Math masters

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by TwinxesMom, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    I absolutely hate these. For any one who hasn't experienced these its 50 problems ( currently addition)in 6 minutes and if they pass then they go to a minute shorter. They are not graded on it but it does go in their file. My grandma was like you need to practice with them. I told her first I was going to give her 50 problems to do in 6 min and see how she does. They have a 98 and 97 in math so it's not like they can't add...
  2. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    I have a love/hate relationship with these. G gets nervous about it, although she's fully capable of doing it within the allotted time. If we quiz her verbally, without a paper, she's got it. Put the paper in front of her (or laptop) and she freezes. L breezes through them and needs them so she can move on to harder stuff, otherwise she is bored. She needs to shave just the slightest amount of time off currently so she can move to multiplication.
  3. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Actually, 6 minutes is a long time! The kids at our school do the Otter Creek program, and daily they have 1 minute to complete 4o problems, and once a week they get 2 minutes to complete 80. You think it is a waste of time, but it really is important to drill the skills. They may have high grades in math, but how are they finding the answers? There is nothing more frustrating to me as a teacher, working with a kid on algebra who doesn't know their facts! The more they practice, the quicker they get. Last year, Jonathan was down to 40 division problems in 30 seconds.--Just wanted to give perspective. And, yes, our school starts doing the math drills in 1st grade, and continue through 5th. They start with addition, and work their way through the levels (about 24), then move on to subtraction, multiplication, and finally division. My only frustration is that when a kid completes the division problems in 30 seconds, they should "pass" and not have to do it anymore.
    2 people like this.
  4. threebecamefive

    threebecamefive Well-Known Member

    ^^This. Totally! I have kids in 5th grade that can score very high in Math, but it takes them an insane amount of time to get through something because they don't know any of their facts. Our district has moved away from drilling the facts and I hate it. I have 5th graders that don't know their multiplication facts. That affects them in the bigger multiplication problems, anything with division, fractions, algebra, etc. It is so frustrating.
    1 person likes this.
  5. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    They fall into the I can ask them out load and the get it but she jams up on tests. Jazz continues to be four short. Jess did all on the 5 min but got one wrong (got it right last time). I was the same way. I don't do we'll with time limits I'm not sure how I ever did as well on the act as I did.
  6. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    But that is the purpose of the test, writing adds a second brain function, and many kids can do it orally, but can't write it. The point of the timed test is to train the brain to react quickly, and make the facts more of a "muscle memory" than something they have to think about. Basically, the point is to create an automatic response for the answers, and not have to think or figure them out. The good thing is once the fact is firmly in place, they never forget!
    1 person likes this.
  7. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I know you've said in the past that they are very smart girls. It's very good for them to have something not come easily to develop perseverance. :)
  8. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    I don't think they even mind them very much. I just don't like them.
  9. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    See I get this and agree with it on a basic 'automaticity' and fluency for the purpose of written mathematical purpose.

    BUT-- I dont think it is an accurate portrayal of kids math fact mastery. It is an accurate assessment of the ability to write the math fact answers fluently.

    I see alot of kiddos with processing disorders and/or written language difficulties struggle with the 'timed tests'. Not because they dont know them, but the speed of producing a written answer is the concern.

    For kiddos with standard cognitive functioning and slow processing speed/written difficulties-- the timed tests are a weekly torment if they know the facts (automaticity) but are unable to write them fast enough. I would not be surprised that many kids that are strong in Math think they are not due to not progressing on the weekly timed tests.

    Sometimes no matter if ANYTHING is timed (not just math) you will have kids that just take longer to write/process/do the work/provide an oral answer. It does not mean they do not know it automatically.

    I dislike the thought that some kids as young as 1st grade decide they dont like Math because they cant pass the grade level timed tests.

    Do kids need math fact fluency- YES! But can you usually tell if they have fluency from oral testing and/or observation- YES! You often can see kids thinking, or counting on fingers, or adding on scrap paper if they are not fluent in the facts.

    Some kids just get upset at being timed and flub it. Again, then the results are not an accurate picture of everyday math fact mastery- they are a snapshot of a kid that is afraid of being timed and trying to do math facts under pressure.

