Typical Email from his teacher.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Chaosuncontained, Nov 14, 2011.

1. ChaosuncontainedNew Member

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[TD]Fri 11/11/11 5:23 PM[/TD]
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[TD]Martie,[/TD]
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Good Afternoon!
Behavior wise, Carson is continuing to do well in math. Today he even wanted to "challenge" himself while they were practicing their multiplication facts. He wrote down 1,000 time 1,000. I quickly taught him how to count the zeros and multiply the ones. He liked that so he kept making "challenging" multiplication problems. He picked up on the pattern very quickly. Was he studying the multiplication facts he was suppose to? No, but he was studying his multiplication and LIKING it... We played a game later where he could study his 3 facts. Later he did 4 2 digit by 1 digit multiplication problems in his journal, no problem. He just needed a lot of encouraging... but he "used his brain." Thank you for working with him on his math homework last night! I could tell a big difference in yesterday, than today!

I am atill concerned with his limited knowledge of knowing his multiplication facts. He knows how to figure out what the answer is, but as far a recalling them, he can't. He really struggles with them and just can't remember them. He is so bright in many, many areas, but this is one he can't seem to grasp. Any ideas?

I know we already ask so much of you, but in your spare time, could work with him on knowing his multiplication facts, please? In the past, students who have not known their multiplication facts automatically have fallen behind, because so much of the rest of 4th grade math relies heavily on those multiplication facts.

Lately, Carson has been very touchy-feely...not necessarily in a bad way, but we have had to remind him to keep his hands to himself. Especially with a certain someone. He just wants to hug her and be with her.

He got in trouble today in the bathroom during my class. He called other 2nd grade kids in the bathroom "morons." Both Mrs. M*** and I talked to him about it and how it would make him feel. He apologized to the boys. I also talked to him about breaking my trust. I told him I was disappointed in that decision today, and I might have to send someone to the bathroom with him each time he went. He assured me he didn't want that, and he "swore" he wouldn't do anything like that again.

Overall, we have seen huge progress in Carson. He still doesn't want/like to write in any subject, and he struggles with how to treat others... but other than that he is making huge steps. I am proud of him!

FYI: Just in case you didn't know, Carson is funny. I laughed at him hard 2 or 3 times today. One time, he had just received his multiplication fact test. As soon as he got it, he says, "I'm freaking out, freaking out, freaking out." The way he said it was priceless. He also is a pretty good dancer. We had a warm-up song today, and he got up and danced his heart out!

2. InsaneCdnWell-Known Member

First idea is that the teacher needs to wake up and get herself into the 21st century.

Seriously. This is absolutely classical working-memory problems. No, he CAN'T memorize it. Doesn't work. He will NEVER have instant-recall on math facts. Ever. And if he does manage to cram it in his head this year? It will vanish before the next year starts.

I couldn't either. Still can't. So please explain how knowing math facts impacts math knowledge and skills? I pulled 80s and 90s in math right through HS.

1) He needs to learn the strategies, not the facts. The rule of 9, for example. The rule of doubling. The rule of tripling. If I'm not missing one, that should leave ONE fact to memorize: 7x7. (if you don't know the rules, ask). This enables him to PROVE that he knows what he is doing, allows for learning approximation etc.

2) Once he's got the strategies, then he needs to get one of the smallest original hand-held computers ever made. Its called a calculator. Best thing ever invented for math-fact-challenged people like me.

3. LiahonaGuest

Sounds like some of the notes I've gotten from teachers. Basically, everything is hunky-dorry. You don't have to worry, difficult child 1 is great. Just normal kid stuff. BLAH BLAH BLAH The teachers kept it up until the day difficult child 1 wrote a note to another kid asking her to perform very non-second grader activities. I'm the one that took that note to the principal. I haven't seen a school get a one-on-one aide that fast ever.

4. buddyNew Member

IC right as usual....in my humble opinion! In the real world, as long as you understand the idea, you will likely always have a calculator at hand. Our phones nearly all have them. They are very achievement standards driven, so it is easy to see the perspective, but it is not realistic for many many kids. This one email sure does lay out the idea of his having very specific learning challenges and they should be addressed in the IEP. She may regret that it is written down like this if school ever tries to fight you on including goals and accommodations for this! She sounds like when some of Q's teachers call. Desperately not wanting to sound negative all the time. Trying to grasp at all the good they can find so we know they understand that they are good kids but have some challenges. While I appreciate that, I sometimes hate the feeling of listening to all the good on the phone while sitting there thinking....ok when is the other shoe gonna drop????

