tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.comments2014-10-28T07:40:47.317-04:00Out In Left FieldKatharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comBlogger3921125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-15483104781077630612014-10-27T23:47:17.172-04:002014-10-27T23:47:17.172-04:00My son did theater from ages 5 to 18, and plans to...My son did theater from ages 5 to 18, and plans to continue doing it in college. The students in the theater classes he was in did socialize with each other. Although there were core kids who took many classes, there were also new kids in almost every class—and they were welcomed into the social network. So it has not been our experience that home-schooled kids are ostracized. (Disclaimer: many of the kids in the theater classes were home schooled.)<br /><br />When I was mentor for a high-school robotics team, none of the members had cell phones—nor did they see much point to getting them. (My son only got a cell phone when he needed it to be a "prefect" for a field trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and he still uses it less than once a week—his $2/day plan does not use up the $100 before a year is up.)gasstationwithoutpumpshttp://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-80249672319106079562014-10-27T13:47:00.973-04:002014-10-27T13:47:00.973-04:00But, the benefit of homeschooling, especially in t...But, the benefit of homeschooling, especially in the upper grades, is that kids are out in the world more and aren't tied to their school and age-based peer group. Kids can get daytime jobs, go to college classes, do volunteer work, etc., that lets them interact with people of all ages. That broader experience with people who aren't navel-gazing teens is one of the great pros of homeschooling.Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-57862269392485863772014-10-27T09:10:48.507-04:002014-10-27T09:10:48.507-04:00Hello,
I am not sure what it is exactly that Mr. S...Hello,<br />I am not sure what it is exactly that Mr. Sahlberg finds wrong with American school standardized testing in Math. But I could offer you some of my own prospective. It should be noted, that American-style standardized testing in Math has been the target of incredible amount of ridicule and criticism among Europeans since at least middle-to-late eightieths. Consequently, it is likely that there is no educators in place currently here, who have any idea of how it should be done right.<br />Here is a list of what I think is, and for a long time has been consistently wrong with these tests. Each of the items in the list could be expanded into a lengthy post of its own, so I for now will offer only very brief expansions.<br />They are based on a dumbed-down curriculum, which they, in turn, promote;<br />They pose wrong types of questions – good test questions should allow a student at least 20 - 30 minutes to work on each one of them, so there should be much fewer questions but each one of them should be much deeper;<br />They assess for the wrong skills;<br />They are using wrong technology – they should not be of multiple choice type and should be based on a human evaluation of a student reasoning at length;<br />They are improperly organized – test results should be returned to students with errors marked;<br />They promote wrong type of thinking (or, rather, no thinking at all);<br />They have an undue influence on the whole education process, because it is one thing to have a single test at the exit of the school, and completely another to have several each year;<br />So if you ask me what is wrong with American-style standardized testing for Math, the short answer would be - everything.<br /><br />Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-76063035425969762752014-10-26T00:21:03.906-04:002014-10-26T00:21:03.906-04:00Now here's some real creative, no-rote-memoriz...Now here's some real creative, no-rote-memorizing serious math:<br /><br />https://kevinspraggettonchess.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/todays-math-teaser/<br /><br />:-)Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-69248319434432559662014-10-25T14:12:41.291-04:002014-10-25T14:12:41.291-04:00So the answer to EC1 is "yes"?So the answer to EC1 is "yes"?Katharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-89498436836697641122014-10-25T11:59:50.622-04:002014-10-25T11:59:50.622-04:00Hainish, I was referring to Extra Credit Question ...Hainish, I was referring to Extra Credit Question #2, which asked if 3/4 would be an acceptable alternative answer for A and 1/4 an acceptable answer for C. The answer is no, because they are asking the student to relate the part to the whole using the conventional origin they have marked on the object. In third grade, they would mark the origin if they were going unconventional.lgmnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-38640652110310160522014-10-24T12:21:37.776-04:002014-10-24T12:21:37.776-04:00lgm, those are all acceptable according to the key...lgm, those are all acceptable according to the key. Unless you were referring to something else...?Hainishnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-10899703120401153962014-10-23T16:27:25.024-04:002014-10-23T16:27:25.024-04:00EC2. Nope, the question asks for equivalent fracti...EC2. Nope, the question asks for equivalent fractions, not equivalent segments. So the answer to D is 2/8,3/12 or 10/40 or whatever the child wants to put in there. E is then 6/8 or 30/40 or whatever the child's heart desires. Mine would load in something like (3*10^6)/(4*10^6)unless his teacher had prepped him to be nice to the grader who probably uses eyeglasses and has a lot of papers to grade.lgmnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-1220897665603953912014-10-23T15:28:10.591-04:002014-10-23T15:28:10.591-04:00Wow! That is bad. Any kid who actually understands...Wow! That is bad. Any kid who actually understands the math will be at a DISadvantage, since they would notice the lack of directionality.<br /><br />In addition, a smart-aleck kid (and that would be our 12-year-old), would probably want to point out that the lables refer not to segments, but to the dots or points above them. So, the answer for each could be something like 1/27th.Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-63532313011626688532014-10-23T12:57:53.898-04:002014-10-23T12:57:53.898-04:00The questions themselves aren't bad, but you&#...The questions themselves aren't bad, but you're right that there is no directionality to the string, making the reverse answers also correct.Hainishnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-65407049275109750722014-10-23T10:41:10.130-04:002014-10-23T10:41:10.130-04:00Even knowing the meanings of "1," "...Even knowing the meanings of "1," "3," and "4,"--and that "3" is one more than "4"--involves rote memorization.Katharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-45956975139375881852014-10-23T10:27:55.044-04:002014-10-23T10:27:55.044-04:00So, in the first example, how do the kids know 3+1...So, in the first example, how do the kids know 3+1=4 if they did no "rote" memorizing? I guess they could count on their fingers. But then they'd need to recognize somehow that the 3 adds with 7 to make the sought-after 10. Without memorizing. I guess they can use their toes for that, since their fingers are busy finding all the addends for 4.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-20821895479341817642014-10-23T00:42:19.792-04:002014-10-23T00:42:19.792-04:00One issue is that increasingly I find teachers mea...One issue is that increasingly I find teachers mean "Math in Focus" when they say "Singapore Math," not what the Primary Mathematics, which is what homeschoolers usually mean. Math in Focus is based on a second Singapore curriculum, intended for weaker students, called My Friends are Here, and is slower and more like typical US textbooks.<br /><br />The Common Core-aligned Math in Focus books actually say Singapore Math on the cover, which is part of the confusion.ChemProfhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01720659176087492651noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-80565113395377390562014-10-22T20:15:24.086-04:002014-10-22T20:15:24.086-04:00"By "continually rave about how wonderfu..."By "continually rave about how wonderful Singapore math is" I assume you mean "periodically post comparisons between Singapore Math and other math programs"?"<br /><br />loll!<br /><br />though I must say, comparing Singapore Math to other math programs is tantamount to raving about how wonderful Singapore Math is ----- !<br /><br />(from me, Catherine)Catherine Johnsonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/06902723049206581931noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-56062893826093315082014-10-22T13:44:36.399-04:002014-10-22T13:44:36.399-04:00Last year, a friend of ours pulled her kids out of...Last year, a friend of ours pulled her kids out of our private school the day her third grader reported that the teacher chewed out his entire class for doing so poorly on their standardized tests. She now homeschools. <br /><br />Of course, the teachers and the school seemed to solely blame the kids...the 8-year-old kids, not the adults who have held those kids' education in their hands for at least three years.<br /><br />And, until last year, it was an Everyday Math school.Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-62640315044521297372014-10-22T13:28:21.223-04:002014-10-22T13:28:21.223-04:00What I find incredible is that schools blame the s...What I find incredible is that schools blame the students (they just need more engagement) and they depend on state tests(now things will be different!), as if they have little control over what they teach and how they test in class. As for a feedback loop, do they really wait until once a year to make corrections to what and how they teach? One parent-teacher meeting I was in talked about how the state test results showed a lower score for "problem solving". Their solution? Focus more on problem solving.<br /><br />How can state tests properly judge understanding or critical thinking? What is the role of teachers who see students daily? Are they potted plants?<br /><br />SteveHhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03956560674752399562noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-22383619057835127692014-10-21T17:47:28.001-04:002014-10-21T17:47:28.001-04:00A kid might be able to do the 5-2n problem without...A kid might be able to do the 5-2n problem without factoring. If they start with setting the two expressions equal to each other, then multiplying both sides by 6 to get rid of the fractions, they could see that there is clearly a 5-2n on each side. Then they'd have to avoid the pitfall of:<br /><br />5-2n = 6p(5-2n)...get rid of the two 5-2n's, and, voila!: 0=6p<br /><br />If they can get through that to 1=6p, they should have it without needing to factor.Auntie Annhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05777983027361603449noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-37780301039274404252014-10-21T16:03:20.760-04:002014-10-21T16:03:20.760-04:00gas...,
I think you have it completely backward.
