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    #89193 - 11/09/10 07:26 AM x
    master of none Offline

    Registered: 03/18/08
    Posts: 2946

    Edited by master of none (12/27/13 05:33 PM)

    #89194 - 11/09/10 07:51 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: master of none]
    onthegomom Offline

    Registered: 07/28/09
    Posts: 1743
    I'm going to quess DC is in third grade Math. Is this right? This was the time when all the little details like decimal points, am, pm, ect. would make a student lose lots of points. My DYS, talented and passionate math son had a hard time with that too.

    This gets into perfectionist issues and coping. I think the big thing is to listen to DC and let them get all this stress out. DC feeling understood helps alot. See if you can find DC some out of the box Math to have fun with. This is so hard and it felt like the situation was discouraging the love of Math.


    Edited by onthegomom (11/09/10 07:52 AM)

    #89197 - 11/09/10 08:10 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: master of none]
    AlexsMom Offline

    Registered: 06/01/10
    Posts: 741
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    when she asked why something was marked wrong, the teacher said "I didn't teach that"--yet dd did it the way it was on the homework.

    I'm confused - your DD had done the problem correctly, and arrived at the correct answer, but was marked wrong because she wasn't supposed to be able to arrive at the correct answer? Or the teacher assigns homework the kids can't do, and then counts the un-doable problems as wrong, and uses that homework to calculate report card grades (as opposed to just for providing feedback)?

    #89199 - 11/09/10 08:15 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: master of none]
    Steph Offline

    Registered: 06/05/08
    Posts: 70
    Loc: NE
    I have the same question as Alexsmom - did she count it wrong even though the answer itself was right?? I would definitely have a problem with that. To me, that goes above just coping. I can see dealing with the detailed picky stuff, yes, but getting correct answers marked wrong is not acceptable, imo. DS is very concerned with right/wrong & I can see that really bothering him too.

    Can you have a chat with the teacher to figure out her expectations for the work?

    #89211 - 11/09/10 08:58 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: master of none]
    momtofour Offline

    Registered: 03/27/10
    Posts: 228
    I'm sensing I need to be more sensitive to her. But she always wants to be RIGHT, and this is a good lesson to her.

    Really? What good lesson is she learning? Seriously, I just don't see it. She just skipped a grade, she's very young, and she's getting no cooperation or empathy from the teacher. She answered the problem correctly, but because it wasn't done a certain way, it's marked wrong. How was she supposed to know this? Again, not really sure what lesson this is teaching. Now, if it's a case of "the instructions said to answer using scientific notation, and although your answer was correct, it wasn't in scientific notation," well, that makes sense to me. My boys have had to learn to use the lovely EDM (everyday math) methods when the test says to, even if they could solve it more quickly another way. The "lesson" they learn is that they need to pay attention and read the directions carefully. And yes, maybe you wouldn't have cried for 20 minutes, but every kid is different. My ds10 still cries occasionally when he is frustrated. Ds8 lets things glide off him like water. They're just different kids who express themselves differently.
    Your dd sounds like she needs some support and understanding as she makes this transition, and imho, you need to be her advocate and her champion as she does so.

    #89212 - 11/09/10 09:05 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: master of none]
    AlexsMom Offline

    Registered: 06/01/10
    Posts: 741
    Can you give me an exact example? Like the problem was "Write a number sentence showing 3 groups of 3 groups of 3 groups," and the teacher expected 3x3x3=27, and your DD wrote 3^3=27? Something like that?

    I would be mighty upset there, and likely do something rash.

    #89218 - 11/09/10 09:51 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: momtofour]
    susandj Offline

    Registered: 09/29/09
    Posts: 92
    I agree with this post 100%. Just because she is using different notation does not make the answer wrong, and if the teacher can't provide empathetic feedback that is positive and useful, she does not sound like the teacher for your daughter. It strikes me that your daughter is probably far better at math than many of the other kids in that grade, and to punish her for having a better understanding of the mathematical foundations is unacceptable.

