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Timed drills?
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gellegbs
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Timed drills? Reply with quote

How do you grade a timed drill? I hate to use that word grade but how do you know how much your child has learned?
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will not be of much help maybe, but I recently started doing timed drills using Calculadder. There is a progress chart, but does not "grade" in the conventional sense. I noticed that Timberdoodle has a closeout special on the Calculadder Masterpak CDs, just in case anyone is interested.
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Lily
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um, I don't know. We don't use timed drills here. It's easy to know how much he learned by how many questions he has and how often he uses the blocks. If he's confident and can teach me, he knows it.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shouldn't be that hard. If the number of problems solved within x amount of time goes up, and accuracy stays the same, there's improvement. If the number of problems solved stays the same and accuracy goes up, there's also improvement.

Timed drills are basically just a way to train yourself to be accurate with limited time and maybe stress. It's no good to be able to solve problems on your own if you fall to pieces every time you're put in a real-life situation. It's training for college.
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Lily
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:


Timed drills are basically just a way to train yourself to be accurate with limited time and maybe stress. It's no good to be able to solve problems on your own if you fall to pieces every time you're put in a real-life situation. It's training for college.


Huh. Silly me. I thought timed drills were a concept that schools used, not real life. Learn something new every day, I guess.

I never knew an 8yo needed to be trained for college, either. Come to think of it, I don't know of any class in college that relies on timed drills.

I think we'll take our "training" in the love of learning, the eagerness to get to it, and the knowledge that the application of the information will help us solve future problems. I think that provides more "training" for college (people train for this?) than a series of timed drills for multiplication would.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lily, this may not agree with your own homeschool philosophy, but I think some children love timed drills and I believe that they do prepare children to call up information quickly and under a bit of pressure, which happens in real life situations even for a 6yo--at least, it does for my 6yo when we go shopping.

There maybe no timed drills in college, but there are timed tests last I knew. I don't know about the drills other do, but ours are under 5 minutes working towards 2 minutes. That is a rather short time. I don't see the harm in training a child to prepare for test taking, but then I live in a state that requires us to test our children.
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Lily
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seekingmyLord wrote:
Lily, this may not agree with your own homeschool philosophy, but I think some children love timed drills and I believe that they do prepare children to call up information quickly and under a bit of pressure, which happens in real life situations even for a 6yo--at least, it does for my 6yo when we go shopping.

There maybe no timed drills in college, but there are timed tests last I knew. I don't know about the drills other do, but ours are under 5 minutes working towards 2 minutes. That is a rather short time. I don't see the harm in training a child to prepare for test taking, but then I live in a state that requires us to test our children.


Oh, I don't see the harm in them, and if a family feels that they do well with them, great.


What I didn't understand is the reasoning behind it - that children need to be trained for college and if you don't use them you're SOL in the college race, and that it's THE WAY to learn how to solve problems on your own - which if you think about it, timed tests hinder that by teaching you to apply without thinking. It seemed like backward logic - like teaching a 2yo how to fly a plane because in 13 years, he'll get a driver's license. Makes no sense.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practice makes perfect, and like it or not, high school and college will involve a lot of testing. You can either follow an ideal, or you can practice hard and get straight A's - it's your choice. Test-taking is an acquired skill. And yes, a lot of children (certainly those with alpha personalities) thrive on competition. Just because you may not enjoy drills yourself, doesn't necessarily mean your children won't, especially if you enter them in math competitions and they get to see how the drills pay off.

All of my math-based courses in college involved timed exams. Every single one. And what about the SAT, ACT, required yearly testing (depending on your state), etc? What about certification for a job? Life is full of tests.
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Lily
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
Practice makes perfect, and like it or not, high school and college will involve a lot of testing. You can either follow an ideal, or you can practice hard and get straight A's - it's your choice. Test-taking is an acquired skill. And yes, a lot of children (certainly those with alpha personalities) thrive on competition. Just because you may not enjoy drills yourself, doesn't necessarily mean your children won't, especially if you enter them in math competitions and they get to see how the drills pay off.

All of my math-based courses in college involved timed exams. Every single one. And what about the SAT, ACT, required yearly testing (depending on your state), etc? What about certification for a job? Life is full of tests.


