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My ds just got his first "F" on a math test - I'm not sure how to handle it


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He just turned 12, is in 6th grade, gifted in Language Arts, is a perfectionist, slow thinker, very perceptive, takes failure very hard. Even though Math is not his best subject, he consistently gets A's w/ an occasional B on his tests. His Math Tests are the only things I really give a letter grade to. We haven't started doing report cards yet, but I'm thinking about doing it next year. (We live in a low regulation state).

 

How have you handled this w/ your kids? I'm afraid to break the news to him. He hasn't seen it yet.

 

The test was all fractions, various operations. He understands how to do it and would've have gotten most of the answers right. Most of his errors were that he reduced a fraction when it couldn't be reduced or a slight computation error. There were a lot of mixed numbers and fractions w/ large numerators and denominators. He knows all of his math facts well. Like I said, he clearly understood how to do it, all the mistakes were computational.

 

When he sees what he did he's going to say, "Duh"

 

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm over-reacting. It's his first and we've been through a lot and it has affected his confidence level in everything. I just don't want him to get down about it or interpret it as a reflection on his abilities.

 

Help!

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I would have him correct each error and understand the mistakes and how to do these problems.

 

If he didn't get it, I'd have him re-do a previous lesson to practice it some more.

 

I wouldn't lecture or really discuss it other than that there were errors that need correcting and that he needs to have an understanding of that type of math problem.

 

Keep is simple.

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Address it now - sounds like he is enterring the ditzy stage of male development.... Around the age of 12 they all get there - lasts a while. I wouldn't focus on the computation errors if he really understands them, focus on talking to him about accuracy. Does he show all of his work? Are you 100% sure he understands the math? If so - have him start checking his answers by doing the math backwards from the answer. It's great practice

I wouldn't make him keep the F - offer him a do-over :)

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I would give it back to him and let him have a chance to rework the problems. Then regrade the test at a reduced percent. If he can't rework the problems they you should go back at reteach the section he is on.

 

At my children's school they have a chance to rework failing math tests for a max grade of 70. They have to show the problem number, correction showing all work and give an explanation of the correction they made.

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Dd had her first last week. She sat beside when I graded it so she knew it was coming. I explained each mistake, showed her that each of them was a careless mistake then had her rework each missed problem.

 

When she reworked them I gave her half credit for each one. It brought her grade up.

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If it were my son, I wouldn't mention the actual grade yet. I would hand it back and tell him I'm seeing a lot of silly errors, and to try again before I grade it. I've done this before. Ds is very hard on himself, so I usually give him a second chance. I don't emphasise grades very much anyway - we are low regulation. I will slowly start grading as we get closer to high school, but now we are working on his perfectionism, and accepting the fact that he can't get everything correct.

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Dd had her first last week. She sat beside when I graded it so she knew it was coming. I explained each mistake, showed her that each of them was a careless mistake then had her rework each missed problem.

 

When she reworked them I gave her half credit for each one. It brought her grade up.

 

I just started giving tests, and this is what I'm doing. My dd (yes, she's 12) tends to make really harebrained errors - not following instructions completely, making computational errors, not checking her work. We've both been fairly depressed about her first two test grades. The first test it was all careless errors. This test she did completely not understand one question - turns out she'd skipped that section in the book(!) - one of the few sections that wasn't review for her. I'm having her go back and read and complete that section, and also I found in some sections she'd skipped problems - she's redoing those. And she's suppposed to be correcting her own work this year, but even though she told me she did it, I found she hadn't corrected the review, and if she had, she'd've known she wasn't ready for the test! So she's redoing all of those now too. :banghead:

 

Well, it's clear that checking her own work isn't working - it's back to me checking everything. :glare: Wait, sorry, this is becoming about my problem... :tongue_smilie:

 

So at any rate, after she's done all that, I'll let her redo the problems she missed, but I'll give her half back of what was taken off to begin with.

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I would encourage habits of checking ones work. Does he check his work on his daily problems? With my ds, I won't even look at his work unless I see little check marks, or re-writes. Then, on his daily work, I will look it over, and then tell him how many are wrong-- not which ones-- so that he must go back and check the work to find them.

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This just happened to my 10 year old last week. She normally breezes though anything she touches and has never had a minute of trouble with any of it. Last week she took a computer graded math quiz and got a 25%. She saw her score and came to me doing everything she could to blink back the tears. We reviewed what went wrong. She got GCF and LCM mixed up. She tried again and did well. It was a great chance for her to not only learn the math concept, but to also learn how to handle it when a test does not go well.

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Address it now - sounds like he is enterring the ditzy stage of male development.... Around the age of 12 they all get there - lasts a while. I wouldn't focus on the computation errors if he really understands them, focus on talking to him about accuracy. Does he show all of his work? Are you 100% sure he understands the math? If so - have him start checking his answers by doing the math backwards from the answer. It's great practice

I wouldn't make him keep the F - offer him a do-over :)

 

:iagree: totally. Public schools also offer do-overs, not just homeschool moms, so don't feel bad about it. Your goal is to make sure he knows it and to find ways around that male puberty brain thing.

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If it were my son, I wouldn't mention the actual grade yet. I would hand it back and tell him I'm seeing a lot of silly errors, and to try again before I grade it. I've done this before. Ds is very hard on himself, so I usually give him a second chance. I don't emphasise grades very much anyway - we are low regulation. I will slowly start grading as we get closer to high school, but now we are working on his perfectionism, and accepting the fact that he can't get everything correct.

 

Great idea!

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He just turned 12, is in 6th grade, gifted in Language Arts, is a perfectionist, slow thinker, very perceptive, takes failure very hard. Even though Math is not his best subject, he consistently gets A's w/ an occasional B on his tests. His Math Tests are the only things I really give a letter grade to. We haven't started doing report cards yet, but I'm thinking about doing it next year. (We live in a low regulation state).

 

How have you handled this w/ your kids? I'm afraid to break the news to him. He hasn't seen it yet.

 

The test was all fractions, various operations. He understands how to do it and would've have gotten most of the answers right. Most of his errors were that he reduced a fraction when it couldn't be reduced or a slight computation error. There were a lot of mixed numbers and fractions w/ large numerators and denominators. He knows all of his math facts well. Like I said, he clearly understood how to do it, all the mistakes were computational.

 

When he sees what he did he's going to say, "Duh"

 

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm over-reacting. It's his first and we've been through a lot and it has affected his confidence level in everything. I just don't want him to get down about it or interpret it as a reflection on his abilities.

 

Help!

 

 

I would say, "Well, ds, I was looking at your math test and noticed a problem. Either I haven't done a very good job at helping you learn this stuff, or you were having an off day when you took it. Look at this and see if you can figure out what went wrong. Correct your mistakes and bring it back to me. If you can fix it, we'll move on. If not, we'll take some time to go back and figure out what you're missing."

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