Thursday, May 24, 2007

Math Crazed

Pippi is not a math person. She is 'math-phobic' if that's a word.

Her brother on the other hand loves math.

At the beginning of this school year (1st grade), when the class was going over the fundamentals of counting, he wanted to be learning fractions.

When they finally got to fractions, he was disappointed that it was just coloring in parts of circles and triangles and such. I guess he wanted to be adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions like his sister was doing (Pippi would probably be quite happy to color in parts of circles). I explained to him that in order to do things with fractions, you first had to understand what fractions were. One thing at a time.

Yesterday he came home from school and told me that the math chapter they were on now was multiplication and division. He didn't sound happy about it.

Me: But that's good. You want to do multiplication and division.

Harry (sounding disgusted): Yeah - but they're doing it like repetitive addition. What's 2 plus 2 plus 2 plus 2. (big sigh)

Me: What do you want to be doing?

Harry: Stuff like 27 x 27.

Me: Do you know how to do that?

Harry: No.

So I showed him. And we tried another double digit problem. He enjoyed it. And I taught him the trick that I learned in 3rd grade about the 9 times tables (take the number you're multiplying 9 by, subtract 1, figure out what other number you need to make it equal nine and place the two digits next to each other: (9 x 3: 3-1=2, 2+7=9 therefore 9x3=27). He loved it. Now in addition to trying to teach his classmates about factorials, maybe he'll teach them the nine times tables.

1 comment:

Morpheus said...

Kids these days are so far ahead than from our time. I have a nephew and he already knows how to operate the computer the basic stuff. They are so sharp and so hungry for knowledge that its both a pleasure and at times scary to see their rate of growth. And that nine table trick was really neat, am going to teach that to my nephew. Got anymore!! Charming post.

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