Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    1 registered (sj4iy), 0 Guests and 66 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    hannahjeni, Catherine86, Chaj, AlanLuiz, Jach
    11221 Registered Users
    October
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    30 31
    Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
    Topic Options
    #119786 - 01/11/12 05:29 AM Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration
    vwmommy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Minnesota
    DS6, who is in K, has been skipping up to 2nd grade for reading since the beginning of November and for math since the beginning of December. The regular 2nd grade teacher who had planned all of this with his K teacher has been out on FMLA since the beginning of December but will be coming back soon. I have always assumed that reading was Connor's stronger suit and was initially surprised when the school suggested 2nd grade math acceleration as well, but since then he seems to have been proving me wrong. He has developed a huge interest in numbers and math of the last couple of months and, at least according to him, has been enjoying his math class.
    Fast forward to yesterday and I get a call from DS's K teacher. She tells me that the 2nd grade teacher (the long term sub) told her that the math that they are learning is "going over his head" and that he is getting frustrated in class and that she doesn't think that its good for him. She suggested that 1st grade math would be a better fit because they're more likely to be at his "comfort level". Mind you, I have told his teacher all along that if there were ever any gaps that she was noticing to let us know because, since math has been a newer interest for him, its not something he has learned as much about at home but he learns quickly enough that those could generally be made up with a 5 minute discussion at home.
    I am no curriculum expert but I'm pretty sure he won't be learning much in a 1st grade math classroom considering he already knows multiple digit addition and subtraction and carrying, basic fractions, and has been learning multiplication and division on his own recently lately.
    Secondly, I know my child, and he is a massive perfectionist. If anything has too much risk or chance of failure then he will ooften just not try. Frustration, with him, is often just a sign that he is having to do something that isn't entirely innate. We search out those experiences for him since so many things come easily. I am not comfortable with telling him "Well, this must be too hard for you so why don't you go back to doing things that you already know how to do." On the same note- he expresses NO frustration about this class or subject matter outside of that classroom.
    Thirdly, I don't know much about the 'Everyday Math' curriculum but it appears that what he's having a hard time with at the moment is doing the same addition problems that he already knows how to do in different ways, using different logarithms. My (and his K teacher's) question is- If he already can do the math why does he have to learn a bunch of different ways to do the same problem? I can understand having value in showing different ways to accomplish something but if a child has learned a way on his own and is proficient at it are the other logarithms really needed?
    Right now it seems like his K teacher and I are on the same page that we should hold out on any changes until the regular teacher comes back but if any of you have been here before I'd certainly appreciate the input. Thanks.


    Edited by vwmommy (09/19/12 12:35 PM)

    Top
    #119788 - 01/11/12 05:42 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    frannieandejsmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/01/11
    Posts: 833
    Loc: somewhere out there
    Does your school district use NWEA MAP testing? Those are very telling at what a child knows and is ready to learn next.

    Top
    #119789 - 01/11/12 06:08 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    Originally Posted By: vwmommy
    at least according to him, has been enjoying his math class.
    he is getting frustrated in class and that she doesn't think that its good for him. She suggested that 1st grade math would be a better fit because they're more likely to be at his "comfort level".
    ..
    I am no curriculum expert but I'm pretty sure he won't be learning much in a 1st grade math classroom considering he already knows multiple digit addition and subtraction and carrying, basic fractions, and has been learning multiplication and division on his own recently lately.
    Secondly, I know my child, and he is a massive perfectionist. If anything has too much risk or chance of failure then he will ooften just not try.


    Math is not easy like a lot of other things. You are not supposed to be comfortable.

    Its a good thing to get frustrated and then get it - especially if he is a perfectionist. That is normal. As long as he is getting it, then stay put. Based on your description of his skills, he sounds fine.

    He may be getting frustrated with the teacher who may be wanting to go over and over what he already knows. If his skill level is expanding faster than the material he is being fed...

    You may want to consider supplementing him at home with Singapore Math.




    Top
    #119790 - 01/11/12 06:13 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    There are actually good reasons for knowing multiple ways to skin a cat, as it were. At the basic math levels EDM may be focused on developing more number sense, ability to do mental math to check an answer, etc. You don't want a math student who can reliably calculate things a single way, but doesn't understand the reason for the calculation. Also, if they use EDM at your school, the regular teacher would probably be teaching the same material at this point. I'm not the biggest fan of EDM as used in our district, but your son's problems may be related to pace (especially if other kids have more fluency due to more practice), missing conceptual foundation (possible but unlikely I'd guess), or poor communication or rapport with the sub, who may be a bit of an unbeliever. The problem isn't really with learning multiple algorithms. Do you think it's possible he's refusing to do the work, or do you think he's doing his best?

