kitchen table math, the sequel: the Kitchen Table Math effect

Monday, February 19, 2007

the Kitchen Table Math effect

Ever since I met Carolyn and all the Commenters here I've lived in mortal fear of deficient fraction knowledge in my child.

So that's his highest score on the three computation subscales.


He's better on fractions than he is on whole numbers.

Another revelation: he's pretty terrible on decimals.



Instructivist said...


If you want to add more workbooks to your collection, I recommend Steck-Vaughn's basic essentials vol 1 & 2. But my guess is you already have them. I like them because they are pretty comprehensive, like every angle of fractions and decimals, for example. Vol 2 is great for percents and geometry, etc.

Instructivist said...

Spectrum 8th grade math is also superb.

Catherine Johnson said...

wow -- thanks!

I don't have them, and I'd been considering getting them.

Do you recommend them over "Key to."

I'll go take a look at them again.

We obviously have had NO practicing to mastery on anything at all.

I'm kind of stunned I didn't manage to figure this out sooner.

We REALLY need standardized tests that give you ACTIONABLE INFORMATION.

Catherine Johnson said...

I'll have to get the Spectrum book.

I had the 6th grade book (I think) and sold it on Amazon Marketplace without using it.

Obviously I have to be giving Christopher LOTS of distributed practice.


Catherine Johnson said...

Actually, I think I had the reading book.

Catherine Johnson said...

What's frustrating is that, ideally, I'd like him to learn math from Saxon - that is, I'd like him to learn through a coherent curriculum.

I'm just not seeing how to do it.

Instead of reactive teaching I'm going to be doing reactive worksheets.

Anonymous said...

That is too funny.

I was the same way about teaching fractions. At the beginning of this year I gave my son (10 yo)a problem involving hairy messy decimals and he converted the whole mess into fractions and solved it that way. Impressive technique but it took too long.

I decided he had all the "conceptual" understanding of decimals he needed and drilled him on the standard algorithms.

And then he did it again with an algebraic expression, because you know, arithmetic works COMPLETELY differently once you throw a letter in the mix:

.8 x + x

He had to change the coefficients to 8/10 and 8/8 before he would simplify it...and then convert the fraction back into a decimal.

Catherine Johnson said...

He had to change the coefficients to 8/10 and 8/8 before he would simplify it...and then convert the fraction back into a decimal.

That is just too funny!

Of course this confirms that guy up in Canada who maintains that fractions are in fact the easiest computation to teach (I think that's what he says)....

When he works with disadvantaged kids he starts with fractions.

I can't remember his book at the moment...


The Myth of Ability by John Mighton

Catherine Johnson said...

I learned about the book from folks here.

Maybe from Samantha; don't remember.