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Topic: Re: Technology in the classroom
Replies: 1   Last Post: Mar 6, 1995 11:40 AM

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Laura Petersen

Posts: 16
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Technology in the classroom
Posted: Mar 6, 1995 11:40 AM
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On the subject of memorizing math facts, the most common misconception
parents have about implementing the standards is that this means that
students no longer learn "the basics" including addition and multiplication
facts. Obviously you can have both, however, the reality is that many
elementary teachers have difficulty finding time in the school day to
accomplish both. Many also say that they cannot depend on students
working on memorizing their facts at home so do not assign this activity
as "homework".Complicating the implementation of the Standards is the
timetable which many parents have from experience with older
children, nieces and nephews, and friends' children that tells them that
students should have certain skills mastered by particular grades e.g.
math facts mastered by Christmas in fourth grade, double digit
multiplication in fourth grade, fractions in fifth grade etc. These
assumptions are reinforced by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills which assume
that fifth graders indeed should have learned simple manipulation of
fractions. When a district reviews the Standards and decides to emphasize
other concepts to build
number sense etc in children and delay introduction of concepts such as
fractions until more children are developmentally ready to understand
them, ITBS scores go down, parents see red, and teachers begin to
supplement the designed curriculum with the old curriculum (sure, I can
teach them to do double digit multiplication, the steps to the algorithm
aren't hard to learn with some drill and practice!) to reduce the pressure
being applied by irate parents.

Of course, then there isn't enough time to teach the
designed curriculum and the whole thing starts to implode. The blame is
put on the "new math" and it is junked and teachers go back to the
comfortable and reassuring old way of doing things.

So part of implementing the Standards has to be education of parents (and
I don't mean having a PTA meeting that only a few attend) and a
recognition that even though we may think we have the answers as math
educators, we need to make the changes in such a way that parents don't
have to give up all the skills which they value.

Change is difficult!


Laura Petersen

Division of Natural Sciences PHONE 208-799-2484
Lewis-Clark State College FAX 208-799-2064
500 8th Avenue
Lewiston ID 83501-2698 USA

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