Why Parents Homeschool

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Because students in public schools are taught what is often called Fuzzy Math. Following is an example of Fuzzy Math. What is the point of teaching students to use this method for multiplying numbers?

Why waste class time with this method?
CSCOPE MultiplicationF

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  1. TEKS 5.3E is new to fifth grade this year. A similar standard used to be taught in seventh grade, but the new 5.3E includes the language of solving multiplication of decimals “including situations involving money” and “using strategies based on place-value understandings, properties of operations,” etc. The test question you reference in your post requires students to do solve a problem involving money by using a strategy that involves place-value understanding and the distributive property. The idea behind this standard is to require students to show conceptual understanding, rather than memorization of steps. I completely agree that this is VERY DIFFICULT — especially for fifth graders — but this is the standard that has been adopted in Texas. The clarification document you found and linked in in your response does not demonstrate place-value understanding or how strategies involving properties of operations can be used to multiply decimals; rather, it demonstrates the standard algorithm, which is required for TEKS 5.3B.

    • Janice VanCleave says:

      Neva,
      Thank you for your comment. I am even more convinced that the STATE standards need to be questioned. Students can be assessed over their understanding of place values without using strategies that are too difficult for 5th graders.

      The radical changes in the k-8 math TEKS has 5th grade students doing math that was taught in the 6th and 7th grade last year. The State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education are no longer considering what is best for children. Instead, it all had to do with having TEKS aligned with the content of math textbooks. Publishers are no longer creating books aligned with Texas standards, instead textbooks aligned with the standards of the majority of states have been tweaked for Texas. Changes the math TEKS to better align with the textbook content results in fewer changes in the books.

      Are you aware that the SBOE doesn’t review what are called Worktexts? These are the new workbooks that have to be purchased for each student. Publisher agreed to make changes to their already published books for Texas but schools have to agree to purchase these worktexts for 7 years. The Science Fusion worktext has a 2015 publishing date, but the same content is in the 2012 publication.

  2. This question assesses a 5th grade TEKS. “5.3E – Solve for products of decimals to the hundredths, including situations involving money, using strategies based on place-value understandings, properties of operations, and the relationship to the multiplication of whole numbers.” The test question specifically assesses students’ ability to solve for products of decimals using strategies based on place-value understanding and properties of operations. This is just one of the TEKS, and it’s not the only standard related to multiplication of decimals. In fact, students do have to learn and use the standard algorithm, as stated in 5.3B – “Multiply with fluency a three-digit number by a two-digit number using the standard algorithm.” This is not a “CSCOPE” issue; it’s a TEKS issue.