Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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Retarded math


Some of the kids' homework problems frustrate the hell out of me. It's not because of the difficulty but because of the methodology used for solving them. What normally takes a simple setup or a few steps to solve, their problems require more unnecessary (and confusing) steps to solve each problem.

Take a look at a couple of Jacob's homework problems. Here they're learning to multiply by 10 and 100. Easy. If multiplying any number by ten, add a zero at the end of it. Boom. Done. Okay fine, you have to "show your work".

But really, how much work can you show. Even in the example 30 x 10 they got 300 as the answer. There's really no work to be shown. Same goes with 6 x 10 = 60. So why not just write 42 x 10 and work it instead of breaking the number up unnecessarily? Why??

And number #6 is extra stupid. Multiplying a number by a hundred? Add TWO zeros! But no, do 3 multiplication problems and then add the products of those 3 to get your answer. I don't understand the school's logic here in solving these problems. Like 500 x 100 got you 50,000. Apparently they just knew the answer, i.e. adding two zeros, so why couldn't you just do that same strategy for 538 x 100? It's 53,800, bitch.

The worst part about all of this is teaching my kids the wrong way to do math since the school district wants them to learn it this way. It's so inefficient. It's so stupid! Who the fuck solves math problems like this??

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  1. Jon Tran said... October 23, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    Wow. This is honestly so fundamentally wrong on so many levels. Kids at this age just need to know how to do math and that it works. The underlying properties to manipulate calculations as shown above only really starts at the pre-algebra level. If you're going to teach it this way, you have to teach not only the distributive property of multiplication...but also the premise of how and why our base 10 numbering system works...

  2. Jimmy Tran said... October 25, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    So I posted this on FB and got some good responses. My friend Arlene posted this video explaining the wacky math, aka Common Core Math. https://youtu.be/X_CK1e0Lmxw

    And Nathan sent a good read: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/magazine/why-do-americans-stink-at-math.html

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