Try to be aware of how your child is being taught math, and don’t teach strategies and shortcuts that conflict with the approach the teacher is using.
That means “don’t subert fuzzy math” by teaching algorithms, KTM thinks.
In Math for poets, one of Linda Moran’s readers complains that the TERC math curriculum is teaching math appreciation rather than math understanding. Traditional math terms just won’t do:
* In TERC it is joining not addition
* separating not subtraction
* bits and pieces and not fractions
* capacity and not volume
* it is what the calculator displays and not decimals.
* it is “landmarks” rather than ALL the numbers in the decimal system.
* it is turns and not angles and degrees.
* it is write a story and not write the equation.
* it is draw pictures and not show a true effective reusable strategy.
Update: “New-age math” is failing to teach skills or concepts, writes Seattle Times columnist Bruce Ramsey, who quotes TERC-hating math teachers and professors who complain their students don’t have the math knowledge to pursue scientific careers.
The official measure of math skills is the Washington Assessment of Student Learning. The WASL is a new-age test, with many questions being as much about explanations as answers. Some are more of logic than math â€” making the WASL a better test for the college-bound than the high-school grad expected to know basic algebra and fractions. At the same time, Washington, D.C., consultant Michael Cohen, who has reviewed the WASL, says the actual math in it is seventh-grade level.
Consider that. To graduate from high school, our state was going to require kids to demonstrate knowledge of seventh-grade math â€” and because of the way we teach them, and the way we test them, half of them can’t do it.
A parent-teacher group, Where’s the Math?, is trying to get Washington to teach “real math” using California’s math standards.