kitchen table math, the sequel: 10/4/15 - 10/11/15

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Help desk - math HW

What's the story with this little boy's homework? (And how old do you think he is? I'm guessing 2nd grade - ?)

If you click on the link, you'll see a photo of a little guy crying, presumably about his math homework. The worksheet is titled "Using Mental Math to Add" or "Doing Mental Math to Add."

This photo was posted. Watch what happened next.

Assuming he's crying over the worksheet (I have no reason to think he's not) -- what's the problem?

By this point, would he know his addition facts?

Or is he having to do these problems without knowing his facts by heart?

Is there something else going on?

One thing I've become concerned by of late: children spending their days engaged in mini lessons and peer discussion, then doing the 'hard stuff' at home, when they're tired.

I was talking to the mother of a second grade child here who has some sensory issues. The little girl is getting completely overwhelmed at night, trying to do her homework. She melts down and sobs unless her other is in the room with her. Even with her mother by her side, she struggles to get through the work.

I asked how much homework she's doing, and it sounded like a lot. Too much. In math alone, she has a full worksheet to do and several minutes of computer practice.

Listening to the mom, I suddenly realized: it's entirely possible students here are doing no worksheets during class time at all.

The kids have to do worksheets because Common Core, but worksheets aren't constructivist and we are now a Tony Wagner district so .... maybe all the worksheets have to happen at home. Out of sight, out of mind.

But that means kids go through a full day of school and a full raft of after school activities before they start the real work.