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math dilemma


happycc
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We use a combination of textbooks/workbooks for math.

 

I have 5th graders.

How important is it for you that your children:

1)Write the original problem down on paper from the textbook?

2)Show their work?

 

 

I have one child who is writing the wrong problem down...I am not sure where she is getting her numbers for the problems?

Copywork issue?

 

Another child who just doesn;t show her work. Just writes down the answer and answers are not always correct so I cant figure out where she got the problem wrong.

 

I just remember being in school and those were two main sticklers especially when getting into middle school/high school/college math. I believe it is better to train them early on to show their work but I may be wrong.

 

Finally, how often do you have to remind your kids to simplify their fractions and that improper fractions need to be simplified too.

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I started requiring my son to show his work in 4th grade math, for word problems that are more than one step or just aren't obvious. He's still learning how much work he needs to show, but he shows something. He hasn't had any issues with copying the correct numbers from the book. Does that child do regular copywork (sentences) straight from a book ok?

 

I taught my son to reduce fractions as soon as he learned about fractions, so he's used to doing that, though sometimes he forgets. I expect an elementary aged child to still need reminders now and then.

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My dh is very insistent about showing the work. I was very insistent about copying down the correct problem. So between us, dd, now 16, does both with good consistency.

 

She loves math and finds it much easier to go over her work and find her own mistakes if she's written down each step. Now she's taking College Algebra at the local LAC, this level of math does require one to write out each step. Before she learned some shortcuts, some of her problems were a page long.

 

It seemed like we spent the entirety of 5th grade reminding her to simplify, but now it's not a big deal.

 

Definitely start these habits early.

 

Another thought, and maybe you already do this, but instead of you having to figure out what problem they are doing, or which step they messed up on, make it their problem. The first child would need to take her work and go through and renumber everything for me so that I could then correct it. More work for her, instead of for you. (Been down this road).

 

If answer were wrong and no work is shown, then child needs to go and redo the problem showing each step to try to figure out where they went wrong. Perhaps sitting with this student while they work it out on paper may also be a consideration, depending on time availability. (Traveled this road pretty frequently as well.)

 

Sometimes dd would get answers right, especially word problems, intuitively, then just write down the answer. This is where you have to know your child. I was sometimes content to have her verbally explain the mental math that went into solving the problem, as that seemed more important than the standard write-it-out that was expected. Of course, sometimes her logic/reasoning was flawed, then I required her to write it out.

 

HTH,

Ava

Edited by Dani n Monies Mom
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How important is it for you that your children:

1)Write the original problem down on paper from the textbook?

2)Show their work?

 

I just remember being in school and those were two main sticklers especially when getting into middle school/high school/college math.

 

We don't copy the original problem down on paper from the textbook. We do copy relevant information from word problems down on paper.

My kids has to show their work for word problems but I have to remind them to do that.

 

I did not have to copy the original problem down for math in middle/high/college math. I just needed to write the question number down and show all the steps.

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