Monday, November 1, 2010

Show Your Working

Today my class did their yearly Maths test (while there was a thunderstorm crashing around us).
These tests are hard.
My kids did really poorly at their half yearly...and I have the smart kids. So I've been teaching them over the past month how to show the strategy they used, so that even if they got the wrong answer it would be possible for the marker (me) to see where they were going and give them some sort of credit for the attempt.

It was so interesting to see how the kids think! There were some kids who used the traditional strategies I had taught them, some who had completely forgotten that I had taught them anything and used half a page to work out that if 7 balls cost $56 then 1 ball cost $51..., and there were some whose mathematical thinking was so superior to my own that it took me a while to figure out what they were doing and how it led them to the correct answer!

My favourites were the kids who didn't know how to 'show' what they had done, so they wrote it instead:

"I plused the hundreds then I plused the tens then the ones then I plused the answers and !" 
(I love that her "ta-da" answer was in the form of an "!")

I just minust 254 from 567 simple!

I worked it out by doing this strategy [vertical algorithm] but I didn't remember half of it so I just worked half of it out on my own.

The best was this one:

Which was accompanied by a diagram to show that she had indeed worked it out in her head...

Hahaha! I love my kids. They are hilarious.

No comments: