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    #13265 - 04/07/08 01:20 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Dottie]
    EandCmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/09/07
    Posts: 516
    We did this in 3rd grade too and there was no waiting for the other kids either. Actually the kids really enjoyed the competition to see who could get to the finish line first! (they had race cars that moved up as they went along)

    My DS is now in 4th and some of those kids still don't know their multiplication facts down cold. I don't blame the school, the school taught the facts. I think it is up to the parents to keep the kids drilling or memorizing or whatever. And with so much other stuff to do sometimes it is hard to find the time to keep up with skills that have already been taught.

    So while I agree there are definitely problems with the school system I also think that the parents have to be sure that their child is getting what he or she needs. Just my 2 cents! smile

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    #13269 - 04/07/08 01:29 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: EandCmom]
    kcab Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    Well, one thing is that different presentation methods work for different students - so just doing the same thing over and over is unlikely to get it through everyone's head.

    Also, all the comments here are about multiplication facts, which is one discrete area, but "drill & kill" seems to be applied to many other areas at my DD's school. Two months of stress over upcoming tests, followed by almost a month of testing, seems like a waste of time to me and really turns her off. And it isn't really working, DD thinks that some of the kids in 5th aren't even secure in subtraction, never mind mult.
    _________________________
    kcab

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    #13270 - 04/07/08 01:32 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Kriston]
    LMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/14/07
    Posts: 902
    I agree tables should be learned in 3rd grade, but if that's not the case I think 1-5 minute drill will not kill anybody.

    As for skipping 5-8, I would probably cover all the areas he may have not covered yet before jumping to algebra. I would make sure he can add/subtract/multiply fractions, calculate %, area and volume of different shapes, rounding, angles. That's up to Singapore 6B, I don't have anything beyond that. I would also go through some challenging middle school problems (Singapore Challenge problems, Zaccaro middle school, Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle schools).

    DS5 does 4th grade math, but I still feel there are lots of things to cover before he starts algebra. The good news is that he is finally getting to the level when challenging problems can require some effort. There is only that much you can do in the first few years, but you can come up with interesting problems for the middle school level.

    You are all right that lots of things repeat or are very obvious and the kids don't really need to learn them, but there are still new things to learn there.
    _________________________
    LMom

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    #13271 - 04/07/08 01:34 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: EandCmom]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: EandCmom
    My DS is now in 4th and some of those kids still don't know their multiplication facts down cold. I don't blame the school, the school taught the facts. I think it is up to the parents to keep the kids drilling or memorizing or whatever.


    I disagree. Teaching maths, reading, etc. is the primary responsibility of the school, not the parents. Otherwise, why do we even have schools?

    What are kids doing in school all day if not learning? Why do they need to go home and keep doing what they were supposedly doing a few hours ago and will be doing again tomorrow?

    California schools close at ~2:30 except on Wednesdays when they close after lunch to accomodate "in service" time for teachers. Why do schools need "in service days" every week? Why can't they do this at 2:45? And 2:30 is very early anyway. Why do schools close so early in a country that spends more per student than all but one or two others in the world?

    Val





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    #13272 - 04/07/08 01:45 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Val]
    bianc850a Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/02/07
    Posts: 312
    Loc: California
    My dd learned her multiplication tables in 1st grade (she was being moved to 2nd grade math) with those 5 minute drills. Twice a week, children have five minutes to complete a set of worksheets (starts with addition, followed by subtraction, then mixed addition/subtraction, multiplication, division, then all mixed). As children master once concept (able to get 100% on all questions under 5 min.) they move to the next concept. It is 10 minutes a week and by the end of the year my dd knew all the mutliplication tables to 12. It certainly was helpul when she stared doing division and multiplication to be able to easily recall those facts.

    I feel children need to master basic facts before they can move to more complex concepts.


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    #13277 - 04/07/08 04:47 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Val]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: kcab
    Also, all the comments here are about multiplication facts, which is one discrete area, but "drill & kill" seems to be applied to many other areas at my DD's school. Two months of stress over upcoming tests, followed by almost a month of testing, seems like a waste of time to me and really turns her off. And it isn't really working, DD thinks that some of the kids in 5th aren't even secure in subtraction, never mind mult.


    Yes, indeed! The whole reason I mentioned times tables is because that's one area where drill (and not kill) can be useful. But I think most of the areas in which the schools are drilling are not effective.

    Most kids learn best by doing, by hands-on work with concepts. Drill is a waste of time for most subject areas.

    Originally Posted By: Val
    What are kids doing in school all day if not learning?


