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Old 08-01-2016, 05:54 PM   #81
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The problems with this thinking in red are probably many.... but I will highlight a few....


1. As mentioned, the phone battery can die... I am surprised how many of my daughters friends will say they have a dead battery...

2. Using an app does not create any critical thinking... my daughter is a straight A student going into 7th... at the store I will ask her if it is better to buy X or Y... she just can not do the math!!! And sometimes the answer she gives is SO far off I do not know what she is thinking... do not get me wrong, when I ask her friends they do not know either (well, except one who is really smart in math)... again, she is an A student!!!

3. Going with #2... even if you get an answer from the app... it COULD be wrong... maybe the app just does not work correctly all the time.... maybe a number was put in wrong... maybe a sign was reversed.... having the ability to do these kind of math problems without an app will hopefully give the person the ability to know if an answer seems reasonable.... IOW, using the plane post as an example.... if you have 10 gallons and can get 20 mpg if everything is good and you get an answer that you can fly 500 miles you KNOW something is wrong...
I couldn't agree more that math skills need to be taught. OTOH DD's advanced classes required a graphing calculator (and yes there is probably an app for that) even 20'years ago. No one was expected to be able to solve problems without it. No one expects the answers to be wrong. No one worries that they are doomed if the battery dies. She scored 800 on the math SAT btw and has flawless easy to read handwriting too
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:19 PM   #82
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I couldn't agree more that math skills need to be taught. OTOH DD's advanced classes required a graphing calculator (and yes there is probably an app for that) even 20'years ago. No one was expected to be able to solve problems without it. No one expects the answers to be wrong. No one worries that they are doomed if the battery dies. She scored 800 on the math SAT btw and has flawless easy to read handwriting too
I remember doing stat calculations with just an ordinary calculator when I was in college... but by the time I was in graduate school the profs let us get the info out of the computer...

I also remember doing my CPA with NO calculator... but that also changed over time....

Hmmm, I wonder if the SAT is getting easier.... not to say anything bad about your DD, but my son also scored an 800 on the math... back when I took it nobody in our school scored that high and we had some people that were really good at math (me included)... I also have a niece who scored an 800, but that was 15 or so years ago.... back when your DD did it.... too bad that my sons writing is not that good... he also writes VERY small...
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:22 PM   #83
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Nah, the kids are smarter today--they learn math that wasn't invented back when I was in high school. Plus they know how to use calculators and apps . DD graduated hs in 97.

DS actually is smarter than DD and he didn't do nearly as well, but then he didn't really care back then--they both turned out just fine in the end as most kids do. Except his handwriting isn't as good--his cursive is that tall skinny stuff.
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:26 PM   #84
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Schools today are more worried about which bathroom a student uses.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:31 PM   #85
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When I was about 18, I took some sort of summer class (aeronautics were involved somehow). The instructor started on adding and multiplying fractions, converting decimals, percentages and so on.



All he got from us were blank stares.



"This is supposed to be a math review!! But you all look like this is the first time you've seen this!"

"We never saw any of this before" we said.



He realized that he was witnessing the first wave of the 'new math' generation (early 60's) that had come through the pipeline.



We spent the rest of the program learning essentially 4th grade math skills for the first time.

My 1-12 began in 1960, and we definitely covered fractions, decimals, etc.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:59 PM   #86
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My 1-12 began in 1960, and we definitely covered fractions, decimals, etc.
Yeah . We definitely went to different schools

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Old 08-01-2016, 08:02 PM   #87
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I started grade school in 1965, and we did fractions, logarithms, algebra, trig, by senior year I was taking calculus.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:16 PM   #88
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My 1-12 began in 1960, and we definitely covered fractions, decimals, etc.
In '63 we did fractional math, decimal....

In '84 I was an entry level assembly programmer developing a stock distribution system. In assembly you have to place the decimal and adjust the digits as needed. As you would expect there were plenty of calculations that needed to work properly.
One guy was a former math teacher who held quite a few impromptu rules of math classes. Even though most knew kinda how it works, we all wanted to see it demonstrated.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:22 PM   #89
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I don't think this is the case. If you *actually* write cursive the "correct" way, it looks an awful lot like print letters. If your cursive writing looks more like hieroglyphics then I would guess few people can read it.
The cursive you showed is not the one I learned in school... at least several letters were different.

But to make this worse, we lived in England and my younger one was learning cursive. They write cursive more like connected printing on some letters like s, m and n. You'd fail if you followed what you showed. the small l does not have a loop.

So.. what version of cursive should we teach? As I said, what you showed was not what I learned in the late 60s and used in the 70's. Many of the letters were the same... but not all.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:28 PM   #90
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I started grade school in 1965, and we did fractions, logarithms, algebra, trig, by senior year I was taking calculus.
From Wikipedia:
Parents and teachers who opposed the New Math in the U.S. complained that the new curriculum was too far outside of students' ordinary experience and was not worth taking time away from more traditional topics, such as arithmetic. The material also put new demands on teachers, many of whom were required to teach material they did not fully understand. Parents were concerned that they did not understand what their children were learning and could not help them with their studies. In an effort to learn the material, many parents attended their children's classes. In the end, it was concluded that the experiment was not working, and New Math fell out of favor before the end of the decade"

That was us. We never covered fractions.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:48 PM   #91
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I agree reading cursive is a must be being able to write cursive is not really necessary. The only class I wish I didn’t skip as often was typing. I may not be able to use a slide rule but I know how to use a framing square , I can bake bevel cuts, compound miters, I can use ohms law. I used to be able to do a heat loss calculation on paper. Something to be said for vocational training.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:58 PM   #92
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I had a physics teacher in HS that had a wonderful perspective IMO. After each test he painted that chapter's formulas on the wall. By the end of the year two walls were covered with all the formulas covered in that year. His version of open book tests for semesters and finals.

