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  1. #1
    hopie
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    Math Drills- Need some advice

    My son is in 2nd grade and he is required to do 100 math problems, addition and subtraction in 5 mins. Since my son is unable to do this, his teacher keeps telling me he does not know his math facts and we need to work on them. He does know his math facts, but he freaks out when it comes to math drills. We have practiced math drills at home and he totally blocks. We have done flash cards and he gets all the answers. He does not stop or stammer when doing flash cards, but he just freezes up when it comes to these timed math drills. I am at a loss in how to get him to overcome this anxiety. I am not sure how a 5 min math drill determines whether he knows his math facts. Do you guys have any ideas to help my son get over his anxiety to timed tests?
    Hope
    Mommy to a 03/19/03


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  3. #2
    BC-MAV
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    I think 2nd grade is a little young to be doing timed tests. Why can't the teacher just write the time that they finish in? whether it's 3 minutes, 5 minutes or whatever? Maybe your DS can practice beating HIS best time... that way he is not racing against someone else and not racing using a 5 minute time time frame.
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  4. #3
    smileygirl
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    We have the timed tests too and Blake simply cannot concentrate on the task for that long. Consequently, he's getting a C in math. Blake is so so so smart, doing higher level math, even. But I wish I had the answer. Just know that I understand!
    Lindsay
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  5. #4
    Lori
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    My kids started these timed tests in kinder. Both of my kids are horrible at them. They are required to do 50 in a 1 minute of math (addition and substraction) in 2nd grade. Neither passed them...probably never will! LOL!

    My DS can do it on the computer just not in writing.

    This year in 3rd grade my DD has to do 100 multiplication problems in 3 minutes. She has made it up to her 6s and is currently working on her 7s. She was suppose to have all of the tests done by end of Dec up to her 12s. Oh well....we just keep working on them.

    My DS is very good at math facts - can do them in his head - my DD still uses her fingers. But, if you put him in front of a piece of paper, he freezes!

    Lori
    Lori

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  6. #5
    JanetOH
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    Could you just start with a row of like 5 and give him like 30 seconds and then slowly increase it to 10 problems and so on. So he doesn't sem overwhelmed with so many #'s on a page???

    We have been doing timed tests since 2nd grade (starting with addition, then subtraction through 3rd grade and now multiplication in 4th grade). They start with 40 problems they have to do in 1 minute, but not every child has the same "goal" of 40. Some kids might have 30 as their goal. So, as long as they reach their personal goal, then move to the next level We do Rocket Math.

    Lately, in 4th grade, they have had to do 80 problems in 5 minutes, but if the teacher writes on top of your page the time it took each student. My kids have been doing it between 2-3 minutes with them all correct.

    They want them to know their facts quickly so they won't be bogged down when they start multi-digit multiplication and division.

    Can you imagine how long it will take a student to do 4 digit x 3 digit multiplication if they don't know their math facts?????

    Janet
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  7. #6
    3boys2luv
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    I'm not sure if this will help, but here's what my son's first grade teacher did. She'd give them a sheet of problems and give them 3,4,5 minutes to do as many as they can. Then the next week, she'd do it again and tell them the goal is to get at least one more done than the last time.

    They've been doing this the whole first part of the year and now (after Christmas break) they have officially having timed sheets as tests, but the kids are used to it already. Maybe you could do that at home?
    Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens.






  8. #7
    spring
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    Is there any difference in the way you're testing your ds at home and he's being asked to answer at school? This is most likely not the problem, but I thought I'd mention it just in case - my ds has dysgraphia, which is a handwriting disability. His handwriting is extremely slow in addition to being difficult to read when he has to write quickly, and sometimes he accidentally writes down different #s than he says out loud when he works through a math problem, other times he accidentally switches #s around, like writing "51" when he means to write "15". We didn't realize he had an issue that impacted handwriting until he was in 2nd grade, and one of the things that happened at school was *we* knew he knew his math facts because we could ask him at home and he'd be able to easily tell us all the facts with a verbal response. At school his teacher was determining mastery by having the kids roll dice and then write the problem and the answer and they had to do a certain # of those problems correct in two minutes to progress to the next level of math facts. So we had our ds at home showing us he knew his facts, and his teacher at school insisting he did not know his math facts because he couldn't write them down fast enough.

    As I mentioned above, chances are that's not what's up with your ds - but if any of it sounds like something that *might* be an issue, there are other things you can look for too in his handwriting. You can pm me if you want any more info, or you can also get a lot of info on dysgraphia by googling it.



    spring
    spring
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  9. #8
    Caro2
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    Breathing! Is simple and it relaxes the body, he takes a deep breath in by the nose and out by the mouth it does relaxes and it might reduce his stress enough to cope with the test.

    Spring might have a lead there too.
    DD 9 yrs old via FET#3 from IVF/ICSI#4; m/c at 10wks 08/07. Done TTC!


  10. #9
    bearz
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    Ugh. These math drills in 3rd grade gave my ds such anxiety that we had to take him to a psychologist, who told us he had an anxiety about math. Ya think?!?

    We didn't do this kind of stuff until 5th grade. Kids may be able to learn the facts earlier but they often aren't emotionally mature enough to handle the competition. I think they should be outlawed. There are more and more kids that I hear about who have anxiety thanks to these "whopper drills".
    The Farmer's Wife
    As I chose him, I chose this land, this life
    And always knew that as his wife
    Midst labors never done. By love we three were wed. We and the land are one.


  11. #10
    JoanneNY
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    I was a teacher for 15 years and I hate, hate, hate timed math tests. There are so many kids that are similar to your DS - they know their facts, but they freeze and panic when they know they are being timed - to me, it tests nothing but a child's ability to perform under pressure. And at 7 years of age, is that really an important goal? Another problem with them is that it becomes hard to determine whether the child is having trouble with the math or simply with the speed at which they have to do it....
    This year, my DS is in fourth grade and I think his teacher's method of doing the timed tests is much more effective. For the first couple of months she made a weekly packet of sheets that were each filled with about 40 multiplication problems. Each night, he had to put a timer on for 5 minutes and do as many as he could in that time, recording the results at the top of the page...i.e. 29/40 completed/correct. Even though the page looked different every night, basically the same facts were being included. The idea was that you were having a race against yourself...to see if you could raise your own personal score. DS really liked this and I was amazed at how quickly he improved. His teacher did these for weeks before she started doing the timed tests in school. You might want to try this with your DS at home to practice.
    If you haven't already, I would let the teacher know how much this exercise is becoming counterproductive for your son. It sounds like all it is doing is a number on his self esteem. That's the last thing you want to have happen with a child so young.....maybe she should consider differentiating the assignment for the kids who are stressed by the clock? (and I promise you, there is no way possible that your son is the only one having trouble with these tests....). Maybe she could fold the paper for the kids so that they only see one row at a time and they unfold it as they make their way down? Some kids are just overwhelmed by the look of all those problems on a page at once which is why they freeze up. Does she allow them to skip around? If so, teach him to do the easier problems first and then go back to the more challenging ones later.
    I really feel badly for kids who have difficulty with these timed tests....
    Joanne
    Dylan ~ 9 years old and his ^i^ twin
    ^i^ 3/03


    "All great ideas were crazy before they were brilliant."


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