Jump to content

Menu

Advice for careless computation errors


Recommended Posts

Howdy. My child is a 6th grader who started hating math in 3rd. She’s come some ways in both attitude & computation but still struggles. I’ve noticed that while she applies algorithms correctly, she nonetheless makes errors in computation. For example 6/6 = 6. Once she goes back (I point out the error) she knows immediately the issue. How do you get an 11 year old kid to slow down, pay attention to detail, & review work? I feel like I’ve been at this forever. Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Earthmerlin said:

Howdy. My child is a 6th grader who started hating math in 3rd. She’s come some ways in both attitude & computation but still struggles. I’ve noticed that while she applies algorithms correctly, she nonetheless makes errors in computation. For example 6/6 = 6. Once she goes back (I point out the error) she knows immediately the issue. How do you get an 11 year old kid to slow down, pay attention to detail, & review work? I feel like I’ve been at this forever. Thanks!

Well, I'd say your bigger problem is that she hates math -- that's probably what's making her sloppy. Do you know why that is? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, I'd say your bigger problem is that she hates math -- that's probably what's making her sloppy. Do you know why that is? 

It started with timed tests in 3rd grade in b&m school. 

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Any chance she has inattention issues elsewhere in her life? ADHD in girls looks very different than it does in boys...
 

https://childmind.org/article/how-to-tell-if-your-daughter-has-adhd/?_gl=1*gg2vvp*_ga*NURfVWt0bFN5VEZ4QXE0Mjl2UVhsNnAxcG13YTVicDY4VmJtVGo0OGJuYmdVSEo4TGhyVTBIV1BoaW9FcnB6NQ..

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

My DS10 is very similar. He grasps math concepts very quickly, but gets very bogged down in computational errors. The result is that if he were to take a test, he might get half the problems wrong, even though he knows how to think about the problem.  DS was recently diagnosed with moderate - severe ADHD. It was like a lightbulb for me.  He hates math because he thinks he isn’t good at it, but he’s actually quite math-minded, just inattentive and therefore inaccurate.  When he was assessed, the psychologist advised me to just let him use a calculator (DS also has pretty bad dysgraphia). DH and I feel it’s still too early for the calculator, but I have that option in the back of my mind for later. For now, here are some things that help us—

- graph paper for scratch paper

- coach him to write out his thought process

- sometimes I scribe for him

-for me — try to be really patient and really encouraging (I fail a lot, but I still try!) — this helps him feel more confident and more willing to work / try.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2nd DS was like this, as is my DD who is currently 12. They understand conceptually, and can easily find the mistake when shown the missed problem, but they make soooo many careless errors. DS grew out of it, and that gives me hope that DD will too.

Sometimes it just takes maturity.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, my reply will not be popular, Once I knew the child could do the computations accurately with confidence, I required them to check their work before giving it to me. And if there were more than 2-3 careless errors, I just handed the work back without telling them where the error was. I was trying to develop good work habits.

My youngest did not like math at all; she is currently in the middle of her junior year at college as a math major with a 4.0 gpa. It did not kill her love for math or hurt her at all.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I assign just part of the problems and tell my dd if she gets them all correct, she doesn’t need to do the others. It motivates her to be more careful.

Another idea is to give him a few completed problems with intentional errors and have him find the mistakes and correct them. This is kind of an outside the box way to see if they truly understand how to solve the problem but also trains them to correct their work. My dd likes it if I say she’s the teacher and even give her a red pen.

Edited by cougarmom4
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎20‎/‎2021 at 12:08 PM, Earthmerlin said:

Howdy. My child is a 6th grader who started hating math in 3rd. She’s come some ways in both attitude & computation but still struggles. I’ve noticed that while she applies algorithms correctly, she nonetheless makes errors in computation. For example 6/6 = 6. Once she goes back (I point out the error) she knows immediately the issue. How do you get an 11 year old kid to slow down, pay attention to detail, & review work? I feel like I’ve been at this forever. Thanks!

My fix for this has been to require that they check their work before they turn it in to me. 

For a couple of weeks, I would half the number of problems that I'm assigning daily and require that she compute each problem twice in order to neatly check her work. So, if a 6th grader has computed 

34.15 - 17.08 = 17.07, then the they must also compute
17.08 + 17.07 = 34.15 in order to verify their own answer.


During this phase, require all math steps to be written out logically and neatly, so if they just hand in a math paper and no "regrouping" is shown, hand it back. They need to actually verify their work. Not just write each number "where it should go".

After a couple of weeks, go back up to 3/4 of their normal daily exercise set with them checking each problem.

After a month or so, you should be able to go back to doing a complete lesson and they need to actually check any problem that they have doubt about as they are going. When they pass in a math lesson to you for verification, any problems that are wrong must be re-worked and verified by them.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2021 at 8:03 PM, prairiewindmomma said:

Any chance she has inattention issues elsewhere in her life? ADHD in girls looks very different than it does in boys...
 

https://childmind.org/article/how-to-tell-if-your-daughter-has-adhd/?_gl=1*gg2vvp*_ga*NURfVWt0bFN5VEZ4QXE0Mjl2UVhsNnAxcG13YTVicDY4VmJtVGo0OGJuYmdVSEo4TGhyVTBIV1BoaW9FcnB6NQ..

I’d say no. I think it’s like others said—not liking something & so rushing through it to get it over. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...