By May Vasquez. 3rd Grade Math. Published at Saturday, October 24th, 2020 - 11:57:35 AM.
Most school districts are rather lenient when it comes to new teacher mistakes. However, because of a lack of experience, there are several things that can and do get new teachers fired. This article is about one specific action by one specific teacher; although Im beginning to wonder if he is one of those Urban Legends. First, some background. A couple weeks ago I was doing some research for an article about UCSMP (University of Chicago School Mathematics Project) and trends in mathematics. I taught high school math in a school district that started using UCSMP (we referred to it as the Chicago Series) in 1988. My feelings about the Chicago Series will be in another article, but overall, I considered it to be an excellent math series with tremendous potential for improving student understanding of mathematics but with a couple major flaws that always seemed to lead to its demise. For my research, I just wanted to know if it still existed. I came across an article that I thought was written this year by a 23-year-old, male, 3rd grade math, 1st year teacher. My immediate reaction to his article was that he should be fired for several reasons.
I close my eyes; Im back there banging fat felt eraser blocks together making chock dust clouds slide down the slanted rays of sunshine coming through the open window on this golden afternoon the first week of 3rd grade. I try not to breathe that fuzzy stuff in, but it doesnt really matter because I am elated with my elevated position. I feel special. Close my eyes again to travel back even further; I smell the suffocating odor of steaming hot wool as the nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital wrapped my paralyzed limbs in these cooked blankets rather than let me start 2nd grade with my friends. Hot packs they were called; the doctors said if I was a good girl and let them wrap me up as though I were a sausage several times a day I might someday wiggle my toes again. Well, did I have a choice? I was a good girl, but try as I might, not one of the ten moved. But that didnt really matter because I wasnt in an iron lung like some of the kids - I could breathe on my own. (Jonas Salks miracle was yet to come.)
Online math software can be an effective way to practice at home, as math programs provide a steady source of new problems for children. Many modern math programs also use adaptive learning techniques to automatically change the types of problems that the child sees to adapt to his or her strengths and weaknesses. Your child will be consistently challenged and encouraged, which should lead to steady improvement. At the same time, past lessons will occasionally be revisited. This prevents your child from forgetting basic concepts that will be used in future lessons, thereby making every subsequent lesson somewhat easier.
Most 3rd grade classrooms will also work with three-digit numbers, which can be confusing to some children. These problems are often detected when young children are asked to perform estimations, which is a regular part of 3rd grade math courses. Practicing 3rd Grade Math Lessons At Home The best way to treat many math problems is to first find the source of the problem and to adapt the instruction to concentrate on weak areas. Regular at-home math practice is absolutely critical during the first few years of a childs education, as at-home practice will serve to reinforce concepts and to allow children to move along at a faster pace. Practice is especially important during the holidays, the summer and during other breaks in a childs school year.
If your third grader needs help with math, there are many useful tools that can downloaded directly from the computer. Math is a subject that is best taught with visual aids, making the lessons more tangible for students. Third grade can be particularly challenging when it comes to math, as this is the year that students are learning about fractions, measuring and weighing objects, graphing and counting money. Most importantly, third graders should be comfortable with the basics of math such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. If your child isnt comfortable with these basic components, its almost inevitable that he or she will struggle with future math lessons.
Im ashamed to admit that I have just spent almost five hours trying to find his article again so that I could verify my facts. I was never able to find it again. (Did he get fired and remove it?) However, I found articles referring to a 23-year-old 1st year math teacher who taught 4th grade math in 2006; and I found a similar article referring to a 23-year-old female math teacher who was being praised for what she did. This is probably a good example of how stories change in the retelling. What I finally decided about the story was that it really doesnt matter whether it is true or not. Either way, it is a wonderful example both of something a new teacher absolutely should never do, and it is a good example of both of those major flaws in the Chicago Series.
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