    This reminds me of my brother when he was in 7th grade, and had a teacher who taught that "pi is the same as 22/7", which of course is wrong, and of course my brother knew that it was wrong. He argued with that teacher every day for two weeks, insisting that pi is an irrational number, and my mother was finally called to a conference with the teacher because he was "being disruptive" in class. When their complaints were explained, my mother just said, "Well, David is right, and you aren't." Then she arranged for him to go to the high school for math, where he met the teacher who would really become his mentor. He ended up heading to MIT at age 15, and now has a PhD in pure math. And he still knows that pi is an irrational number.

    I guess my point is that you should insist that DD follows the rules, even if she finds them silly (e.g. using correct notation WHEN ASKED FOR), but stick up for DD when it is a question of right/wrong answers. It sounds to me like you may need to have a meeting with the teacher and the team leader to discuss the issues, and you may end up needing a teacher switch, if possible. It seems like the teacher is acting as though she thinks your daughter is "showing off", when in reality she is just trying to perform to a higher standard than perhaps some of the other kids.

    Good luck. Sounds like you'll have your work cut out for you.

    #89219 - 11/09/10 09:55 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: master of none]
    Grinity Offline

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    Then yesterday, she cried for about 20 minutes because when she asked why something was marked wrong, the teacher said "I didn't teach that"--yet dd did it the way it was on the homework. For some reason, it really got to her

    "Because I didn't teach that" isn't a reason to mark an answer wrong. It's ok that your DD finds this frustrating. Some gifted kids have a super-high sense of justice and this is unjust.

    Step 1) meet with the teacher and let her know that DD is crying at home. Ask teacher why the answers were marked wrong. The teacher may have some totally different explaination that might actually be reasonable. If so, you can come home and explain it to DD.

    Step 2) If the teacher actually defends her position that it's ok to mark things wrong simple because they weren't taught (and you can document that they were part of the homework) take it up with the principle or the head of the Math department. One of those: I just wanted to make sure that I'm understanding the XXX school policy, because DD is finding it very stressful.

    Step 3) See if DD can't be placed in some other Math, Homeschool math, independent study, or 7th grade Math (she did 6th grade last year, right?)

    Step 4) look for teachable moments to show that everyone sees the world in their own way, NOT related to math. My son wouldn't have gotten the message at age 8, but is fine with it at age 14. We joke about "When the teacher says JUMP, you say: How high?"

    That's fine for High school when the grades go on the college transcript, but it just isn't going to fly with your average 'way gifted' 8 year old.

    Step 5) It is entirely possible that you can negotiate with the teacher to allow your DD to use math that hasn't been taught because DD is so young and so interested in math as a hobby, even though the other kids are still going to be marked off on it. That would be fine.

    Remember that 8 is too young expect a child to be able to self-advocate. If it happens spontaneously, that's great, but for most adults, the youngest they can bear to negotiate with is ten years old. I read it somewhere, and have lived it too. So you aren't being 'too much' to take on this role. It just isn't likely that your typical adult can take an 8 year old seriously.

    Love and More Love,
    Coaching available, at

    #89222 - 11/09/10 10:03 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: Grinity]
    susandj Offline

    Registered: 09/29/09
    Posts: 92
    Great response, Grinity.

    I would say, however, re: your #5 step, that NO child should ever be marked off simply because they are using material that "hasn't been taught yet", if it is in fact correct, and they have followed the instructions for the work.

    #89233 - 11/09/10 11:04 AM Re: Coping vs love of learning [Re: master of none]
    kcab Offline

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    But, I will try to be more sensitive to dd. I'm just not sure what the heck is going through her mind. It's like it hurts her down to the core, and I just don't understand why. So what if the teacher doesn't agree with you? Maybe someone can enlighten me on that?
    I'll take a stab at it. The teacher is not being respectful of *her*. It is as though the teacher does not even see her or know her, does not care about her at all. The teacher also does not care about whether things are right or wrong, only whether they conform to her own agenda. It is a terrible thing to be made to feel this, even worse in a power-imbalanced relationship that one cannot escape.

    Maybe that's a bit melodramatic, but the crying probably is over feelings rather than math.

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