May 6, 2009

This Ain't Your Momma's Math!

I was helping Silas with his homework yesterday and we came across a doozy! He's in 3rd grade and they are preparing for the EOGs (end of grade tests). If the kids don't do well, they don't pass. Even if they have perfect grades, this is the be all end all. I have a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and am qualified to teach grades K-6. His homework yesterday was obviously something that they haven't even covered in class, because Silas had no clue what to do. The things that they are learning in 3rd grade are things that we learned in middle school! Luckily I have 2 really good friends that teach or have taught 3rd grade and after placing a few calls, we now know what the mean, median and mode are.

My good deed for the day:

* The mean is the average of a sequence of numbers. You add them up and then divide by how many numbers you have.
* The median is the middle value in a sequence of numbers placed in order. There is a swanky formula that you can use or you can just count to the middle. Remember the median on a road is in the middle!
* The mode is the value that occurs most often in a sequence of numbers. Mode = Most

There you have it folks. 3rd grade math simplified.


Laura said...

I remembered everything but Mode from my own schooling. Not bad for someone who hasn't taken a math class since 1992!

T- said...

I remembered all of that, but I KNOW I didn't learn that in 3rd grade. I was learning multiplication tables in 3rd grade!

Mrs. C said...

I'm a little skeptical of some of the new math. Here, the public schools do "Everyday Mathematics" which is really *great* in some ways because the children can do some pretty advanced math earlier on.

But the drills aren't there. They did the median, mode, etc. at the end of second grade... but we are NOT doing that in our math, and some of that is stuff my ps. kids didn't do until middle school.

It's a trade-off, but I prefer the drills. In the end, if you're diligent, you learn ALL you need in due time no matter what program you use. (Well, within reason LOL!) :]

Oh! Have you learned how to add all backwards now? Hundreds first, then tens, then ones? I know it freaked me out to see coming home. I'm teaching the younger kids the old way. Add the ones. Then the tens. Then the hundreds.

I think you would just about need a teaching degree to teach the math as they have written it up now LOL!

LYIS said...

Crap! I don't remember ANYTHING! I'm in for it when the kids start school.

~LL~ said...

I have some really cool MMM activities where we get to go outside and make a human graph to find mode, line up by age to find median...even distribute ourselves to find mean. LOVE IT. LOL!

Everyday Math....hated it, but Mountain Math....loved it!

I student taught with a lady that pushed the adding the "big numbers" first...I hated it.

H's 3rd grade teacher taught them a "differnt" way to subtract where they add to the subtrahend instead of borrowing from the minuend....YUCK!!! Try undoing THAT one!

All that aside...I agree that drill and kill, in some things are most beneficial...especially in multiplication tables. and no matter what grade I taught, I gave a 15 minute drill to fill in the table from 1 X 1 all the way to 15 X 15 (mixed up...not patterend) and once they made a 100, they were done taking it for the year.

*sigh*....these new-fangled ideas suck!