Quandaries and Queries


Hello, I am the father of a very bright 9 year old girl. She is very interested in math and she grasps concepts very quickly. I am concerned that she may become bored with the repetition of doing many straight forward problems. Her current math teacher has her working in a challenging math book and she is doing 3+ digit multiplication. She misses 2 or 3 out of ten of these problems due to simple addition errors. Should she continue to practice these problems until she can get them all correct? Or, should she move on?




Hi Dan, I have two responses for you, one from Claude and another fron Kathy


I would find the game described in an earlier question we received (or something similar). It's called The 24 game

Kathy You are asking a very important question, which relates to whether we believe knowing and doing mathematics means performing calculations repeatedly without error. I tend to believe that knowing and doing mathematics involves many other dimensions, in addition to procedural skills (like multiplying, dividing, etc.). For instance, critical thinking, problem solving, and attitude are also key. If your daughter is becoming bored with such tedious repetition and losing inetest then my feeling is it is time to move on to other activities which may help her to see the context for such mathematical skills. Perhaps you might discuss ideas with her teacher. I hope it works out for the best and your daughter continues to nurture her mathematical interests...

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