Do you question the use of timed math drills with your students or homeschooling children? Or did you suffer through them as a child?

Don't miss this article from edudemic, "How One Teaching Practice Ruined Math For Students," in which a 16yo shares her thoughts about how "Mad Minute" affected her as a young child...and continues to influence her feelings today.

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

I am a grandmother...and I can still feel the pit in my stomach when we would do the whole class flashcards. The teacher would come in front of each student and flash a card. I was so very nervous about this that I would begin to sweat even before the teacher came near to my desk. So by the time she did reach me I couldn't add 1 + 1. The other kids would laugh and make fun. We also had timed tests and yes they made me want to throw up also. For many years I thought I was bad at math. I hated math because of it. Now, I help my daughter teach her children at home so they are not under pressure for anything, but I certainly hope that today teachers are smarter than this old way of thinking. Some kids just don't do well under pressure, real or imagined, and I was one of them.

ReplyDeleteJackie, thank you for your heartfelt response. I'm afraid that there are many, many kids out there who feel just as you did. I hope that we can thoughtfully reflect on our math teaching methods, considering ways to help kids to embrace math rather than run in fear.

DeleteTimed tests used to give me such anxiety as a kid. I was so nervous that I had my mom white out one of my old tests, make copies, and I would practice them over and over. No matter how much I practiced, I would still panic during the actual test. Not the best memories.

ReplyDeleteAmy

Eclectic Educating

Doesn't it make you wonder how many other kids were also in a panic and you just didn't know about it? You were sure smart...to try to figure a way around it! And goes to show that it had a LOT to do with the anxiety of test taking and not necessarily to do with the actual mathematics!

DeleteThanks for sharing!

It kills me that my county will only let me use 3 min timed Sharma tests for math computation scores in 1st grade! If they haven't passed 9 by the end of the 1 semester they get progressing or unsatisfactory. I've got kids who can add and subtract fine for their age but just can't do it "fast". They get all worked up and it's such a sad thing to watch.

ReplyDelete2 of my own kids hated these and didn't do well. I never would have passed them as a kid.

First grade...wow! That's a lot for such little guys. Will your county listen to outside voices? I love this article from the NCTM President:

Deletehttp://www.nctm.org/about/content.aspx?id=34791

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ReplyDeleteTotally get this. Just to "stir the pot" a bit, I think another piece is based in gender. As Dr. Sax points out in "Why Gender Matters," boys tend to learn better when under a little bit of stress. Girls, however, do not. So... timed math drills may actually further reinforce the incorrect stereotype that "boys are better at math" when, in reality, it's about other things entirely.

ReplyDelete~Luke

Fascinating thought, Luke. I'm not familiar with your reference. Off to look it up... Thanks!

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