    ETA (on my computer instead of my phone now): I agree with Austin, as usual. smile Singapore Math would be a great choice for supplementation in my opinion, since it tends toward clear answers and problem-solving practice, you can get extra Challenging Word Problems or Intensive Practice books, it helps a child build a strong conceptual framework (often by explaining things in multiple ways), and-- this is almost the best part-- I've found that it lends itself very well to acceleration. SM has extra workbooks that you can skip completely, just going through the text, and you can if you like use the review and practice sections as pretests to see how well your son's mastered the material in a block. ALEKS is very good too, and there are plenty of other options for enrichment or supplementation. I also agree that math should be challenging, and while your son is very young you need to start helping him deal with his perfectionism now (here's a recent thread with a list of strategies).
    _________________________
    Striving to increase my rate of flow, and fight forum gloopiness. sick

    Top
    #119796 - 01/11/12 07:10 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: vwmommy
    My (and his K teacher's) question is- If he already can do the math why does he have to learn a bunch of different ways to do the same problem?


    If two adults are asking this question, it's likely that he's asking the question, too. Maybe the problem isn't that he doesn't understand how to do the work... it's that he doesn't understand how it has any value. Maybe all he needs is someone to show him why it would be useful to learn more than one method, and he'll be off and running again.

    It's a question that bears asking, anyway.

    Top
    #119797 - 01/11/12 07:24 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    st pauli girl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/29/08
    Posts: 1917
    If you have a kid who encounters very little challenge, it is necessary to provide the type of challenge that your DS is facing. If he already understands one way to do the problem, it could be an issue with how the sub is explaining the new way of solving. Maybe you can find out the particular issues and explain at home. Or else try khan academy for videos. We just got a great khan video explanation of "mode", even though DS knew what it was, mom and dad were not so familiar with that term!

    As for learning and using several different methods to do the same thing, I think that it's very useful for kids who learn in different ways. It also might help a kid understand why something works, rather than just rote memorization. Then at some point a person should be able to choose his/her preferred method of solving, the one they're most comfortable with. But that's just my opinion, and I am not mathy.


    Edited by st pauli girl (01/11/12 07:26 AM)

    Top
    #119804 - 01/11/12 08:25 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    mnmom23 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/09
    Posts: 701
    I remember particular 2nd and 3rd grade EDM homework that required the student to do the exact same two-digit addition and subtraction problems in literally SIX different ways each. Good to know different approaches, definitely. Necessary to do each approach with the same problem? I could definitely see where frustration would set in and even a complete disbelief that the work even needs to be done. As I explained to my DS at the time, however, sometimes you just need to jump through the hoops of school. And, unfortunately, a lot of school is hoop-jumping.

    To me, though, it sounds like it could be more of an issue of both your son's perfectionism and his lack of challenge heretofor. I think almost all of us here have seen the frustration that accompanies the first challenge. Almost all of us here, though, have probably also seen that the frustration is short lived when they get slightly more used to the challenge and rise to meet the challenge and then, unfortunately, when the work becomes easy again (since they learn so darn quickly).

    Since your DS seems happy when he talks about math at home and since you can see that he's up for the challenge, I think you should stay the course. Perhaps what is needed most is for you to attempt to educate the sub on how very common his reaction is for kids like him who are facing new and possibly challenging material for the first time.
    _________________________
    She thought she could, so she did.

    Top
    #119808 - 01/11/12 09:04 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    vwmommy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Minnesota
    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I am hoping that once the regular teacher returns we'll be a little more settled. When this teacher took over the class she asked to delayed Connor entering into her math class for a week while she "got to know him" in reading (which he had already been in for a month) first. From what I understand she is an older teacher who teaches in more traditional ways than what is common at the school (a charter STEM school)-- i.e. she has been teaching math to the whole group whereas the regular teacher usually splits the class into smaller groups.
    I also had a discussion with him about other ways he could deal with his frustration besides getting mad. I tried to suggest that he could raise his hand and ask the teacher when he had a question. His first response was "No, her voice is too loud and it hurts my ears." He has always had sensory issues especially regarding sounds so I don't know if this is legitimately the reason he doesn't want to ask or if he is just making excuses to not ask (he has NEVER liked asking for help). We also discussed the idea that things that are difficult can be very good for your brain. He loves anatomy and can relate to the idea of your neurons making new connections. I am hoping that we can help him find constructive ways to work through this. Any advice on how to help him handle his frustrations better?