    I SOOOOO agree with you on this point, Val! This is why we chose to homeschool. If they have the kids for 7+ hours a day, they ought to be able to teach most of what the kids need to know. If the kids aren't learning at school, then why are they there?

    Most days after school, I want elementary school-aged kids outside playing and getting some exercise!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #13279 - 04/07/08 05:59 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: Val]
    EandCmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/09/07
    Posts: 516
    Originally Posted By: Val
    I disagree. Teaching maths, reading, etc. is the primary responsibility of the school, not the parents. Otherwise, why do we even have schools?

    What are kids doing in school all day if not learning? Why do they need to go home and keep doing what they were supposedly doing a few hours ago and will be doing again tomorrow?


    I understand exactly what you are saying. However, I think this only works in a perfect world where all kids are on the same page. I also think it is definitely the parents responsibility to make sure their child is getting what they need. The schools are strapped to try to accommodate everyone and all learning levels. If they work on multiplication until every last child completely gets it, they would never get off multiplication in some instances. Some children just need to work on some things more than others so I don't think the kids who do get it faster should be penalized and wait while the others keep working on it. The teachers have to move on at some point. If my child is the only child not getting something, is it the teachers responsibility to keep working on it with him, or is it mine to get him the help he needs to keep up? (and I'm not talking about problems requiring an IEP, maybe just difficulty understanding a particular subject). Personally, I think it would be my responsibility to help him out. Just as so many here have gotten grade skips, or are after schooling or homeschooling to get their individual child the level of education they need.

    Definitely this isn't optimum. But with the way schools currently are, and I don't see a radical over haul coming any time soon (although maybe one could be used!) I think realistically it is ultimately the parents who are responsible for making sure their child gets the education they need. I'm sure others will disagree, and that is fine, but that is just the way I personally feel about it. smile

    Kriston said "Most kids learn best by doing, by hands-on work with concepts."

    I completely agree, and honestly, I haven't noticed that much drill going on. They do lots of hands on work. Last week they made orange sherbet to demonstrate physical change and today the teacher burned some paper to show a chemical change. I also played science bingo with them to help them remember some of their science facts. They loved all of it! My DS6 made paper last week and they are always doing some sort of hands on project. His class does flip its where they are timed for 1 minute doing addition on one side of the paper and flip the paper and they do subtraction on the other side. I've watched them do it and they all get a kick out of it. So all drill isn't bad. Maybe it is just how it is presented.


    Edited by EandCmom (04/07/08 06:37 PM)
    Edit Reason: thought of more stuff!

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    #13280 - 04/07/08 06:55 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleratio [Re: EandCmom]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Well, I think it's about how it's presented *and* what the subject matter is. Would the kids have gotten as much out of memorizing the details of physical vs. chemical change as they got out of the hands-on methods? No way!

    Math facts are the one exception that I can think of--maybe spelling words, too?--where drill is a truly useful technique for teaching elementary school-aged kids.

    At higher levels, you might also need drill for anatomy or chemistry as well. But in elementary school, I really think rote memorization is rarely useful for anything but basic math facts and spelling words.

    You do not learn concepts through memorization. It's just too low on the learning pyramid. Better to use higher level thinking skills...and current standardized testing (aka NCLB) means there's no reward for teachers to teach higher level thinking skills.

    I think individual schools and teachers generally (though not always) try to do the best they can within the system. But I think the system is deeply, deeply flawed.
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #13284 - 04/07/08 07:46 PM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleration [Re: Grinity]
    cym Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 865
    Loc: southwest
    Hi Val,

    For elementary math, besides division, there should be several other topics. The middle school math teacher I know says incoming kids are typically weakest in decimals, percentages, fractions. Ratios too. Algebra topics can be introduced early (my second grader is also doing some work in class), though it's an introduction. I like the idea of introducing math-talented kids to advanced topics to pique their interest and give them broader knowledge.

    My son seemed ready for Algebra early and I worked him a little, because the school did not want to advance to beyong pre-Algebra. It benefitted him to review concepts he reviewed early (and forgot). It was frustrating that no one was/is willing to teach a young-ish kid advanced topics, but I do think there is a maturity required for multistep operations. Definitely introduce him to topics, but expect him to need a deeper understanding before mastery.

    Just my opinion...

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    #13302 - 04/08/08 11:17 AM Re: Question about algebra and radical acceleration [Re: Dottie]
    OHGrandma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    Here is a link to Ohio's website that contains materials from past proficiency tests. (For those who haven't figured it out, the 'OH' in 'OHGrandma' is where I live, not how GS8 gets my attention wink )

    Since we're talking mandatory testing I thought it might be useful for those who aren't going through the testing to see what's on the test for different grades.

    Chris

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