5. MalikaWell-Known Member

What did you make of the note, chaos?
Coincidentally, I too had an "everything's hunky dory" and all is roses in the garden interview with a teacher today. How tempting it is to believe this... I guess it is good that teachers are seeing the positives but... why does it make me feel slightly (or perhaps more than slightly?) uneasy? Do you feel uneasy about this email?

6. AnnieOShooting from the Hip

OK I'll be honest, I am a whiz at math and use algebra regularly - but math facts? I can't spit out a multiplication table! Paper and pencil, I can do. However - 2's, 9's, 1-3-7-13-21, and so on. The rules are what make me good at math.

7. DammitJanetWell-Known MemberStaff Member

Okay I actually think kids need to learn the basics as building blocks. I hate seeing those multiplication tables taped to desks. Yes there are some kids who cant learn them but not most of the kids we have here to be honest I dont think. Calculators can come later after they know them. We played games to learn them. We called out the facts such as "2 times 2" and the other person had to answer "4" before they could talk. Or you would say "12" and the other person could give you any of the ways that would divide into 12 to make up 12. They learned.

And before anyone says I didnt have to deal with any kids with learning disabilities yes I did. Billy was learning disabled. He had Learning Disability (LD)'s in math and written expression.

8. buddyNew Member

I dont think I would say not to try, but I would say not to harp on it and make all of math ugly for that one issue especially if they can demonstrate that they understand the concept. My son gets the concept but he has tried to learn it for six years. Kids with poor working memory have an especially hard time with this and an accommodation would be appropriate in that case. Q can figure out things in stores, do lapsed time calculations in his head, etc. but to do it on a worksheet and say how he got the answer??? (It is a little backward from many kids especially some kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who can do the math great on paper but can't apply the concepts to real life) Sure, it would make life easier if one could pull those facts out, but in real life it is not essential as long as you can figure out how to get the answer. Just MHO.

9. InsaneCdnWell-Known Member

We did ALL those games in school, too. And more. Had a really great principal who loved math and loved teaching math and all the kids loved him and he took all the tough cases. I stayed in the same school for all of elementary and had him for all of those years. And he never did manage to teach me my multiplication tables.

What he DID do was teach me the strategies, and then found ways for everybody to practice the strategies... until those of us who struggled were almost as fast with our answers, as the best of the memorizers. But I never did manage to memorize ANY of it except 7x7.

More than that, the strategies are far more useful. Knowing the rule of 5 or the rule of doubling... works even with multi-digit math. 5 x 125 is NOT fast for a memorizer... much faster if you know the rule.

You DO know the rules, don't you?

10. jennd23New Member

Have you looked at xtramath.org? It is basically like flash cards on the computer. Its not really "fun" but I've seen a huge improvement from when we started it with addition.

S can do multiplication in his head, he knows the 5 rules, the 11 rule, and a handful of others, but with plain old addition he is stumped, I think the basics are equally as important as the rules.

11. ChaosuncontainedNew Member

"Overall, we have seen huge progress in Carson. He still doesn't want/like to write in any subject, and he struggles with how to treat others... but other than that he is making huge steps. I am proud of him!"

I see that they are still telling me that he is socially inappropriate. He still has troubles with writing and he still can't memorize his math facts. He also still has anxiety at school "I'm freaking out" But I guess the huge steps he is making is in dancing! woohoo!

This teacher loves Carson. She has worked more WITH him and FOR him than any one else there. She is young. She is my main source of info. She gives me info on his work and behavior in the other classes--not just his Math class. She is the ONLY teacher who allows him to bring home unfinished work to finish at home.

So. I'll take this email and raise them about 40 more at the IEP meeting. bahahaha.

He doesn't do well with memorizing facts. I never did either. I still struggle with multiplication, I do it the hard way... "4X8, 8 and 8 is sixteen, sixteen and sixteen is six and six is 12 and... 32!" He knows the 1, 2, 5, 10's and 11 tricks. Flash cards are a JOKE (here, with him). Most of the time I let him use my cell phone calculator to play with. Or, he just counts it out on his fingers...if he can remember where he is and not lose his place...and patience.

12. ChaosuncontainedNew Member

I guess I know some of them. LOL I know my 2, 3, 5, 10 and 11's LOL

13. DammitJanetWell-Known MemberStaff Member

I didnt know there were rules for math until you got to higher levels. Unless what you are talking about is that when you are multiplying anything by 11 its its number twice until you get to the higher numbers and then blah blah blah.

