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Topic: I hate helping with homework

Aditu
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posted January 26, 2011 19:46
I love my daughter, but I hate homework time almost as much as she does. Especially "number generator" It is supposed to make first grade math fun!!! All it does is make it confusing. The generator machine says the rule is + 3. Yea, but for this line you want her to work back from the answer, so actually you want her to subtract 3. Try explaining to a 6 year old that the number generator needs her to subtract when it says plus.
Sorry just a little parental venting. Any homework you hate helping with
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dragonman97
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posted January 26, 2011 22:26
I'm a little confused by that whole +/ thing there...but is it anything like KenKen?
I happen to think the latter is quite brilliant for stressing the various ways you can do things with math. (i.e. 60x = 6*5*2 or 5*4*3 [or 5*3*4 if think differently] or 3*2*5*2) I think combining this with multiplication tables and the like ought to actually clue kids into *why* knowing the basics is important. (For instance, if I want to calculate 15% of a strange number, I can very easily calculate 10%, then halve the quotient†, and add the two to get 15%.)
† Oh that I were that clever...I did Google that in lieu of the misleading term 'answer.'
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Stereo
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posted January 27, 2011 05:05
Well, it is a bit early for algebra, but it is just a fill in the blank exercise. ? + ? = ?
She has the sum, she has the amount to be added: ? + 3 = 6 (although perhaps more exactly: ? + (+3) = 6, but it might be more confusing.)
In order to find the answer, the remaining ? must be alone on its side of the =, so it kicks the +3 on the other side of the =;in the process, the +3 makes a flip, and changes its sign to 3.
I know *you* know that, but 1) you might be skipping steps while trying to explain it, and 2) making it a story will be more understandable to a young child.
Still, good luck!
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GrumpySteen
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posted January 27, 2011 08:44
I think Stereo nailed the problem... "it is a bit early for algebra"
"_ + 3 = 8" is no different than "x + 3 = 8". Replacing the variable with a blank doesn't make it notalgebra and teaching algebra instead of basic math is no way to make math fun.
I can think of several things that might help, but I'm not sure which ones would be applicable here because I don't really know what it means when you say "The generator machine says the rule is + 3." I assume that problems are presented in some fashion and the rule is somehow applied? But that seems pointlessly complicated, so hopefully not.
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TheMoMan
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posted January 27, 2011 08:49
____ Here comes the old man again, I remember a toy that sets of numbers and a scale. The numbers would match up, a two (2) and a three (3) needed the five for the scale to balance. Any way I thought it was neat my daughters used it until they lost some of the pieces.
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MacManKrisK
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posted January 27, 2011 12:51
quote: Originally posted by GrumpySteen: I think Stereo nailed the problem... "it is a bit early for algebra"
"_ + 3 = 8" is no different than "x + 3 = 8". Replacing the variable with a blank doesn't make it notalgebra and teaching algebra instead of basic math is no way to make math fun.
Alas, in my studies as an Elementary Education major, specifically my "Math for Elementary Teachers" class, I have found out that this is precisely what they are doing. The "function machine" is what they call a "transitional tool to make teaching the concepts of algebra easier." As for this being used in a first grade classroom....
They have also moved everything "up" at least one year, so you get addition AND subtraction in first grade, multiplication and simple division (the kind where 7/2=3R1) in 2nd grade, long division and multidigit multiplication in 3rd grade... with "algebra concepts" thrown in along the way through the use of the "function machine," which is supposed to make understanding the algebra somehow easier and fun.
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Xanthine
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posted January 27, 2011 14:13
How the frak is someone supposed to understand algebra before they have a basic grasp of arithmetic?
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TheMoMan
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posted January 27, 2011 16:49
____ Lets say that we don't tell them that they are learning baby calculus, at that age they may be able to wrap their minds around the concept better than as teenagers. My oldest daughter was watching two adults assemble an above ground swimming pool together. As we neared the last few pieces she could see we had more pieces than the space left, She stated that we would have to cut one or two, when we replied that no all the pieces are the right size, she replied "Well you are going to have to make the circle bigger". She was five at the time.
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Aditu
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posted January 27, 2011 17:23
How the "number generator" works is you have this oddly shaped box with an arrow at the top pointing in, in the box is the "rule" which could be +4 or 7, at the bottom is an arrow pointing out representing the answer. She then has a set of problems to the left that she runs "through" the machine. However as mentioned they are really asking her to do algebra at times.
We do a lot with a baggie of pennies MoMan. She does fine if you give her the other number going into the "machine, but for her the stumbling block is that I'm pointing out that we have to add or subtract when we have the answer and have work back. Then you don't follow the all holy machine's rule.
What annoys me is that she enjoys math, but finds this so frustrating that I worry she'll be turned off. By making if fun they just make it annoying
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TheMoMan
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posted January 27, 2011 18:23
____ The rolls of pennies is great, make a line on the table and say that the ones on the right must equal the ones on the left.
____ Some computer software is SO frustrating, I do not want to start thinking like the developer to use his ^$_( program.
 Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin,
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The Famous Druid
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posted January 27, 2011 21:38
The druidlings have also had the
__ + 3 = 8
style homework, and found it quite confusing.
Surely the maths education experts must have noticed that 69 year olds learn better from pictures (or the bag of pennies) than 'algebra'.
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TheMoMan
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posted January 28, 2011 02:52
____ This style is one that would be better as a lab than as machine, tell the kids to line up eight pennies, now beside that line put five, now how many dose it take to have the same length lines?
 Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin,
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