ursula northman

02-09-2012, 08:42 PM

Sister Bear is 7, and still in ps. I despise the math curriculum because it at totally off the map. One week they are working with tangegrams, and the next they are multiplying. They bounce around constantly, except for the horrid story problems. She can do the equations, subtraction, addition, and doubling. The math itself is not an issue, but she does not seem to be able to apply the math to story problems at all. They make up more than half of her homework. This is how they are worded:

The white cat has 12 kittens.

The grey cat has 8 kittens.

How many fewer kittens does the grey cat have than the white cat?

Every single night we have to remind her that this is a subtraction problem. She gives us a totally blank stare. She actually asked me, "Is it 14?" HUH? She does not seem to understand when to use the appropriate functions, and instead is just guessing. If it were real life, she would have no problems. She knows that if you need 8 eggs and you only have 6, that means you need 2 more eggs. But write it out and she is lost. I think she is confused by the wording? "How many fewer"? If it were asked "how many more", she does better, but she still needs to be told what equation to use or she will just start spitting out numbers to see which one sticks.

How would you approach this? I have tried every method I can think of, but after 4 problems, she just goes numb and stops thinking. Is 1st grade the right time to be using word problems? If I had the option of pulling her out now, I would, but until I get paperwork back from her father, we have to suffer through this stuff, which I honestly think she is not ready for!

The white cat has 12 kittens.

The grey cat has 8 kittens.

How many fewer kittens does the grey cat have than the white cat?

Every single night we have to remind her that this is a subtraction problem. She gives us a totally blank stare. She actually asked me, "Is it 14?" HUH? She does not seem to understand when to use the appropriate functions, and instead is just guessing. If it were real life, she would have no problems. She knows that if you need 8 eggs and you only have 6, that means you need 2 more eggs. But write it out and she is lost. I think she is confused by the wording? "How many fewer"? If it were asked "how many more", she does better, but she still needs to be told what equation to use or she will just start spitting out numbers to see which one sticks.

How would you approach this? I have tried every method I can think of, but after 4 problems, she just goes numb and stops thinking. Is 1st grade the right time to be using word problems? If I had the option of pulling her out now, I would, but until I get paperwork back from her father, we have to suffer through this stuff, which I honestly think she is not ready for!