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Q&A #1154

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Front End Estimation

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From: Loyd <loydlin@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2003021709:14:17
Subject: Re: has the issue of FEE as taught been solved?

On 2003021318:46:35, aysha marsh wrote:
>	On the question of placement in FEE (Front End Estimation)
>
>In administering a practice math proficiency test to 4th graders in
>the state of Ohio the issue of placement came up. The question was:
>Using front end estimation what is the difference between 1200 and
>952. It was a multiple choice question with the following possible
>answers: a) 200; b) 300; c) 352. There were teachers present that
>insisted the answer was not there, their answer was 100. There were
>teachers there who thought the answer was 300. Finally there were
>teachers there who felt the question should have been rounded
>producing an answer of 200. Can anyone help on the question of FEE
and
>the placement of numbers. We would probably all agree that for the
>purpose of FEE 952 would be 900, but should the 1200 be reduced to
>1000 or remain as 1200? - PLEASE NEED INPUT HERE! 
>
If you go to www.google.com and search for Front End Estimation, the
first thing you see is a Front End Estimation site that defines FFE as
maintaining the first two most significant digits and changing others
to zero.  Thus, your problem would be 1200 minus 900  The first two
digits of 950 are aparently considered as 09.

Now to put in my two bits.  I think the FFE thing has gone amuck.  I
have seen it difined differently in text books.  What we need is for
some high authority to define it exactly or we simply forget about
teaching it.  Rounding is good enough for most people.  

By the way, the site cited above has subtraction and addition problems
using the two digit definition.  Maybe we should just use that as the
final authority.  Most of the rest of the sites are this teacher to
teacher web site.

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