actually buy were new markers. Every thing else I had left over from previous years of school shopping.

    So if you want a great education, small town-quiet yet comfortable living, cheap yet great education, conservative values, great hunting and fishing area too! Move to Ord NE. !!! Or find a similar town or school near you.
    Raina Anderson WWW.FIREHOUSELABS.COM

    According to this BMI chart, I am too short !!!


  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by firehouselabs View Post
    Taught by a nun (and proud of it!) who made us do EVERYTHING long hand, as in show ALL the steps. A fairly straight forward division problem would take up one quarter of a page in a wide ruled notebook. If along the way, we screwed up by transposing numbers or miscalculating, we could at least show step by step how we got to the final answer. The fact that we were writing it all out and were NOT allowed the use of a calculator (until the 8th grade when we got into scientific notations anyway) was teaching us the concept. Could we get partial credit for a "wrong" answer? Yes, but we had to have the work written out to show how/why we screwed up. You can't do that verbally!
    By the way, we were doing long division in the 2nd grade, the memorization of the times tables occurred in the 1st grade. We were reading in kindergarten and then only going to class for "half days". Remember those! Our nuns were NOT accredited teachers by the way, and Sr. Mary Michaeline (God rest her soul) would literally beat you for messing up. There was no ADHD, or other "syndrome". IF you had "ants in your pants" that got cured right away......she would swat them for you, while they were in your pants. She hated lefties, and by her and the good grace of God, I do NOT distort my wrist like a contortionist when I write or draw. Yes, the page smears sometimes, but not if you gently blow on the ink as you are writing.
    And speaking of writing, she threw out all of those long alphabet guides that kept getting more and more like printing instead of cursive. Yep. I learned PENMENSHIP along with spelling.
    I now work as the church secretary that the school is attached to- moved back home this last January. Here are some fun facts for our school:
    Since it opened in 1955- we have had grades 1-8, with Kindergarten opening in 1984.
    Of our 8th grade graduates which then go to our public high school, we have produced 98.5% of the Valedictorians and/or Salutatorians of the public high school graduates.
    Our teachers teach two grades in the same room (1st-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, 7th-8th) except for Kindergarten. This gives the underclassmen the chance to listen in on the advanced class so that they are further ahead, and gives gifted students a chance to learn without becoming bored.
    Our class sizes are small- my son is currently in third grade, his grade has 4 kids, and the 4th grade-same room- has 4 kids, for a class size of just 8 kids.
    Our tuition is HORRENDOUSLY low. Most private schools in the surrounding larger towns are on average- $1000-1500 a semester per child. Our tuition is $555 per child.....per year! Add a child, get a discount, have three and you get a deeper discount! Great for our Catholic families!!! This cost only covers the cost of books and supplies ordered each year by the teachers. And speaking of a supply list- when I lived in MO, it was a list that was a page long and included basic things such as sterile wipes, 3! Large boxes of kleenex, plus other mundane things in quantities that should have lasted for a couple of years, let alone the fact that every kid was bringing the same things! My list for St. Mary's....only had 10 items. Crayons, markers, pencils, paper, folders (2), erasers, glue, a small box of kleenex, brown paper bag to cover two text books (remember that!)and scissors. That's it. The only thing I had to actually buy were new markers. Every thing else I had left over from previous years of school shopping.

    So if you want a great education, small town-quiet yet comfortable living, cheap yet great education, conservative values, great hunting and fishing area too! Move to Ord NE. !!! Or find a similar town or school near you.
    LOL, Dad was present when a relative's child was throwing a hissy fit. Dad's sister said "oh, he is a nervous child ( can't help the way he acts etc. ). Dad said, "they had a cure for that when I was a child". Your church school sounds a lot like the good old country schools ......all 8 grades in one room school. Hubby said he knew the Gettysburg Address by heart before he got to the grade level where they required students to recite it without help from book, chalkboard or human. He said that he learned a lot of things by listening to the higher grades practice memorizing things. One of the things they learned was to he kind and helpful to younger children I believe.
    charly

    There ought to be one day -- just one -- when there is open season on Congressmen.
    ~Will Rogers~

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    I think this point was made by others here but let me put a spin on it. I am an RN (a professor of nursing). There is something called "death by decimal point." A person makes a "minor" error... does everything right, but just doesn't get the fact that milligrams to micrograms means the decimal moves to the right. But, they set the problem up and do everything right and end up killing the patient. 0.25 milligrams of digoxin might work... 250 milligrams instead of micrograms and you're dead.

    It's very distressing. But to tell you the truth, we can usually get students past the math. What we have a LOT of trouble doing is getting them to read labels. That is even scarier. And it's a problem with which they arrive in nursing school. And we struggle and struggle to get them to understand what they are reading. (If they are reading it... "Store at room temperature"... not a lot of confusion there... if they read the label.)

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1tulip View Post
    I think this point was made by others here but let me put a spin on it. I am an RN (a professor of nursing). There is something called "death by decimal point." A person makes a "minor" error... does everything right, but just doesn't get the fact that milligrams to micrograms means the decimal moves to the right. But, they set the problem up and do everything right and end up killing the patient. 0.25 milligrams of digoxin might work... 250 milligrams instead of micrograms and you're dead.

    It's very distressing. But to tell you the truth, we can usually get students past the math. What we have a LOT of trouble doing is getting them to read labels. That is even scarier. And it's a problem with which they arrive in nursing school. And we struggle and struggle to get them to understand what they are reading. (If they are reading it... "Store at room temperature"... not a lot of confusion there... if they read the label.)
    You only have to be on the front line to know when a MINOR mistake is not so minor.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Terri's Avatar
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    My daughter had to take a math test to be allowed to stay in the doctorate program. She is studying economics. This is her first year and all the students must pass this test. She answered all the math problems correctly, but she did not get a perfect score. Why? Because she failed to discuss the problems, even the ones that did not state that a discussion was needed. She could not believe how harsh he was with the negative points, but she is happy to have passed. I guess he thought she lacked an understanding of the concept. I was surprised she did not write a full discussion considering she has a law degree and was an editor for law review. I did tell her that I'm glad she didn't make any careless errors and she better be ready to discuss all problems in the future. You really need to know how you arrived at the answer, even if you show your work.

    Terri

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