    Can you tell I 'm not a big fan the timed tests? :p
  10. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    I'm looking into app for them to practice that are fun. Ill post once we've tested some of them.
  11. seamusnicholas

    seamusnicholas Well-Known Member

    My sons have been doing times tests for a few weeks. Nicholas brought usually gets 9, 10, 11 out of 20. The other day I had a talk with Nicholas' teacher about something and she was telling me he is a slow worker. I asked if he does not know the material or just overall slower. She said he knows the material but works slowly. The conversation really was about what reading group he is going to be in (the lowest because of his fluency rather than comprehension---which is a whole other issue). So that day, he came home with his math test and I was so frustrated that he got +8 out of 20 because I knew he could do better. I sat him down and had him do 8 problems and I timed him. He did them in 30 seconds...half the time it took him to do them in school. He told me he had some water during the time at school and he had to go over some numbers because the pencil wasn't very sharp. I also saw that he erased a 9 since he originally wrote it backwards. So this did not represent his quick recall of addition facts.
  12. MarchI

    MarchI Well-Known Member

    This is true and I am not a teacher. DS1 has had E's all year in math. He is now doing regrouping and since it was math he had to think and work on, he winged it and failed miserably. I finally retaught him (my guess is he decided he knew the math so he didn't need to pay attention) and he has it down. I like the drills because of the repetitive nature. I really think math is something learned best when you do a lot of it. Our school does 1 minute drills and while they are given a number of problems, in second grade there is no amount they have to get. They work towards getting them all done in a minute by the end of the year.
  13. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    KC, I agree, that kids with learning issues many times do not succeed with the timed tests, BUT they are the exception, not they "typical" student. Any "rules" are out the window for kids with a special need. My comments are based on the "typical" student--and actually, these test are one way you can start to identify a child who may have a processing issue. Timed tests are a tool, like anything else, and there isn't a one size fits all tool in education. But timed tests do have a purpose.
    2 people like this.
  14. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    The funny thing is jessy is the slow one when it comes to finishing her seat work
  15. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    They do have a purpose, but I am not thinking of the identified kiddos with special needs. But those 'grey' kiddos that dont qualify for services, but upon further investigation--- have really slow processing speeds, some writing delays/difficulties, etc.

    Many of the assessment tools, as you know, used for RTI and Spec.Ed qualification have timed elements.

    I can begin to tell you how many kiddos have been evaluated, gone through the Spec.Ed process- not qualify, but STILL have a noticible discrepancy in processing speed or writing speed compared to ability & performance level. And/or kids that just work slow enough to create a constant level of frustration- but still get good grades and are at grade level.

    Those are the kiddos that I worry about the most. They dont have a qualifying diagnosis and/or are doing well grade-wise so dont get accommodations for the most part. But they are the ones that really really have a lot of anxiety over the timed things.

    Yes, it is a life lesson and I get that.....for older kids.

    At 5,6,7,8 kids really should not have to worry as much as they do for speed when the little fine tuning of fine motor skills, processing skills, auditory discrimination, etc are still developing. A lot of auditory processing disorders can not even be assessed for until age 7 due to natural developmental differences and most audiologist I have talked to dont suggest accurate results until age 8. Same with a lot of handwriting/fine motor much can be developmental that unless it is severe, until at 7/8- it goes undiagnosed even if it is suspected. Or it is borderline after assessment. So that leaves some kids that may or may not have some concerns with writing or processing really really dreading the timed assessments.
  16. Sofiesmom

    Sofiesmom Well-Known Member

    I see it all the time here in Asia. Kids who can produce answers very quickly and accurately. But if you ask them to think about a different way, or ask them to explain why it is this way, they're absolutely clueless. They don't have any real understanding. A lot of private / international schools here follow inquiry based curricula which are going much deeper and wider than producing X answers in X minutes. The flip side is that because of this shift the basic facts can sometimes be slightly weaker especially for students who's number sense takes slightly longer.

    Our classes work with pre-assessment for every unit (about 5-6 weeks). Based on the pre-assessment, children are put into 5 different groups and depending on their level they're working on consolidating, extending or challenging their current knowledge.
  17. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I don't know about all schools, but in our school, the timed tests take less than 5 minutes out of a 55 minute class each day. The reason they do the tests, is because the current textbook is all about problem solving, and ways to break down numbers to figure things out. It is heavy on problem solving, and doesn't allow for the drill and practice that the kids seemed to need--they used the program for 2 years before introducing the Rocket Math program. It is really used as a supplement to the regular math curriculum. Also, goals are set for each individual student. For example, in the resource room with the special needs kids, passing may be a 25 out of 40, where another child may have a goal of 35 out of 40-depending on the needs and abilities of the individual child.
    1 person likes this.
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