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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: bluerabbit
Date: Dec 29 2006
While it is true that intrinsic interest (otherwise known as "talent") is a
vital factor in any academic success, it is also true that early discouragement
can kill motivation. For example, I think the push for early reading has made
many boys "dyslexic". When they fail, they no longer heed information about that
subject--they have written it off. Early formal testing is definitely not a
good idea. A game approach, when possible is much better. Many people with a
humanities sensibility have analytical abilities that, with the correct
approach, would serve them well in math. Repeated exposure through several
senses (at least reading/writing, and listening/speaking) is the key to
memorization of essential facts. Rhymes, poems, and chants for primary and
remedial students add the power of rhythm and, when possible, rhyme to the
mind's arsenal for retention. A creative type (my dad was a painter), I was both
dyslexic and dyscalcic(?). So is my husband, and so was our daughter (just
recieved her MS in Career Counseling). I developed methods for dealing with the
problems and reaping the rewards of my particular talent structure. In stressful
situations, my mind sometimes went blank. I used arrays of dots.
I think it is a good idea at upper levels to teach kids who are having trouble
to use tables and other caculating gadgets to work problems. The more times they
find the same result, the more likely they are to remember it. Calculators are
not good, except for checking work, because they can work the entire problem
that way.
For non-math kids, I would like to see more emphasis on math with art, music,
and puzzles in early grades, so they understand that math is about patterns.
This will free their minds to find the best course when the ways other people
find answers does not work for them.
Cheers,
The Bunny

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