Given that reasoning, perhaps homeschooling is a waste, and the test-filled environment of the NCLBA-applying schools should be where our children need to be!

I went through public school as a child with very few tests once the initial ones were done. My youngest son is in a school with no tests. They believe the child comes first, and in the matter of timed tests, that a child doesn't need to start taking them at age 6 to prepare for a test when she's 18. There is plenty of time, and right now is the time to learn and learn to love learning - not the time to upchuck facts as fast as possible.
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Mathmom
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Lily on this one. The original question was "How do you know when they have learned the facts using these timed drills?"(or something like that.
Actually, I learned quite a bit about how young children learn math, in the past couple of years, mostly from Ruth Beechick's booklets on the 3R's (An Easy Start in Arithmetic). The first mode of thinking you go through is the manipulative mode, with real objects that can be moved around, added and grouped.
The transition mode is where you can think in pictures of objects, then symbolic pictures(like dots).
Then comes the mental image mode where they can think about touchable objects (example would be word problems, like, you have one cookie and I have 2 cookies, so we have 1 + 2 = 3 cookies.

Lastly, the symbolic mode comes, where they do the math facts found in the drills they were talking about.

I had never heard of these modes, however, they are important, and worth reading about before you get too far into doing math together. It cuts the frustration way down.
So, look for Ruth Beechick's booklet set called "The Three R's".


Another place I found this information was a booklet from Mary Hood, Phd., called "Taking the Frustration Out of Math". She has some suggestions for games and books to use in the different modes. Her website where you can find out more information and order her booklet is:
www.archersforthelord.org
Mary avoided math, she says all the way up until she was an adult, thinking she could never master it. She learned about the modes you need to go through and after that she did all her math up to Algebra. So, it is never too late to learn math, and if you learn along with your child, you will help them, and yourself.
I know that learning with your child is good because when my son wanted a challenge, I had him learn some arithmetic tricks, and we did some mental math. Now, we like to do math in our head, and only do calculators for the times it's a complex problem.
How do I know he is learning it? I give him a mental math problem. He gives me the answer. Then, I ask him how he got the answer, and he tells me. Many times he comes up with the answer in a different way than how I got it.
Well, I hope this will help somebody. Thanks for letting me share it with you.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You homeschool rather than public school not to eliminate testing, but to give your children a more efficient education, free of liberal propaganda. Public school covers a lot of useless or even bad material, and with class sizes of 40+ students, your children are stuck there for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, with almost no one-on-one interaction with the teacher. That's why you homeschool.

I still fail to see what's horrible about timed drills. Testing per se should be limited, but math drills are educational. I suppose you're also against typing practice?
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Lily
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
You homeschool rather than public school not to eliminate testing, but to give your children a more efficient education, free of liberal propaganda. Public school covers a lot of useless or even bad material, and with class sizes of 40+ students, your children are stuck there for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, with almost no one-on-one interaction with the teacher. That's why you homeschool.


Excuse me? That could be why you homeschool, but I would suggest NEVER putting words in my mouth, or any other homeschooler's. Not only is that extremely insulting, but you are so far off base I don't believe you could find your way back.

Quote:
I still fail to see what's horrible about timed drills. Testing per se should be limited, but math drills are educational. I suppose you're also against typing practice?


Math drills, I'm not against. What I am against is the bogus reasoning you gave. If a family thinks that is what they need, so be it.

I am against typing practice for a young child, around the same age as these math drills are taken. The least of these reasons being keyboard:hand size, also time at the computer at such a young age. Here, I have a special keyboard made for smaller fingers with the keys closer together, and my oldest still only plays occasionally with a typing program. When he's a young teen? I have no issues with it. At that time he will be preparing for a job and doing work study, and will be in a situation, perhaps, where his typing speed will be important.

However, it will still not be important that he could write rote-memorized facts at age 8. At this age, concrete math is more important for us. He needs to see and conceptualize the information before he can do it mentally. The math program we chose (Math U See) works well with that philosophy and understands that children need to be able to apply math and know how it works. Once that happens, the memory is built up and the child knows the information. Timed drills are not necessary for us.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Excuse me? That could be why you homeschool, but I would suggest NEVER putting words in my mouth, or any other homeschooler's. Not only is that extremely insulting, but you are so far off base I don't believe you could find your way back.


