Thursday, November 12, 2009

Modern Day Math - Part 2

So apparently I was too cocky in my last math post. I was feeling good about math, I could help Liam along with his homework. I was ready to grow and learn with him.

Then his new math package came home. Once a month his math teacher (yes in Grade 1 he has different teachers for different subjects - Math, Art, Gym, French - what I wouldn't have given to have been able to get away from my evil Grade 1 teacher for even just 1 subject a week!)

anyhoo....

Once a month his math teacher sends home a package of math sheets and activities to work on for homework. You can pick and choose which ones you work on depending on what the kids are interested in. The part that is throwing me for a loop is this line of the instructions.

This package is focused on 2-digit Addition and Subtraction without exchanges and place value.
WTF does that mean?

In my defense I learned math in French. I started Kindergarten at a French school and continued with it until Grade 10. When I switched to an English high school I was so lost with language issues that Math was just too much to try and figure out on top of it all. And of course kids today use some new-fangled math system that includes words like exchanges and place values. Even if I translate those words into French I'm still lost.

The good thing is that the teacher seems to realize that not everyone is going to understand what they are talking about. The package goes on to say:

When we are working with manipulatives and dealing with numbers that have exchanges, we have to trade up our ones to get an additional ten. Clear as mud? Try using pencils as the tens and erasers as the ones and walk yourself through the explanation again. Or you could always ask your child to help you figure it out.
Great.... my kid is supposed to know what this means, but I can't figure it out.

Wish me luck!
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