January 22, 2007

Modern Math - Too Far Out of the Box

Anita shared this comic on her blog earlier. This cartoon made me think of today's poor elementary kids learning Math at public schools.


Seems that now days, the way you and I learned multiplication and division is too old fashioned to teach. Don't believe me? Check out this quick and well-delivered video for some alarming new Math trends that American public schools are adopting. I feel that while some of these new methods are entertaining and enjoyable to teach, they should NOT replace standard nationally-used algorithms.

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Anonymous said...

That video is ridiculous! I can't imagine trying to teach math via an Atlas. I was interested to see the "lattice method" in Everyday Math though. It's a really party trick, but doesn't really help kids learn what's happening.

However, I was somewhat impressed with the partial quotients method. I can solve long division problems (to 6-7 digits by any #, so not huge) quickly in my head using this method, and was always surprised schools didn't teach it.

I think the ability for a child to approximate is just as important in the real world as the ability to get the exact right answer, and approximations are something a child will never learn with a calculator.

I'm still a huge fan of no calculators in math class until at least 8th or 9th grade (algebra), when the calculator is more for support and less for solving the problem.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Oy... that made my head hurt!!

We'll just stick with the good, old reliable methods that I used when I learned!

Sprittibee said...

I agree with the calculator thing, Anita. We don't use one (except sometimes to quickly check work). I had to show my son HOW to use one last year for his exam with the state (because they allowed them for the Math portion in third grade!). I thought it was awful that they were letting 3rd graders use those things!

Erica - I'm glad it's not just me thinking these textbooks are a little liberal and fluffy.

Anonymous said...

I finally understand why my intelligent son has such a difficult time with basic multiplication and division! We pulled him out of school at the end of second grade, apparently not soon enough. Those math programs are a joke.

Anonymous said...

There are no fewer than four grammatical errors in your blog post.



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