The problems with maths.


May I first offer you a cup of tea and a biscuit in gratitude for taking the time to read this (offer does not apply to bloggers who just clicked a star under the title photo).

Maths gets a bad press. Although I’m no numerical gymnast, I do enjoy when I can help the kids solve a homework question (By enjoy I mean I shout ‘Boom’, rise from the table and do a victory lap of the room).

I’m not a big fan of dumbing down of text books and turning them into colouring workbooks. I’m sure there is a study out there somewhere to support their academic attributes, but if a text is so good, why must it be revised so often?

The above pictured example shows a fairly straight forward exercise. It’s for first year maths so it is part of the basic maths curriculum.
In the example we are shown a fraction (18/30) multiplied by a whole number (100) followed by the magical appearance of the answer.

I know, it made me angry too, I mean seriously, not converting a whole number into a fraction? What were they thinking?

Are the publishers now skipping basic rules in maths to make them fit into the little colour coordinated boxes.
A fraction must only be multiplied by a fraction, hence 18/30 must be multiplied by 100/1. It’s a rule and by understanding that basic concept it helps further down the line when the maths problems become more complicated.

I wanted to burn the book, such was my outrage, but my daughter wouldn’t let me, said it was a rental or something.
So I dug out my old copy of Text and Tests, reassured by it’s mono chromed bulk we worked through some PROPER examples which resulted in a few more laps around the kitchen, to my daughters’ eternal embarrassment.

One thought on “The problems with maths.

  1. Well now…no need at all for laps of the kitchen. Your child should be WELL used to the simplicity of the “Workbook” ‘by First Year as a result of all the time spent doing similar pointless examples in Primary school!!!

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