    Top
    #119811 - 01/11/12 09:32 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Maybe you could do some really hard math at home, and give him a script to use when frustrated, and practice the script. (This can be an "asking for help" script, or a "coping statement" like "I think I'll try this problem again another way" or "If it's wrong, I'll have a chance to fix it later.")

    This sort of skill (the coping with frustration) needs a lot of practice before it's second nature.

    DeeDee

    Top
    #119822 - 01/11/12 10:09 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    All teriffic posts so far and I agree with all of the points.

    One additional approach. It's really hard to answer a teacher's complaints when you don't really know what she is talking about or what exactly is causing it.

    A way to find out is to gather more concrete information about what the problem is, and what the possible solutions might be. Is the material too hard or too easy? Is the material just right, but the experience of challenge new and skill-training on how to express normal healthy amonths of frustration what is needed? Is the pace just wrong?

    If possible, go in and observe the math class, and then sit down with the teacher and see if you can observe the behavior that is of concern to the sub. Then sit down with the sub and let her have a chance to think aloud with your attention so that she can carefully rethink her original thought while explaining to you what she is seeing and 'how she got her answer.'

    If that isn't a good choice, sometimes spending time afterschooling Math with your son is enough that you can have the same conversation. I recommend www.aleks.com/ for their free trial, to encourage you to work intensively over a weekend, and see first hand what he's like when he's doing the work. The format of Aleks is useful, in that it gives new challenge after 3 correct answers or repetition if there is an incorrect answer. That takes you out of the teacher role, and lets you be a 'guide at the side' cheering him on and observing how he deals with a challenge, and what, actually constitutes a challenge for your son right at this moment.

    I know your real teacher is returning, and probably that will fix everything, but the sub is seeing SOMEthing, and it can be fun, if you have time, to figure out what that something is.

    Let us know!
    Grinity
    If not p
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

    Top
    #119839 - 01/11/12 01:17 PM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    Coll Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/30/10
    Posts: 114
    Without knowing exactly what's frustrating him, and how he's expressing that frustration in class, it's difficult for me to respond very specifically. However, I have a DS6 who goes to 2nd grade for Everyday Math (my DS6 is in 1st grade), and I can tell you about our experience. First though, that's fantastic that they were willing to let your DS go up two grades in EDM. It can be difficult to transition into that curriculum without getting the base "language" of EDM in 1st grade and K. Regardless of whether he knows advanced math concepts, making sense of EDM is not terribly easy when you're thrown into it in the middle.

    Regarding our experience as it may be relevant to yours, my DS6 is very proud to go up a grade with the 2nd graders, but he is also more reluctant to speak up in class to provide answers, or to ask questions, because of the age difference. My DS is not low on self-confidence, although he is more of an observer, and it's surprised me a little that he's as reluctant as he is in math. Thankfully, he understands the teacher and doesn't need to ask many questions, but if he were being particularly challenged, we would have a hard time with it because he wouldn't speak up to ask questions. His writing skills are also not at a 2nd grade level, which makes it difficult for him to complete work in the classroom sometimes.

    I imagine this scenario might be multiplied for your DS, since your he's going up two grades, not one. The EDM curriculum itself can also be frustrating for kids who want to move along quickly, as others have noted, because EDM is extremely repetitive, and remains so from year to year, as it's a "spiraling" curriculum, meaning they revisit the same topics in more depth each year.

    I don't know if any of this is helpful, but thought I would share in case it is. I think Grinity's response is great too.

    Top
    #120103 - 01/15/12 08:51 PM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    elastigirl Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/24/10
    Posts: 8
    I like EDM. The reality is, we DO use multiple ways of doing math when we do it in the real world.

    That said, your guy may need to be moving along faster. Take a look at compacting.

    Top
    #120315 - 01/18/12 09:54 PM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    vwmommy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Minnesota
    Just a quick update--- We had conferences last night and I think I know where at least part of his frustration is coming from. For one thing, they are currently learning to add with an algorithm that teaches them multiple digit addition from left to right i.e. 18+18 is written in columns and they will add the 10's, writing that answer below then they will ad the 1's place and write that answer below that.
    18
    +18
    ----
    20
    +16
    ----
    30
    + 6
    ----
    36
    Not only does he not like doing the math this way but it is interfering with the way he had been doing it before so that he is now confused about which side to start on, when to carry etc... He's been able to do this problem for a long time now but got it wrong the other day because he was combining the two different methods. I think, now that I have some idea what they are doing, that I can work this out with him. We also found out that the 2nd grade class is spending 90 minutes a day on math whereas Connor's only in there for 60 minutes of it. I think he's doing quite well considering he's only getting 2/3 of the instruction time.
    On a positive note, his attitude and behavior have been great. The worrying behaviors that we were seeing at the beginning of the year have disappeared or lessened dramatically since spending time in 2nd grade. He loves his science and Chinese classes, has a 'girlfriend' in Kindy and just generally likes school. Also, his reading level has gone up from around a mid 2nd grade fluency in October/November to around a mid 3rd grade level now.

