I spread the California Achievement Test (CAT) out. It has 5 parts - 3 Language Arts and 2 Math - and B took it over Monday, Tuesday and today. This was the same as the tests I took in elementary school. You know, those old "fill in the bubble" tests. Ahhh, we truly didn't know how good we had it back then! Oh to be back when the worst things I had to worry about were being on Sr. Irene's bad side or whether or not Chris H. would ask me to dance at a party. ;o) Anywho, the Language Arts sections were a breeze. It was fun to see how excited B was in his complete confidence that he was answering correctly. "I am SO GOOD at this!" he exclaimed over and over. Math was tougher...on me!

B

*gets*Math and that makes me very happy b/c

*I*get Math. When I was in school there were 2 kinds of students - those who got Math and those who didn't. I noticed a pattern in those who didn't - they

*questioned*Math. There is no "questioning" in Math! Math is finite. The formula works, every time. You don't question

*why*it works, you just plug in the numbers and know the answer is right. But my classmates who struggled in Math wanted to know

*why*the formula worked? Who says so? My friend Rosanna and I had many an argument over Math and I finally had to put Math on the "no talking" subject list. Actually, more people than not are either English people or Math people. Ben and I are a minority who are both and the hubs claims he is neither. "I was a street-smart athlete," he says. B and I had reviewed double digit, vertical addition and subtraction and he was an ace! He did it all in his head and I was utterly confident he would breeze through the Math sections of the CAT. I was wrong.

He knew the answers to the sample questions immediately. However, when I set the timer and he was on his own to do his addition section, it wasn't so easy. In fact, it was nerve-wracking - for me! This was the only section he did not finish in the allotted time. He came up with answers that were not one of the 4 options or he came up with the reverse answer which

*was*an option. I guess that means it is pretty common to reverse the ones and tens column. I was surprised how hard it was for me to sit there and not help him by answering his questions and requests for help. The only thing I could say was, "If you don't know it, guess. If you can't guess, skip it and go onto the next one." Anywho, when he did the double digit, vertical subtraction section, there was no problem at all! Finished all of them before time was up, got all the questions correct and didn't hesitate on a one. Interesting... Mailed back the test to Seton Testing and now we just wait for the results.

I discovered a negative today for having B at home instead of at school - potty talk! Any and all words that relate to below-the-belt body parts, bodily noises and bathrooms are hi-LARIOUS to boys B's age. He knows that we do not want to hear them at home so, evidently, he and his friends get them out of their systems at school. LOL Occasionally on the weekends, one slips out, we correct him, and that's it. But today was day 6 away from school due to Spring Break and he could no longer contain himself! Once again, oh to be at that stage where all it took was the word "butt", "fart" or "poop" to entertain me... ;o)

I think you are very brave to embark upon this journey. That said.....

ReplyDeleteOK, I am a person who relies on logic and math doesn't really seem to have any to support it.. you have to follow a rule and/or formula but not know why it works that way...after all these years, Jess, it still does not sit right with me ;-) Accordingly, since this is in the "no conversation" category I will just have to keep the questioning to myself!

Paul is flabbergasted that I just "accept" Math. When it comes to people, I have to know their why, their motivation, their thought process that led to a decision or action. And when I can't get it, I go nuts! For months, even!

ReplyDeleteDuring an annual review 9 years ago, a boss told me the only criticism she could find in me was that I saw most things in black and white. The job had rules and I held people to them regardless of extenuating circumstances. I don't do that people anymore, but I know it applies to Math.

In fact, your reason, above, for NOT accepting Math is the same reason I feel Math proves itself - the support a formula has is its consistency. You can spend the rest of your life plugging in all different kinds of numbers and will still come up with the correct answer. These formulas have been providing the same results for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. So that IS the proof. And if you doubt that the "answer" the formula spits out is correct or not, then you work backwards from the answer to test it out and you will also find truth in the formula.

This is what was so ironic about our arguments b/c I feel we are using the same argument to prove the opposite point. :o)

I just wanted to clarify what I said about "English" people and "Math" people. I meant preferences. Most of my friends preferred one over the other, some liked both, some could care less about either one. I wasn't saying that people were only good at one or the other.

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