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    #13251 - 04/07/08 12:05 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Kriston]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Kriston
    I'm with you, Val. Is it our GT denial, or are they just aiming low? Maybe a bit of both?


    There could be other problems in the mix: the extreme focus on minimum proficiency (exacerbated by NCLB) and the quality of the teaching.

    It's pretty appalling that college students can't do long division, but sadly, not surprising. Somehow with all the worry surrounding NCLB and "standards," all of America's students seem to be learning less and less in school. Why is that?

    Val

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    #13252 - 04/07/08 12:08 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Val]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I was always shocked by how many of my Big-10 college students had done no writing during their senior year of high school except one big research paper, which was returned to them with a letter grade and no comments. How is that teaching a kid anything? One semester when I asked the question, EVERY student in the class--no exceptions--raised a hand to say that this had been their experience.

    Appalling!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #13253 - 04/07/08 12:11 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Val]
    kcab Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    Originally Posted By: Val
    It's pretty appalling that college students can't do long division, but sadly, not surprising. Somehow with all the worry surrounding NCLB and "standards," all of America's students seem to be learning less and less in school. Why is that?
    Every last one of them is bored out of their gourd?

    I think, perhaps, intense drilling and stress can work to provide short term gains, but are not an effective strategy in the longer term.
    _________________________
    kcab

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    #13254 - 04/07/08 12:15 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: kcab]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    True. No kids--GT or no--learn well in a "drill and kill" situation for the majority of their time.

    (Some skills--like math facts--can be learned well this way, but anything beyond rote memorization, no. And the "drill and kill" for math facts is used short-term, in quick bursts, not as a long-range, consistent teaching method.)
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #13255 - 04/07/08 12:19 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: kcab]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    I was looking at a fifth grade teacher's web site in a local schol district. It said that four days per week, her students do 100 multiplication problems as soon as math class starts. The goal is to get them done with 100% accuarcy in less than one minute during the course of the school year.

    Can you imagine??? In FIFTH grade? That would be dull in 3rd grade.

    Talk about bored out of their little gourds, not to mention an ideal method for killing any curiosity about mathematics.

    Oy.

    Val

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    #13259 - 04/07/08 12:56 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Dottie]
    OHGrandma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    Well....do we want them to know the facts? Or not? It's only one minute, how boring can it be?

    I'm not for drill and kill mind you, but I'm more appalled by the kids that don't know their facts.

    I don't know...I just hate to see schools bashed completely. Some really are trying to make the best of a less than ideal (government enforced) situation.


    I probably have even more conservative thinking than Dottie on this subject. There have to be minimum standards, and consequences for teachers not teaching the material to meet those standards. One problem is the motivated & gifted students not being allowed to excel, but instead are held back while the slower kids need help.
    I think we need to implement a non-grade approach to classroom divisions, and keep a child in Math 1, or Reading 1, etc. until the child has mastered those concepts; then move to Math 2, Reading 2, etc. There should be no passing until the material is mastered, and there should be no holding back the children who know the material.

    FWIW, this was taken from a 4th grade teachers website, today. This is the teacher that GS8's teacher has recommended for him next year. I've edited it to remove students names.

    Quote:
    We are working on learning our times tables.
    Congrats to (3 students) for passing their twos.
    Congrats to (6 students) for passing their threes.
    Congratulations to (3 students) for passing their fours.
    Congrats to (3 students) for passing their fives.
    Congrats to (1 student) for passing his sixes.
    Big Congrats to (3 students), for passing their sevens.
    A big wow to (1 student) for passing his eights.
    Good Job (1 student) for passing your tens.
    Congratulations (1 student) for passing your twelves.
    And Wow to (1 student) who passed her mixed review!
    I predict alot of ice cream will be eaten in our room in May.


    This is the beginning of the final quarter for 4th grade. I'm worried all over again about what GS8 will do in 4th grade as he already knows this, as well as adding, subtracting, & multiplying fractions.

    Maybe what's even more worrisome is the fact that our school has around an 80% proficient rate in math on the state proficiency tests. I don't think this is asking much of our children, if 9 year olds are still learning their multiplication tables, yet 80% of them 'pass' the state requirements.

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    #13260 - 04/07/08 01:02 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Dottie]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    I should have explained it better: they start off with a goal of less than five minutes and work to one minute from 0*0 to 9*9 in random order. The others presumably wait around while the rest finish.

    I think my point was that this approach kills enthusiasm, and anyway, why didn't these kids learn this stuff in 3rd grade? By the time I was in 5th grade, we were way past 5*4 and 7*9. If an entire class needs to practice this exercise in 5th grade, the school has done something wrong.

    I understand that the schools believe they're doing their best and that many teachers are really trying very hard. But that doesn't mean there aren't serious problems, and the educational establishment has to carry a lot of the blame. After all, they're the ones who got us into this mess, not the government. Most students in other developed countries would find our standardized tests trivial because their school systems are far more rigorous than ours.

    ===> And they do this with less money per student (we outspend almost every other country on the planet), more students per class, and lower or equivalent teacher pay. This information is available from OECD statistics from the PISA exam. <===

    I lived in Ireland for many years, and the public schools in the poorest parts of Dublin provide the same high quality education as the ones in the ritzy parts of the city.

    Ireland has two levels of courses students can take in high school: "Pass" or "Ordinary" and "Honours".

    Here's a link to a YouTube video with some examples of what
    they learn in ORDINARY maths. Contrast with US exit exams asking for students to calculate the interest on a bank deposit. Watch and cry.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4W_6u2KyL4

    Val


    Edited by Val (04/07/08 01:04 PM)

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    #13262 - 04/07/08 01:17 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Val]
    Cathy A Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Watch and cry.


    frown whaaaaa!

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    #13263 - 04/07/08 01:17 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: OHGrandma]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I think my problem is that all the focus on minimum standards seems to have LOWERED the age of proficiency for things like times tables. When I was in school, we knew ours by the middle of 3rd grade. And this was in a rural, not-wealthy public school.

    It seems to me that the more standardized the proficiency requirements become, the lower they get. I don't like that.
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #13264 - 04/07/08 01:18 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Kriston]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    BTW, my posting overlapped with Val. I'm with her. wink
    _________________________
    Kriston

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