    Top
    #120326 - 01/19/12 05:38 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    geofizz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/10
    Posts: 658
    Have him do a few examples using both methods side by side. Use a blue pencil for one method, a red for the other. You might also take a step back and add 18 cents to 18 cents, and track where all the pennies and dimes go. That EDM method there can be confusing if you don't fully understand why the two methods work. However, that method is a good one to know and understand because it really can make mental math easier.

    Do you have a plan to coordinate with the teacher about the lost 30 minutes a day of class and teacher interaction time? It's great you got things figured out before things got dire.

    Top
    #120886 - 01/24/12 10:26 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    vwmommy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Minnesota
    So, 2nd grade teacher wasn't at conferences (just K teacher) but we went through his 2nd grade work and 2nd grade teacher had met with K teacher ahead of time to update her. She also gave us her number to call her at home.
    By the time of the conferences 2nd grade teacher had basically changed her mind and decided that, while Connor's math isn't as strong as his reading, that he is appropriately placed. So, I called 2nd grade teacher and basically the discussion on her end had turned from "he's overwhelemed." to "Wow! He's doing great!" She told me that she figured out that if, instead of separating him out with the others that were having difficulty with a concept, she let him work through it on his own that almost always figured it out without any intervention. Basically, he was more frustrated over people trying to help him than by the math itself. 2nd grade teacher also said that the EM curriculum that she has been using is not school-wide but that she has used it to frame her lessons because the regular teacher didn't have a set curriculum set for her ahead of time. Knowing that, she has started letting Connor do his math in the way that works best for him.
    The conversation that I expected to be a few minutes ended up lasting over a half hour with the teacher repeatedly telling me that she had, in fact, been very leery of having a Kindergartener in not only Reading, but Math as well. She was pretty apologetic and explained that she was not aware of ever having had a K child in her class that was as far advanced across the board as Connor is and therefore couldn't have imagined that it would work. I guess I can't blame her for being surprised- we are constantly surprised by him at home too. She was more surprised when I told her that neither Reading or Math is his strongest suit- that would be Science. Long story not-so-short: I think we got another convert to the idea of believing giftedness, acceleration, and accomodation

    Top
    #120887 - 01/24/12 10:31 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    aculady Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/31/10
    Posts: 1040
    This is fabulous news!

    Top
    #120889 - 01/24/12 10:52 AM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    Fantastic!
    _________________________
    Striving to increase my rate of flow, and fight forum gloopiness. sick

    Top
    #120907 - 01/24/12 02:58 PM Re: Teacher Questioning Math Acceleration [Re: vwmommy]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: vwmommy
    So, I called 2nd grade teacher and basically the discussion on her end had turned from "he's overwhelemed." to "Wow! He's doing great!" She told me that she figured out that if, instead of separating him out with the others that were having difficulty with a concept, she let him work through it on his own that almost always figured it out without any intervention. ... The conversation that I expected to be a few minutes ended up lasting over a half hour with the teacher repeatedly telling me that she had, in fact, been very leery of having a Kindergartener in not only Reading, but Math as well. She was pretty apologetic and explained that she was not aware of ever having had a K child in her class that was as far advanced across the board as Connor is and therefore couldn't have imagined that it would work.

    Good for you - I know that I think better when I have a chance to think aloud and be listened to, and I've seen it work time and time again. In might be true that it's not fair to ask a parent to do this sort of service for a teacher, but given how unusual our kids are, it's unsuprising.

    Yippee!!! You have a happier kid!
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

    Top
    Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


    Moderator:  M-Moderator, Mark D. 
    Recent Posts
    NYC pivots on admission criteria
    by indigo
    Yesterday at 12:11 PM
    The ultimate brag thread
    by LazyMum
    Yesterday at 03:07 AM
    How do you choose a profession?
    by LazyMum
    09/30/22 04:13 AM
    Introduction
    by indigo
    09/24/22 08:17 AM
    Math acceleration and teacher attitude questions
    by AlanLuiz
    09/23/22 10:52 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter