Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Confusing operations


Yes, division is repeated subtraction, and multiplication repeated addition. If you add five to five, five times, you get the same answer as if you multiply five by five. I know it, as would anybody who has been adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing as long as I have. But is it absolutely necessary to confuse my eight-year old by teaching him so?
Yes, in principle, I agree the idea of teaching kids different ways of performing the mathematical operations and letting them choose the one that works best for them. But after they do learn, can’t they be left alone?

_____
drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Natasha - It's interesting that what we think will help children learn can sometimes be confusing. Children are taught that multiplication is repeated addition because they have already learned addition. They can connect with that knowledge. Then they can learn that multiplication is just "shorthand" if you will for repeated addition. But that approach doesn't work for all children; every child has her or his own needs.

klouis89 said...

You bring up a good point and I agree with you that it will get confusing for kids, but some kids find it hard to just simply memorize answers to problems. So repeated addition is a different strategy for them until they are able to work their brain up to memorization.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails