Monday, October 16, 2006

A and squares

My mom was volunteering in A's class today and she relayed some tidbits of A's math knowledge.

The teacher, Mrs. B, asks: what is 3+3+3.
A: that's the same as 3 squared.
Mrs. B: how do you know about squares?
A: I know what a square root is too!

I think Mrs. B. left well enough alone after that. I asked A about what a square root is this afternoon and he said "its what you have to multiply by itself to get the number". Well, yes, it is. I'm pretty sure that squares and square roots aren't in the 5th grade curriculum and I'm sure they're not in the 2nd grade curriculum, but yes, I've discussed them at home before - mostly with M, but A has big ears and picks up on a bunch.

I really need to talk to A's teacher again about math enrichment. She had mentioned (several times) that if we were interested, we could have A join a 3rd grade class for math. Well, when I said that we were interested, she checked with the administration, who said A would have to be 2 grade levels ahead to do that. Huh? He has to be doing 4th grade math to go sit in a 3rd grade math class??? Then he could be out of place and still bored. Mrs. B asked if I was ok with her providing more challenging math in the classroom - yes, as long as it was being provided.

Let's see what he brought home today:
cut out and paste pictures of unit blocks to illustrate 3 digit numbers
how many problems done in a minute (single digit sums, 10 or more)*
Chapter test - skip counting, > and <, even/odd, single digit + and -
what number comes before or after
fact families (addition and subtraction)
place value (ones and tens only)

He finally had one page that asked about place values into the thousands (something I saw some of M's 4th grade classmates struggle with last year). But all the rest of it looks incredibly simple for A. He missed a problem here and there, but mostly from working too fast - (he skipped a few where he didn't see part 2 of the problem).

*I'll admit that working sums quickly is probably a skill he could use also - for speed of writing if nothing else.


Blogger Carol P. said...

Good luck with the additional math. I gave up on the school and teach it at home.

But tonight's supper table math discussion might amuse your kids. J suggested that everybody in the country should be wearing a camera so she can tell if they're watching her. (Yes, I know, narcissicist much? But at 10, she doesn't have that perspective....)

And so we proceeded to calculate, if that were the case, how many people, on average, would be using the bathroom at any given moment. Followed by discussions of how bathroom trips are clustered, not evenly distributed throughout the day.

12:59 AM  

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