Monday, March 9, 2015

My mathematical outrage #SOL15

This is a snapshot of one of the math videos that came with the curriculum we are supposed to use. I haven't shown one of these in a while, but today I did. I often cringe during these videos, but I couldn't even sit through this! I stopped the video at this point and launched into a bit of a tirade...

 "I'm stopping it because I don't like the way they are teaching this. 

"If you are going to use the make-a-ten strategy to solve this problem, the first thing you have to do is figure out how to get to 60.  We want to get to 60 because we know it's easy to add numbers to 60. 60 + 4 = 64; 60 + 7 = 67 60 + 5 = ? everyone? 65. 

"So how do we get to 60? Well, let's set the 10s aside for a minute and just look at the ones. We have a 3 in the ones place. If I have 3, and I want to get to ten, I know I need to add 7 because I know my 10s facts. I know that 3 + 7 = 10. 

"The thing we have to think about though is that we aren't actually adding 7 to 53. We're supposed to add 8. Well, if I've already added the 7, then there's just one more that I need to add. Look what I did: I had 8, then I used the 7 part to get to 60. That meant I still had the 1 part to add. Well, this is an easy problem! 60 + 1 = ? (everyone: 61). 

"Here's the problem with what they are showing you: They showed the 1 part before they figured out the 7 part. You have to figure out the 7 part first because your goal is to get to 60. You can't know the one part until you know the 7 part! I don't know why they put the 1 part up first. Once you get to 60, you figure out what the last part you have to add is. Ok, let's finish watching and see if they can get any better at solving this.

There are so many problems with this lesson and this curriculum that I don't even know where to begin, but there you have it--a slice of my constant mathematical outrage.

Please just let me teach math! 


  1. I have to say, I couldn't figure out what the heck that picture was showing! It makes you wonder who is creating these lessons. You taught them more than the math by stopping and explaining what was wrong with this picture!

  2. Teach baby, Teach! I love how you engaged YOUR knowledge and YOUR teacher power to make it all make sense for your kids. #teacherpower.

  3. I think you are demonstrating to your students how to question, reflect, think! This is an important part of our teaching, too. Sorry this math curriculum is frustrating you!!!


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