Q&A #1154

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Front End Estimation

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From: Doug

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2005111905:25:01
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Give me a break!

I do construction estimation for a living and this has nothing to do
with it! Our estimation has to do with materials prices going up
during the project. The real point is that parents can't help their
children with this because we were never tought this method. Your
solution leaves us to either 1)yell at our children for not knowing
how to do it, 2) tell them to skip it, or 3)tell them to just guess.
I'm not going to do any of those. The fact of the matter is, the
teacher still wants their correct answer, and I went to many sites
like this on the internet to learn how to help my son and found many
variations to this method. Had he not forgotten his book in school, I
would have helped him from the book. But not knowing what method his
book uses I could'nt help. In the "real" world when I see a price for
$6.29 another for $6.29 and a third for $3.55, what I do very quickly
in my head is this, 6.29 and 6.29 is 13 and 3.55 makes it $16.55. I
believe thats simple enough! the true answer? $16.13! If I want to
know if I have enough money this covers me. and if I want to correct
for tax I would simply make the 3.55 into 4.00. In my case 6% sales
tax makes it $17.10 and my original figures only come in .10$
short, thats alot better than $15.00 which leaves me $2.10 short. Now
back to construction estimates. If you built a house that costs
$100,000, and I used your front end estimation you would have me in
court or I would be bankrupt! There are alot more usful things that
can be taught in schools than an admitidly flawed formula. do you know
how many adults and teens can't read a tape measurer? How about
spending the time on something useful like reviewing subject matter
with students who fail tests since they obviously don't know it,
instead of marking F and going on? when I was in grade school math
teachers taught us to figure percentages in our heads, and that has
been very useful in life. Teach them the correct way not the easy way.

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