Thursday, December 11, 2014

New Math

Growing up, I was introduced to the amazingly witty Tom Lehrer. One of my favorite songs of his was called "New Math" it made fun of how the math taught in schools was so different from how the children's parents learned it years earlier. 

He was onto something!! I'm teaching math that I did not learn...and I love it. The kids understand it, I have never had children learn to regroup in addition and subtraction with so little confusion. 

But, seriously, new math: 4 methods to add and subtract - I bet you only know one! 

For addition and subtraction we first used the base ten method (place value blocks/pictures), number line using base ten jumps (hundreds, tens, or ones), expanded form, and then the "normal" way.  
Using the base ten method first, the kiddos visually saw what the numbers meant. This was great for regrouping and borrowing. No one ever said "I don't get it" when they had to "carry" or "borrow" - they literally made a new ten or broke a ten apart "aha!" was more common than "ugh!"
The expanded form method was tedious but so helpful. No tradition regrouping here, instead each number is broken apart into base ten, then you add or subtract, and then you put the number together. Some of the puzzle minded kids loved this method!
A couple days ago, I quickly made an answer sheet so I could easily mark their seat work. Using the place value/base ten method. It was amazing how it all made so much sense. Crossing out tens and ones. The past two years I haven't used these methods and there were so many groans as they practiced their work.

This year, I saw very few mistakes, and when they made a mistake, it was a careless error (too many tens or ones) than a lack of understanding.

So let's here it for "New Math" as Tom Lehrer said, "it's so simple, only a child could do it!"

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11 thoughts on the matter:

Pieni Lintu said... {Reply}

Great!! You are such a lovely teacher!

Linda Kay said... {Reply}

Good for you for being so open to new methods in the teaching. My grandson is only 7 and is way ahead in math. My daughter sends him to Mathnasium where he is challenged to new levels of accomplishment, and he pretty much does math in his head.

aspiritofsimplicity said... {Reply}

I am glad you are enjoying it....it must be lonely. ;)

tiarastantrums said... {Reply}

that is totally how I taught my girls math!!

Rebecca said... {Reply}

I remember teaching base 101

carol l mckenna said... {Reply}

Wonderful post and think the process taught with Math prepares children for the higher levels of Mathematics ~

Happy Weekend to you,
artmusedog and carol

Kim Cunningham said... {Reply}

Great job Teach! I love the expanded notation idea because that really helps them see the value of numbers. Math was never my strong point, but Jasper is a whiz! He would love your class.

Danelle M said... {Reply}

My kids have learned all kinds of ways to do math. And you're right, I was only taught one way. I think it's awesome!

Buckeroomama said... {Reply}

I think it's awesome how maths is taught these days. It's great for kids to learn different ways to do math... better for their overall understanding of the concept.

Life with Kaishon said... {Reply}

I am glad you understand it! I could barely understand the old kind! #MathFailure!

Carol Blackburn said... {Reply}

Tamar, I love the worksheet in the plastic sleeve with wipeoff markers. Is that your idea? It's something I would have come up with too. We went through this math with our grandson who lived with us through grammar school.