When asked about it he said, "In real life you will just look it up in a book. It's more important to know which one to use and why. This way I test you on both".

One of my favorite teachers (and teacher stories).
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:42 PM   #93
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I learned cursive in grammar school. Then, my handwriting deteriorated slowly up through school. Still, in high school one had to keep his writing legible when doing written exams or essays.

Once I started working and the computer age began, about the only things I wrote were checks. Then, even that went away. Now, my handwriting is like chicken scratchings, or doctors' scribbles on a prescription pad.

If I slow down and take my time, my handwriting is still quite legible. But it is oh so slow compared to typing.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:08 PM   #94
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I still use cursive when taking notes of someone speaking, such as during conference calls and court hearings. It is the only way to keep up. However, I usually print when I am making notes to summarize written material.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:30 AM   #95
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At some point it may be necessary to go to printing for other reasons such as others are unable to read even good cursive. For example, my children have some difficulty deciphering their grandmother's beautiful handwriting. In my w@rk life I would periodically ask colleagues if they could read what I had written as a type of monitoring and over the years I found that a larger percentage of what I had put down on paper was actually printed but to the end I had a fusion of the two forms.
That is a good argument against requiring cursive at the state or local level. If many or even most others will not be able to read what you write it won't have much value.

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It's because the Constitution is written in cursive and some folks are afraid that today's young people can no longer read it.

There has been quite a movement over this.

I find it hard to take this very seriously, but then I read cursive and can write if I really have to.
Wow, what a red herring that is. Why not require Aramaic and Hebrew or whatever the Bible was written in. Many of us have actually read parts of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence from images of the originals at one time or another but no one with any sense would look up a Section or an amendment by referring to the image when a printed version is a click away. And if you want the whole thing Mr. Kahn's little volume is the way to go.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:41 AM   #96
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I seem to recall that in Asimov's story, people carried little devices around, which they consulted for the answers to various questions, including basic arithmetic. When Aub demonstrates his pencil-and-paper arithmetic, the observers verify his results by consulting their hand-held devices. How do you suppose Asimov came up with a nutty idea like that?

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No need to fear - if it's worth anything, humankind will rediscover it. See the Asimov Sci-fi story The Feeling of Power:

In the distant future, humans live in a computer-aided society and have forgotten the fundamentals of mathematics, including even the rudimentary skill of counting.

The Terrestrial Federation is at war with Deneb, and the war is conducted by long-range weapons controlled by computers which are expensive and hard to replace. Myron Aub, a low grade Technician, discovers how to reverse-engineer the principles of pencil-and-paper arithmetic from computers—a development which is later dubbed "Graphitics". The discovery is appropriated by the military establishment, who use it to re-invent their understanding of mathematics. They also plan to replace their computer-operated ships with lower cost, more expendable (in their opinion) manned ships to continue the war.

Aub is so upset by the appropriation of his discovery for military purposes that he commits suicide. As Aub's funeral proceeds, his supervisor realizes that even with Aub dead, the advancement of Graphitics is unstoppable. He executes simple multiplications in his mind without help from any machine, which gives him a great feeling of power.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:35 AM   #97
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I seem to recall that in Asimov's story, people carried little devices around, which they consulted for the answers to various questions, including basic arithmetic. When Aub demonstrates his pencil-and-paper arithmetic, the observers verify his results by consulting their hand-held devices. How do you suppose Asimov came up with a nutty idea like that?
In 1958, yet. The storyline seems almost obvious today, but handheld calculators were still, what, 10 years in the future when Asimov wrote his story? At the time, the devices were the sci-fi part of the story. The surrendering of skill to an outside device, that was Asimov's insight into human nature.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:31 PM   #98
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DW has her grad degree in Early Childhood Development. In posing the same question about the need to teach cursive handwriting - especially in the early elementary grades - her response is that learning cursive writing helps accelerate the development of small motor skills along with improving brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory.



Granted, cursive writing is not a "testable" skill in terms of Common Core, NCLB, etc., however, not all skills of value are measurable.

This was my thinking and confirmed by DD who is also ECD certified. It came up a week or so ago in family conversation due to many complaints from families due to requirement being dropped in her school system. I didn't know it was a requirement except in parochial school.



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Old 08-03-2016, 06:11 PM   #99
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Granted, cursive writing is not a "testable" skill in terms of Common Core, NCLB, etc., however, not all skills of value are measurable.

Perhaps this cursive issue is a symptom of a societal problem, not just a school problem. In the adult work world there is the 'if you can't measure it, you can't manage it' 'if it can't be measured, it doesn't exist' philosophical environment. Heck with all that touch-feely stuff that might improve your motor skills.
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:29 PM   #100
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Perhaps this cursive issue is a symptom of a societal problem, not just a school problem. In the adult work world there is the 'if you can't measure it, you can't manage it' 'if it can't be measured, it doesn't exist' philosophical environment. Heck with all that touch-feely stuff that might improve your motor skills.
However at least until recently there was a device that is called a mouse on the computer that requires fine motor skills. Back when I introduced my parents to a computer my dad had problems with a mouse because he had not practiced the fine motor skills whereas my mother who did needlepoint had no problems with the mouse. If you think about it perhaps the small keyboard emulators on smart phones also exercise fine motor skills. (Being more than one way to skin that cat)
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