...gas...,<br /><br />I think you have it completely backward.<br /><br />K-12 schools are about offering instruction at levels that are achievable by every student that gets good instruction, not about selecting the elite few that can go beyond their instruction and actually apply what they learned to new problems of the type they have not seen before.<br /><br />If that were the criterion, 99.9% of teachers would fail immediately. Why do you think they have to attend all those interminable "professional development" hours if they could "apply their prior knowledge to new problems"? After all, they supposedly already know the math, or the literature, from their college days. All that is left is to "apply it to new problems."<br /><br />In fact, not only would essentially all the teachers fail on the spot, but most population would. Only at the PhD level one is expected to apply knowledge to truly novel situations. And how many PhDs do we have? Less than 2% of the population.<br /><br />Consequently, all those "new problems" <b>cannot be new or novel</b> otherwise everyone would fail. Instead, Smarter Balanced will offer <b>pretend novel problems.</b> Those students that were drilled on those "novel" problem (hence making them rote) will easily succeed. The unlucky ones whose teachers actually believe the ed-school crap they are fed, that <i>"student need to struggle on the test and apply prior knowledge to new problems"</i> will simply fail on those questions.<br /><br />Talk about incentives for teaching to the test. Or about the damage ignorant highfalutin educrats can inflict.Ze'ev Wurmannoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-8164089629269258942014-10-21T11:26:41.698-04:002014-10-21T11:26:41.698-04:00I'm confused by "What I find inauthentic ...I'm confused by "What I find inauthentic is judging seventh and eighth graders’ math ability based on how well they are able to apply prior knowledge to new problems."<br /><br />Ability to apply prior knowledge to new problems is precisely what should be measured for students—the problem is that very few exams do that, and "teaching to the test" makes it even harder. A math test should not be a test of memory, but of ability to apply what their math skills to new problems.<br /><br />I agree with your statement "I do have a problem when part of this is learning how to write explanations that will pass muster according to scoring rubrics." Elementary educators and test writers alike often have very strange ideas about what they will accept as an explanation. Good math explanation is a skill that few ever develop, and rubrics are almost useless in judging explanations. For math tests to be about math and not about writing skills, the scoring should be based solely on ability to do the math, at least until students have been taught proof techniques in high school, when some formulaic explanations can be requested.gasstationwithoutpumpshttp://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-56779871904447604832014-10-20T22:04:56.006-04:002014-10-20T22:04:56.006-04:00There is a brief review in 3B for the third and US...There is a brief review in 3B for the third and US edition, But mostly to look at what to do when a number is close to a ten, like 48, somewhat of a new strategy. So it is not accurate to say no mental math. Plus, mental math strategies are taught in other contexts (money and measurement. But in grades 2 and 3, mental math chapters comes after the standard algorithm. But making a ten or subtracting from a ten is important in grade 1, to lead up to that algorithm. It is just that in the US, they don't have that understanding by third grade. Hence the more extensive review. <br /><br />And, in these grades, the standard algorithm is taught with place-value discs, in a way to foster "deep understanding" of it. Mental math is good for certain situations, numbers close to ten or hundred, adding and subtracting money that ends in 0 and 5 (in 2B they are allowed decimal notation for money, in Common core not until grade 4). Adding and subtracting measurement in the metric system. Nice little strategies that help speed computation.