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Q&A #6281

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Addition/subtraction

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From: Gina <rgarofalo@schmidtcs.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2004121313:19:49
Subject: Memorizing Addition/subtraction

I'm very frustrated. My son has been given two assignments of learning
to add and subtract by memorization only (at two different points).
For the first assignment, his teacher sent home a paper on which the
parent must document that he/she spent 60 minutes helping the child
learn to add all numbers to 10. 

We were doing fine until he came home and reported that he was no
longer allowed to count using his fingers and told me that he was not
allowed to use his fingers on the practice. (I re-read the
instructions, and he was correct. He was to memorize them.) Now, he is
frustrated, and I am frustrated because I have no idea how to do this!
I've been using the flash cards she provided. We're fine with any
number + 0 and +1 (the easy ones) but beyond that its a mess!

I contacted the teacher to tell her I needed help and she and I have
been playing phone tag (she leaves a message, but I've been
unavailable when she called at work). Now, I find that my son was
"reprimanded" by her for not having the practice paper completed.(By
the way, there was no due date on it.) to the point of tears in class
(It's not like I didn't inform her that we needed help). He now
verbalizes that he hates math, and we're still no further along!

How do you teach a young child the abstract concept of memorizing??
His other teacher commented that she thought it was resourceful when I
told her that he uses M&Ms to help with math homework. Personally, I
would think that developing the understanding of the relationship
between the numbers would be a precurser to memorizing, and a more
solid foundation for more advanced math skills. Frankly, I still count
on my fingers at times!

I'm still waiting to discuss this with the teacher and more than happy
to work with her, if she can point me in the right direction. Can you
give me insight into this whole memorization thing? 

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