The "you" was collective. There are of course a million and one reasons to homeschool, most of which I didn't list, but I've never heard anyone say they started homschooling so their children wouldn't have to take tests. Why did you start homeschooling?

Quote:
However, it will still not be important that he could write rote-memorized facts at age 8. At this age, concrete math is more important for us. He needs to see and conceptualize the information before he can do it mentally.


Did I ever say that learning concepts wasn't important? Of course you need to learn the concepts well first, but once concepts are learned, drills significantly speed up the process. Try adding (or worse yet, multiplying or dividing) two large numbers when you don't have all your basic math memorized. There is admittedly a school of thought that says that since calculators are cheap now, there's no point doing math by hand, but if you are going to do math by hand, you may as well do it fast...

Of course, math drill can be done with computer software, or assorted math games, or in a variety of other ways. It doesn't have to be filling out a couple sheets of math problems every day, which some children will probably find boring.

EDIT: If I were a math teacher, the first thing I'd do every day would be hand out a math drill. Maybe this makes me evil and sadistic, but so be it. The kids from my class would know their stuff.
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Lily
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:

The "you" was collective. There are of course a million and one reasons to homeschool, most of which I didn't list, but I've never heard anyone say they started homschooling so their children wouldn't have to take tests. Why did you start homeschooling?

Theodore, I suggest you take a look at the origin of my quote to see my influence and ideals. Test taking was the least thing on my mind when we started. In fact, out of all of our curriculum, the only thing that came with tests is the math part, and we don't take 'tests'. We do 5-7 pages and stop, decide if he knows the material and either continue with that concept or move on. If he knows it, great, it makes higher math that much easier, which is the real test of knowledge. If he doesn't, well there's plenty of time and ways to work on it.

Quote:
Did I ever say that learning concepts wasn't important? Of course you need to learn the concepts well first, but once concepts are learned, drills significantly speed up the process. Try adding (or worse yet, multiplying or dividing) two large numbers when you don't have all your basic math memorized. There is admittedly a school of thought that says that since calculators are cheap now, there's no point doing math by hand, but if you are going to do math by hand, you may as well do it fast...

Of course, math drill can be done with computer software, or assorted math games, or in a variety of other ways. It doesn't have to be filling out a couple sheets of math problems every day, which some children will probably find boring.

EDIT: If I were a math teacher, the first thing I'd do every day would be hand out a math drill. Maybe this makes me evil and sadistic, but so be it. The kids from my class would know their stuff.


I'm more worried about my child learning how the math is done than in rattling off answers. Because he is so confident in his work and understands it so well, he does get the answers fast. A lot of practice and effort gets him there.

Like I said, if math drills work for you, fine. Great. We don't do them here because our educational philosophy takes us in a different direction.
But don't give me some bogus answer that it's training for college and that since failing public schools use them, we should rely heavily on them, too. And don't insult me by listing reasons to homeschool that have nothing to do with me. Perhaps this last part should be moved to the Language Arts part of the forum, but English still includes the pronoun "one", as in "one homeschools not to eliminate testing", but that would still make no sense in the context, where you decide to lump all homeschoolers in the same group. There is also, if you choose, the colloquial "y'all", which can be substituted for 'one' when necessary.
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Ramona
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
I've never heard anyone say they started homschooling so their children wouldn't have to take tests.


Excuse me? It hasn't been very many months since you and I went around and around on a related subject, Theodore! "So the kids wouldn't have to take tests" wasn't my #1 reason for homeschooling, or even very high on my list. But it was one of my reasons. I've always tried to minimize the number of tests my kids take, and I'm not the only one.

Back in the dark ages (JK; it was the early 90s) when we started, I heard from lots of homeschoolers who were doing it in order to avoid testing. Now I'm pretty sure that you and your siblings were homeschooled before I started, and I'd be very surprised if your mom doesn't know about this category of concern.

Ramona
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