By Elisabeth Martinez. 3rd Grade Math. Published at Friday, October 30th, 2020 - 02:17:53 AM.
To get your child ready to tackle 3rd grade math with confidence, its time to introduce learning aids at home. Most parents assume that worksheets, word problems and visual representations are the most helpful tools, but many forget the importance of online tools that offer educational value. If you choose the right programs, you can help pave the way for success for your child by incorporating fun, challenging games that promote the learning and understanding of 3rd grade math. Many online math games are designed purely for entertainment and wont do much in terms of teaching your child. While these games can be fun and engaging for third graders, you want to choose games that will practice the skills being taught in school. Look for games and puzzles that are part of an adaptive learning program. This means that the online games are well-thought out and match the same set of skills that are being taught in the third grade curriculum. The program is structured toward each individual student and fills in the gaps where the child is struggling.
The second major problem deals with the parents. Because the series is so different, parents quickly find that what they are seeing in their childs textbook doesnt look like anything they ever called math. They quickly discover that they are unable to help their children with questions, and they dont understand the spiraling concept of UCSMP so it seems to them that their child is weak in basic skills. They dont know that their child will have better retention and understanding of mathematics at the end of the year than the students of a traditional text. They dont know because no one explained anything to them. UCSMP requires an enormous amount of explanation and training for the parents. (Im sure you can foresee the problems of having poorly prepared teachers trying to explain UCSMP to frustrated parents. Its not a pretty sight.) With the problematic issues surrounding UCSMP, does this young teacher deserve to be fired? Absolutely! He made very poor choices based on his own arrogance. He broke his contract with the school district and, thus with the students and parents. He used the internet for his own purposes. (I suspect to garner support for his decision.) And he was setting up his students for future failure. Unforgivable.
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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.
What I consider to be his worst mistake, and this is again an inexperience issue because he hasnt yet seen this happen, is that he didnt consider the mathematical harm that he would cause his students. They wont experience the harm until next year when their 4th grade teacher expects certain knowledge that they wont have. I have no doubt that this young man can teach mathematics to 3rd graders. But I know from many years of experience with UCSMP, that the terminology used and the methods used vary greatly from what is found in a more traditional text. Unless he has been fired or put back on the district path, his 3rd grade students will have a difficult time in 4th grade math. His students deserved better from him.
In his article, this brand new teacher--straight out of college--was hired by a school district to teach 3rd grade math. This school district was using the elementary school version of UCSMP--Everyday Mathematics. I cant remember whether he wrote the article in September or October (one of the facts I wanted to check), but the point is that it was very early in the school year. He had already run into some problems: his students didnt understand anything they were being taught and their parents were all mad. He decided that the problem was the textbook and its approach, so he made a unilateral decision (no discussion with the department head or Principal) to stop using the district-chosen series and, instead, teach his 3rd grade students the way he thought they should be taught. And not only that, but he was so proud of his decision that he put it on the internet. No discussion with his Principal, but he writes about it on the internet. The arrogance of youth!
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