<br /><br />Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-36235704612004106502014-10-20T20:34:40.182-04:002014-10-20T20:34:40.182-04:00Thanks for this explanation, Anonymous@1:18 PM. It...Thanks for this explanation, Anonymous@1:18 PM. It's notable that making tens is at this point simply a mental math strategy (not a "deep understanding" strategy), and that the closer you get to the original Singapore math, the less review there is of it in 3rd grade (down to zero review in 3rd grade in the original).Katharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-13864271551955752292014-10-20T13:18:50.763-04:002014-10-20T13:18:50.763-04:00On pages 28 and 29 of the Primary Mathematics 3A W...On pages 28 and 29 of the Primary Mathematics 3A Workbook Common Core edition, there are some problems for making 10. These involve 2-digit plus 1 digit, e.g. 55 + 7, or 2-digit + 2-digit, e.g. 58 + 34, by making a ten with a number close to a ten (the 58). These two pages are almost identical to pages 26 and 27 of the 2008 Standards edition. They go with a chapter in the textbook specifically titled Mental Calculation, which does do a brief review of making tens or adding tens first and then ones when adding 1 digit to 2 digits, or 2 digit numbers. <br /><br />In the original third edition, to which the US edition is closest, this review was in 3B, not 3A, was even briefer, and was immediately followed by some mental math strategies for multiplication and division of tens and hundreds. <br /><br />Note that students have already learned to add and subtract 2-digit numbers both mentally and with the standard algorithm way before 3A, plus they have added and subtracted 3-digit numbers in 2A, extensively, using the standard algorithm, in all three editions. <br /><br />The original third edition had no review of this at all. It had a section on sum and difference, an introduction to bar model, and problems involving addition and subtraction of 3-digit numbers, without any strategies, even standard algorithm, as its review of second grade. Then it jumped into adding and subtracting 4-digit numbers using the standard algorithm. No mental math with 1- and 2-digit numbers in 3A originally. They already knew this, presumably.<br /><br />Which is why, when US schools adopted Primary Mathematics way back when, they would have had to go back to 2A.<br /><br />So, now in the Standards edition and the Common Core edition, for the US, review of mental math strategies is in 3A. And the section on sum and difference and introduction to bar models no longer includes 3-digit numbers. Only 2-digit numbers. They can focus on the concepts in that chapter rather than having to add and subtract 3-digit numbers which they might not know how to do yet, if they came from a US math second grade. Then there is a review of adding and subtracting 3-digit numbers using the standard algorithm, under the guise of estimation in the Standards edition (something not in the US edition at all) and called Looking Back in the Common Core edition. <br /><br />It is interesting that in the Primary Mathematics this is called mental math. Which to me means doing it in your head, without paper and pencil. And the strategy is introduced in 1A concretely, then pictorially, but then they should be able to do it abstractly and can use that strategy in their heads, as they learn the facts. That is, to easily think 10 + 5 when seeing 8 + 7. Mentally.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-51716807787933234322014-10-20T10:57:16.133-04:002014-10-20T10:57:16.133-04:00There have always been third graders who didn'...There have always been third graders who didn't figure out how to use the 'make a ten' number bonds before third grade started. In the past, they were put into a small group and given direct instruction at their level of need. Now, everyone in the class is held hostage and not allowed to continue their math instruction until their classmates 'catch up'. That is the real issue. Low expectations for those who are relegated to thumb twiddling while they wait. Of course, if the parents pull them and send them to private school they are called 'elitist'.lgmnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-76749159359566852052014-10-20T07:49:02.481-04:002014-10-20T07:49:02.481-04:00On page 27 of my edition (2008), there are a total...On page 27 of my edition (2008), there are a total 8 problems in which making tens is presented as an option. The directions are simply "add." On p. 29 there are two subtraction problems that have the same graphical "look" as "make 100s", but that don't involve making hundreds. Here the directions are simply "subtract." <br /><br />As Barry points out above and in his Ed News piece, Singapore Math introduces making 10s in 1st grade. By 3rd grade it is old hat. The point Barry and I are both making is that that in Singapore Math, unlike in U.S. Reform Math, the making tens methods (and other ad hoc methods) do not eclipse (or take substantial instructional time away from) the standard algorithms, which, by 3rd grade, are solidly in place in the curriculum.Katharine Bealshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02838879769628392605noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6570061087276796800.post-52953829360813717012014-10-19T23:09:30.033-04:002014-10-19T23:09:30.033-04:00Third grade Singapore Math workbook pages 28-29, m...Third grade Singapore Math workbook pages 28-29, making tens. Third grade Singapore Math workbook page 30, making hundreds.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com