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Topic: upper middle schoolers that haven't yet mastered multiplication facts


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Subject:   RE: upper middle schoolers that haven't yet mastered multiplication facts
Author: Mathman
Date: Jan 2 2005
On Jan  2 2005, jacobsond wrote:
> Hello,

I have been a sixth grade math teacher for four years now,
>

>I believe that math
> should be fun and we should learn by discovery and understanding,
> but to succeed we must have a foundation. Elementary schools are
> focus on teaching high level concepts and consequently, students do
> not get all the facts....

I believe that you have a successful career ahead of you ...dpepnding on your
ambitions.  Your clear common sense unfortunately goes against today's trends.
Here is over 30 yrs high school math, and I can give a long list of topics
students will not be able to do well if at all due to such difficulties ...and
they won't realise why.  Not knowing the times tables is like knowing only part
of the alphabet.  The difference in future success is not minimal, with
compounded losses along the way while others compound their gains.  It is
essential, and not emphasised nearly enough.  If we think of it, it is not that
onerous a task compared to other expectations later on that will entirely depend
upon it.  I know what I say will be argued, and that's OK, but I'm of the
opinion that if a motor is giving you a problem stop the car.  Dont' try to fix
it as you travel ahead, or the problem gets only worse.  The solution is to stop
entirely, and not proceed until that has been done. It's dull, it's boring, it's
'routine", it's all of those things.  It's also absolutely necessary.  It's
called "practice".  But some call it "drill and kill" and so stop any effort to
ensure the education of these people who havesuch difficulty otherwise.  Anyhow,
to each their own.

David.

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