Q&A #1154

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Front End Estimation

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From: Paul <williamcrowther@bellsouth.net>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2005111308:00:21
Subject: thanks to all who posted

My wife has to teach FEE to 3rd graders.  The text is very dogmatic
about there being one certain way to do it, but then some of the
examples given make NO sense.

This discussion has been very helpful to me in that I realize there is
no set way to teach it and lots of confusion and disagreement.  At
approx 1:00 AM (when I say approximate I rounded to the nearest hour
because it was after 1 AM), I persuaded her to go on to bed and give
her mind a rest.

The school is very heavy on teaching to the test (i.e. SAT prep), and
she wonders how she can teach it to 3rd graders so they can pass test
questions, when as an adult she is totally confused by it.

Logically after reading your input I see 3 levels:

1.  First digits only:  very rough estimate, but suitable for 3rd

2.  First two digits:  more accurate but difficult to do in your head.

3.  Rounding:  easy and accurate once you have gotten the concept. 
Suitable for 3rd graders with practice.

Thanks again!  I printed out many of your comments for my wife to see.


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