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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: reese
Date: Jan 28 2005
As you said David, perhaps its time for a new thread. I'm not sure I see all
that you're saying, and it would probably be a long conversation best suited for
the two of us and not this public forum. But here, as a hit-and-run, are my
opinions, which I think differ from yours.

1. Learning basic math facts is important (on that we agree).
But based on my experience as a teacher, a parent, and the research I have read,
none of which specifically answers the question of what to do with an upper
middle school class that does not know basic facts, I believe that

2. it is more important to understand the situation as a complex set of factors
requiring analysis of the issues of the students and a professional assessment
of the learning situation in order to come to the appropriate approach. Perhaps
more drill, perhaps other methods.
I know of no silver bullet.


On Jan 28 2005, Mathman wrote:

But don't you see that a wrong impression
> is worse than no impression at all.  It is much more difficult to
> convince people already converted to an opposing opinion than it is
> to offer that opinion in the first place.  Would it not be better to
> wait until there is some evidence to the contrary?  In any event,
> this whould perhaps be a new thread, since we have gone from
> multiplication facts to pedagogy to blame.  Personally, I'm deeply
> tired of examples of individual blame.  What matters is quantity of
> blame, and that needs individual attention at the school, not on the
> internet.  It has been my personal experience, and that of
> colleagues, that [in my case] I've had a class averaging well over
> 70%, but [in this case] three very chatty students failing badly.
> They complained to their guidance counsellor who asked me to redo
> one of their failing tests.  I was held to blame.  I'm still trying
> to figure out to this day what I had done wrong to have a class
> average of well over 70% ...higher if I'd discounted their marks.
> It is incidental, but that counsellor is now a principal.  Those
> girls, deeply misunderstanding, along with their counsellor, why
> they were failing, are still convinced I am a tartar, but many more
> do not.

Now, back to why multiplication facts are important and
> how to teach them...


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