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Discussion: Research Area
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: ihor
Date: Jan 5 2005
On Jan 2 Dwayne wrote:

> I've often wondered if things are worse now than when I was young (early '70's

> were my middle school years).  I also wonder if there is a stigma in the
> elementary schools on "drill and kill".  I mean, someone came up with that

> negative reference to rote memorization.  

The intent of the term is relatively simple, but always gets confused in
discussions. "Drill and kill" means that the drill is non-productive and
should be avoided. This is not the same as practice. Practice is essential in
all forms of learning. Sometimes practice can be painful, but it doesn't have to
be unproductive. Also to add to the confusion is that what is drill and kill for
one teacher may not have the same effect for another teacher. Much depends on
the students and their relationship with the teacher.  A better way to talk
about it is to refer to it as productive and unproductive practice. Obviously
you want to go with the productive whenever possible. Its very challenging to
find productive ways to do it with kids who have had trouble learning it.

>
> The other area severely lacking for middle schoolers is the ability to deal

> with fractions.  Hmmm... maybe I should start another discussion.

Ah, Fractions. A topic of interest for me right now. There is already a thread
(fractions, concept and calculations) that Cynthia started that Im going back to
you and share what I'm currently doing with some of the fraction tools that are
part of this library. I hope to see you there.

-Ihor

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