In a message dated 95-08-10 02:00:44 EDT, you write:about why frations are taught before decimals
> Conceptually, it is a good idea (based on the ease with which a >system of tens *could* be learned before the system of units prevalent >here), but the fact that our kids don't really have motivation outside >school to think "decimally" might be why it's done as it is.
But we are thinking decimally more and more. Would anyone die if kids learned fractions in middle school when they are probably more developmentally ready. I know my ten year old daughter would be a happier camper if this happened. All these explantions concerning frations are very creative, but they seem more geared to the older child. From all the response this topic is getting, it is obvious that this a "big deal" in elementary ed., perhaps too big of a deal.
The foreign teacher who told me that children abroad learn decimals first said that this was the main reason that these children did better in math than ours.. Could all our math problems in the U.S. stem from something so simple? Hard to believe. Any comments?