Friday, December 27, 2013

Matthew's fractions

Untitled by jbellis
Untitled, a photo by jbellis on Flickr.

I don't take a very active hand with school in general. But when Matthew came home with test results like this I knew something wasn't connecting, and in math that's not going to spontaneously fix itself.

So we had some review of how to manipulate fractions -- you can always multiply by one, and anything divided by itself is one. He nodded but he still struggled with the test questions.

So I made him some extra questions. He missed a bunch of those the first time, too. So we went over the principles again. And again.

It went so well that at one point he stormed up the stairs in tears.

I called him back. This is not hard material; giving up now would be a bad habit to start. I added more examples and broke it down into even smaller steps. The light finally dawned. (If I had a nickel for every time I repeated, "write out the steps! Don't try to take shortcuts in your head!")

At the end, he offered me a surprisingly heartfelt and un-sarcastic, "Thanks, Dad."

Now I need to make some extra practice questions so that it sticks.

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