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Topic: Drill and Kill

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Subject:   RE: Drill and Kill
Author: Shelly61
Date: Jun 11 2011
I believe in drill, but not Kill. My children were instructed in "Everyday Math"
in the Anchorage School District. They had to send to California in the
mid-90s to get experts to help them figure out why the students weren't
learning. The experts left, scratching their heads and "tweaked" the program.
All of the teachers I spoke to said there wasn't enough repetition in the
"Everyday Math" to build a foundation. They were having to supplement, to help
the children succeed, even though they could lose their jobs if they were
caught. Minnesota started the "Everyday Math", and more kids are not learning
with a good foundation. The students need rote and repetition enough to build
the foundation. Then, they need problems that relate to them so they can
understand what the numbers actually mean. The final thing they need is just
enough repetition in the form of homework that is varied enough to keep them up
on all the skills they learned throughout the year. We want our children
enjoying math rather than seeing it as "just work to get through".

On Jun 11 2011, LFS wrote:
> I hesitate before participating in this discussion because I think I
> will be shot down, but it seems to me that one should not be
> completely opposed to drill and kill. Drill and kill has its place.
> Do not for a moment think that I am condoning excessively long or
> stupid worksheets. (35 years ago, a fellow student and I got so sick
> of doing trig identities that we wrote up a 100 step identity and
> gave it to our teacher on the pretext that we couldn't solve it.)
> But, I am a firm believer in "all things in moderation". Kids do
> need to practice math skills. Otherwise they get to college where
> basic manipulative skills and knowledge of essential formulas must
> be second nature - particularly if they plan to study STEM subjects
> and they are not. I am appalled at the continually decreasing skills
> of incoming college students. So definitely I do not think one
> should completely discard worksheets. However, there should be
> guidelines - the first being that the teacher has to do the
> worksheet herself before giving it out - completely, with all the
> steps that she requires and then multiply her time by 3 to see how
> long it will take an average student. I am sure others have good
> guidelines.

I like my kiddies to check their work with
> technology, e.g. because that has the
> double benefit of  getting them to check their work and in a
> particularly useful way.

Anyway - a little theory (M), a little
> kill and drill (Tu), some applications to real life (W), some
> review/testing (Th) and some exploration (F). Everything in
> moderation...

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