Saturday, September 22, 2007

The 'Times' Are a Changin'

Not only are the times changing, but so are the additions and subtractions. The school district offered a class tonight to explain the 'new math' that they are teaching the kids these days. It seems that every two to three years a new way to do math is adopted by the school. This is OK with me. I enjoyed math in my younger days. I think that different math methods only enhances the understanding of numbers. Not every method works for every child, but different options are good for students to find their own way.

The night started out with a downpour. A storm blew in just before the class. I quickly jumped in the pickup and headed out. The rain increased so that I could barely see. After three blocks it started to hail. I whipped a uwey at the next stop sign and raced back home. I parked the pickup in the garage and took Lady Di's van to the class. I was sure she wouldn't mind. It already has a little hail damage anyway. I hydroplaned all the way to the primary school because the sewer drains couldn't keep up with the deluge. It probably didn't help that I was racing close to the curb to see how big a wave the tires could make. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, the rain stopped. Which was good because the front door had a sign that said, "Go to the back door".

I entered the school and eventually found the class, after accidentally crashing a women's aerobic class in the gym. I'm glad I figured it out before I really started to sweat.

I walked into the correct class and helped myself to the snacks. I took a few pretzels and a bottle of water. OK, I really took a fistful of cookies and a Pepsi. I thought the class was very informative. Did you know that four is now the new five? It was a relief to finally learn the definitions of the terms that Number One Son has been using to describe his math homework. I found out that the kids use the 'Lattice Method' for multiplication. I think this method is often used in backyard garden landscaping and under porches. They also use the 'Partial Product' method. This method helps the student complete part of the problem before getting out the calculator. There was no mention of the fingers and toes method, which was in vogue when I was a kid. Of course, way back when I was a kid in the olden days, we only used numbers one through five. All those other numbers and that fancy zero were discovered much later.

I was lucky enough to meet Number One Son's challenge math teacher. She was nice and spoke very positively about N1S. She also is very excited about math. When she started quizzing me about multiplication tables, I pretended to have a coughing fit and made a dash for the water fountain in the hallway.

With my narrow escape, I made my way home in time to kiss the kids goodnight. It was then Lady Di's turn to quiz me on what happened at the meeting.

"It was great, Hon!", I exclaimed. "They served cookies!"


Casdok said...

Yep times are a changing!
Enjoyed reading your blog!

creative-type dad said...

What? They "quiz" the parents...

This changes everything

aquabot said...

I really enjoyed that...Quizing the parents.....!!...Sweet little surprise...

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.