Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Recently, Younger Daughter's teacher has sent home YD's workbooks from their math program, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. Looking through these books, the first thing that strikes me is the (large) number of uncorrected errors. Does the teacher correct these workbooks at all? If not, what's the point?
Older Daughter told me that in her experience, this is one of the main differences between public and private school. She was amazed to find that in her private school, they go over the homework the next day, in class, with the goal that everyone should understand all the problems. Back in public school, homework might be graded, but there was no attempt to fix mistakes.
I don't get it. What good does it do Younger Daughter to write wrong answers, if she's never corrected? It's actually worse than not doing math at all -- she's confirming wrong ideas. On this page, she's made a consistent mistake, thinking that "doubling" is the same as "putting a 1 in front of". (Hence, "4 doubled is 14", "7 doubled is 17", "9 doubled is 19", and "8 doubled is 18".)
I can see why YD thinks that schoolwork is mostly a question of filling things out.
When I work on Singapore Math with YD, I check her answers immediately after she writes them, and if the answer is wrong, I erase it and we go back over the problem. Every page is filled out correctly by the time we're done. Isn't that how it's supposed to work?
While we're at it, I can't believe the amount of wasted paper in the Investigations workbooks. They use an entire page for one simple addition problem. This also results in worse handwriting -- YD's handwriting is neater in the Singapore Math workbook, which gives smaller spaces.