Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum



Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by Drexel University or The Math Forum.


Math Forum » Discussions » Inactive » k12.ed.math

Topic: rote learning math facts
Replies: 51   Last Post: Aug 23, 2002 6:38 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
mattsmom

Posts: 483
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: rote learning math facts
Posted: Aug 16, 2002 9:32 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply


I doubt that anyone would deny that there is a need for math facts to
be memorized. The question is by which means and by what time.

David Ritchie writes:
>E.g, a person memorizes their times tables in 5th grade. Assuming the
intervening years continue to involve math which calls upon the recall
of the memorized facts, I think by 7th grade it has become intuitive.>
However, he does not describe the process whereby the memorization
took place in 5th grade. I think that Mark Houghton's insight in an
earlier post is worth keeping in mind. Mark Houghton wrote:
>To stick my own oar in, I think that in a debate about "rote
memorization", the focus to the debate should be on the little word
"rote", and not the strawman "memorization".>
I would say the question is not whether multiplication tables ought to
be memorized, but how.
It's possible to achieve memorization by different routes. I know my
son memorized his times tables by the end of 4th grade. I also know
he did that by the process similar to the one described by Kevin
Karplus for addition, that is, building on facts already known, rather
than by attempting to memorize new facts in isolation., e.g., learning
6x7 by remembering that 6x6=36, and 36+6+42. Eventually, that
scaffolding is no longer necessary and it is possible to say 7x6+42
without going through the intermediary steps.

Some seem to argue that memorization works better than understanding
for students who are not blessed with high math aptitude. I do not
think that it is encroaching old age alone that makes me trust less
and less on my memory. How many of us have seen students staring at
blue books with a look of panic on their faces because their minds
have gone as blank as the pages in their blue books? It's the
knowledge that, even if they cannot recall the answer to a specific
question right now, they can proceed by retracing some of the steps
that calms them down. Those who cannot break down their thought
processes into manageable and recallable stages, on the other hand,
have the look of people trying to squeeze their memory as if it were a
lemon.

mattsmom

--
submissions: post to k12.ed.math or e-mail to k12math@sd28.bc.ca
private e-mail to the k12.ed.math moderator: kem-moderator@thinkspot.net
newsgroup website: http://www.thinkspot.net/k12math/
newsgroup charter: http://www.thinkspot.net/k12math/charter.html




Date Subject Author
8/1/02
Read rote learning math facts
Art Burke
8/2/02
Read Reply to "rote learning math facts"
Kim Mackey
8/4/02
Read Re: Reply to "rote learning math facts"
Dr. David J. Ritchie, Sr.
8/4/02
Read Re: Reply to "rote learning math facts
mattsmom
8/4/02
Read Re: Reply to "rote learning math facts
Kevin Killion
8/5/02
Read Re: Reply to "rote learning math facts
Brian Harvey
8/5/02
Read Re: Reply to "rote learning math facts
Chergarj
8/6/02
Read Re: Reply to "rote learning math facts
mattsmom
8/4/02
Read Re: Reply to "rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/4/02
Read Re: Reply to "rote learning math facts
Bob
8/8/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Art Burke
8/8/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Chergarj
8/8/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Art Burke
8/9/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/9/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Brian Harvey
8/10/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Mark Houghton
8/12/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/12/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/12/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Brian Harvey
8/13/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/14/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Brian Harvey
8/14/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
mattsmom
8/14/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Mark Houghton
8/15/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Rhombus
8/15/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Rhombus
8/16/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Dr. David J. Ritchie, Sr.
8/16/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
mattsmom
8/17/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Brian Harvey
8/16/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/16/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Mark Houghton
8/17/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Brian Harvey
8/18/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/18/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Mark Houghton
8/19/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/17/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Brian Harvey
8/18/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Paul A. Tanner III
8/17/02
Read Re: rote learning math facts
Michael Greene
8/17/02
Read Is winning timed-competitions the goal of math-education?
mattsmom
8/17/02
Read Re: Is winning timed-competitions the goal of math-education?
Nat Silver
8/18/02
Read Re: Is winning timed-competitions the goal of math-education?"
mattsmom
8/18/02
Read Re: Is winning timed-competitions the goal of math-education?"
Nat Silver
8/18/02
Read Re: Is winning timed-competitions the goal of math-education?"
Mark Houghton
8/19/02
Read Re: Is winning timed-competitions the goal of math-education?""
mattsmom
8/22/02
Read Is winning timed-competitions the goal of
Haim
8/22/02
Read Re: Is winning timed-competitions the goal of
Brian Harvey
8/23/02
Read Is winning timed-competitions the goal of
Haim
8/22/02
Read Is winning timed-competitions the goal of
mattsmom
8/23/02
Read Is winning timed-competitions the goal of
Haim
8/19/02
Read Re: Is winning timed-competitions the goal of math-education?"
Michael Greene
8/17/02
Read Re: Is winning timed-competitions the goal of math-education?
Michael Greene

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© Drexel University 1994-2014. All Rights Reserved.
The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.