I cant actually do math anymore because of my brain injury. I know there was a 9 thing but I never learned it as some sort of trick, I just learned my times tables. Someone pointed out the trick to me years later. To me it was just easier to memorize the darned things.

14. TeDoGuest

OK, I gotta jump in on this one. My job for the past 5 years has been as an elementary math interventionist. I worked with the kids that struggled to "get math". Personally, there are kids who just are not gong to be able to memorize things so I spent most of my time with them working on strategies. I learned this with difficult child 1. After working with him on strategies, he can do most math in his head and can actually do it fairly quickly. He hoovered on the timed facts tests so they finally quit grading him on those and graded him totally on the work he did. I mean, in real life, what job out there requires you to use multipication facts FAST? For those that are able, absolutely wonderful. For those that can't, using our energy to teach them to figure it out instead is time better used. The stress on some of these kids is, in my opinion, is insane (no offense Insane LOL). I absolutely HATE the way the No Child Left Behind act is being implemented and measured. The whole thing needs an overhaul.

Please don't start throwing rotten veggies at me Janet.

15. InsaneCdnWell-Known Member

Basic math multiplication facts strategies...
Here's hoping I can remember them all!

x 2 = double it.
x 3 = triple it.

(most of us can do those in our heads, so far so good).

x 4 = double, then double again (NNN x 4 = NNN x 2 x 2)
x 5 = add a zero to then end, then take half of that (7 x 5 = 70 / 2 = 35)
x 6 = double, then triple (in that order)
x 7... you don't do. Memorize 7x7. Everything else fits under another rule!
x 8 = double, then double, then double again
x 9 = OK, not quite so easy to explain, but easy to do; only works for up to 9x9, though. 9 x NNN = (NNN-1) concatenated with (9 - (NNN-1)): 9x4 = 3 || 6 = 36, 9x8 = 7 || 2 = 72. (|| = concatenate)
x 10 = don't tell me ANYBODY memorizes that one!... just add a zero to the end.

alternate x 9 rule... triple, then triple again, but for most of us, tripling is too slow. It does work, though.

Basic skills are:
- double
- triple - the only one that takes any kind of effort.
- half - opposite of double
- one mental trick (9s)
- one memorization (7x7)

For higher number multiplication, any number with multiple divisors, is easy to break down... 11s is a trick, 12s you break down (NNNx2x2x3), 13 is "do the work", so is 14, 15 = ...x10x5, and so on. Now, they usually do these as multi-column multiplication, but we used to go to 20 at least using "rules"

16. buddyNew Member

That is quite a list IC! I could have used that when I switched from public to private school in third grade and had to go to "special" match to catch up.

For nines I was taught to hold out all ten of my fingers..... then say the problem is 9 X 3 = you count from left to right.... on the third finger put the finger down...you are left with two fingers to the left of the finger that is down and seven fingers to the right........ 2fingers 7fingers=27 for 9X7 you would put the 7th finger down etc... it works up to ten. not a mental operation, but you can be sneaky and do it under the desk and no one knows.

nine times table answers always add up to 9 and the answer starts with one less than the number you multiply by. so 9x8=72. 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99, 108, 117, 126....so on. always adds up to 9.

18. ChaosuncontainedNew Member

HAHA, me likey!!

Last night he started out doing his math homework just fine (multiple choice answers--STAR test preparation--UGH). I have to sit with him at the table, keep him on task and help him along by translating the word problems into easier instruction. "So you are supposed to round the numbers up to the hundreds place? ok, do that first. Then what should you do? Add them? That's RIGHT! SO, do that now." By the time he got to the end he was MAD. Felt stupid because it was taking him so long to "figure out" the multiplication. Broke a pencil and threw it at the wall. A switch being flipped. I know his Math teacher helps him this way also during recess when he tries to get caught up on any work he was unable to finish in class.

I may introduce the 9's thing tonight, if he is receptive. (HA)

19. AnnieOShooting from the Hip

Buddy, this one has me confused. No matter what I did I came up with 25. (2 left, 5 right) I don't get the counting left to right. Now I know for a fact 9x3 is 27. But... I can't come up with 7 fingers to the right. I only have 5 on the right. I can't add any!

And... 9x7? I don't have 7 on the left, either...

Pictures might help?

20. TeDoGuest

What Buddy and Ready have said are exactly the two methods we work with kids on if they can't memorize them. Kids that are "hands-on" learners, Buddy's method works great because it's easy and the kids like using their hands. For kids that need the "process", Ready's method works. Figure out which works better for Carson.