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

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Michael Greene

Posts: 26
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: rote learning math facts
Posted: Aug 17, 2002 11:11 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

On Thu, 01 Aug 2002 18:09:30 GMT, Art Burke
<pianomanab@starpower.net> wrote:

>Just wondering how teachers feel about children learning their
>multiplication, division, addition, and subtract facts by wrote?
>
>Are students encouraged in school to learn them by wrote, or are
>teachers allowing children to count on the fingers and calculators
>these days?
>
>This is not a loaded question. I'm trying to finish a project with
>encourages rote learning using orals methods and the computer.
>


If you're not already here, you should come out to
California in the Spring. That's when the annual State
Mathcounts competition is held, one at Davis, the other in
Southern Calif. I'd recommend coming to the Davis event as
Northern California is usually the region that produces the
California students who go on to the National levels.

What's interesting about the Davis event is that at the end
of several hours of testing, the top 16 out of 150, or so,
contestants go up on stage for a head-to-head competition.

While on stage, the students are paired off and have to
quickly answer oral questions. Like the old college-bowl
days, the contestants are frequently buzzing in before the
MC is finished reading the question.

The top contestants stone-cold know not just their basic
math facts and algorithms, they've also mastered all the
basic math formulas covered in introductory math classes up
through geometry, as well as a significant number of
squares, primes, and cubes. These students are 6th to 8th
graders. That web of knowledge, enables them to not just
knock off the gimmes such as "What is the sum of the first
100 odd numbers?", it enables them to quickly attack
problems that require a deep insight into the nature of
numbers.

I've worked with bright children for 7 years now and
remember one student in particular. The student is extremely
bright but when we first met, couldn't accurately answer
9*8 or accurately do simple sums. The student would
correctly perceive how to handle a difficult, multi-step
problem, but half the time, the answer would be wrong due to
not knowing 6*5. The student initially waved away the issue
as not important because "I understand the concepts
involved..." I pointed out that the score for that problem
at competition would be zero as there's no partial credit.
It didn't sink in until we went to the Mathcounts
competition at Davis. At that point, the student understood
that not only are there a lot of very bright kids out there,
a lot of them have been working their tails off and do know
what 6*5 is as well as "understand the concepts involved..."

To summarize what this rant has been - basic arithmetic
facts are important at the highest levels of performance.
But they're only a part of the story. Curiousity,
dilligence, inventiveness play a huge role. A well educated
elementary student will not only know their math facts,
they'll also know how to draw, make music, be a team-member
on a sports team, write a story, read a book, create a story
out loud, be able to talk to people - both peers and adults.
It's a web of knowledge - no strand less important than
another.

****
Want to automatically read and score student tests?
Try autograder.net! Info at http://mathability.com .

--
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

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