Check out this site: www.weaponsofmathdestruction.com it promises to give you a smile in the midst of your daily frustration with math. A reader sent this one over this morning. I enjoyed it so I thought I would share.
Harry S. Truman once said...if you cannot convince them, confuse them. Does that ring true for you when it comes to the new math? At this point with our new math curriculum many of us knew something was not quite right. We just could not put our finger on it. We were told how wonderful this "new" math was and how it was working miracles all over the state and our nation. Is it? Well, this site is to explain and educate you on exactly what it is. You will find the truth here. You will find what it is called and what its critics really say about it. You will find that Texas and California will not allow it in their great states. (Good for you Texas and California...if only we would be willing to follow your lead.) You will find that our neighbors in Columbia "kicked it out of their school" also, after several consecutive years of falling test scores. You will find answers to those gut feelings that have been telling you this is wrong. Don't be confused anymore. Be educated. Knowledge is power. Help yourself, so you may help your child. Please look at older posts on the bottom right corner of every page...it will tell you everything you need to know and catch you up on where we have been in this fight and where we are going!
"We need 2000 dixie cups of cement and 300 pencil length of board lumber."
If you want to make sure and REALLY help your child through this here are some helpful hints from one of my new favorite websites: www.pwcteachmathright.com. :
1. Buy flash cards and drill your children on basic age and grade appropriate math facts. Just as children memorize the alphabet they need to commit basic math facts to automatic knowledge. Make it fun, challenge your kids with rewards for correct answers - speed is not critical; you want them to learn the basics without added pressure of time constraints.
2. Teach your children the standard algorithms for addition and subtraction by "stacking" numbers and carrying and borrowing -- the rest of the world uses these most efficient and simple of algorithms; don't buy the Camdenton School's "deeper, conceptual" convoluted algorithm theories.
3. Teach your children (Grade 3) multiplication tables and simple "long" division. Long division is not taught in Investigations...even by 5th grade! It is essential for progression to higher mathematics. Purchase some standard traditional mathematics workbooks and drill the basics. Walmart, K-Mart, school supply stores all stock these.
4. Consider an after school tutoring program to ensure your child doesn't get left behind.
5. Practice, practice, practice - "Investigations" does not provide your children with enough practice in basic computational skills for them to master arithmetic; you will have to make this up at home. 10 problems or so 4-5 days a week will do the trick; once they are proficient they will own the concepts - and have no need for "Investigations" complex strategery...
6. Teach your children what an "algorithm" is. An algorithm is a systematic method of solving a certain kind of problem. Your children must painstakingly explain their work in sentences in "Investigations." Teach them to use standard math algorithms and to write, "Because I used an algorithm," as their explanation...then have them show the fastest most efficient way to solve the problem (which is the standard algorithm).
So much for simple addition and multiplication. This is how our kids are being taught to solve what should be "simple math".