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Current time: 22nd January 2017, 16:22

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Hardly Anyone Remembers How to do Fractions
RE: Hardly Anyone Remembers How to do Fractions
What's wrong with parabolas? And Stimbo's knocking all of algebra, too?

Math gets no respect.
Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own - Bertrand Russell
RE: Hardly Anyone Remembers How to do Fractions
(16th January 2017, 03:31)ignoramus Wrote: I thought all Americans are good at fractions by the way they love pleading the fifth?

Yes, and I plan to covert to Christianity on the 12th because of all the evidence of Jesus.  It works out to exactly 3/5ths of fuckall.
RE: Hardly Anyone Remembers How to do Fractions
(17th January 2017, 16:03)Alex K Wrote:
(17th January 2017, 09:41)Cyrinistar Wrote: I abhor Math, especially parabolas.

Hehe, I just spent the last 3 months torturing my 11th graders with those Big Grin

When I taught physics, I made 2 8-foot diameter parabolic reflectors (8 segments, just paper on a plywood frame, so not true paraboloids of revolution). I set a lit propane torch in the focus of one and let the students listen at the other. Worked pretty well. The kids didn't like the way their voices sounded, so I explained that the higher frequencies are heard better than the low ones due to the gain being dependent on the frequency. Also, the paper doesn't really reflect the signal that well at all frequencies.
RE: Hardly Anyone Remembers How to do Fractions
(16th January 2017, 10:14)Faith No More Wrote: I get that people forget things if they don't use them(hell, if I only had a dollar for each thing I've forgotten that I should know), but it's really foreign to me that people can forget how to use fractions.  I get it if you need to be reminded what COS is or how to calculate a derivative, but basic fractions?

Maybe they didn't forget them, but they use their lack of memory as an excuse where they didn't learn them (or were not taught) correctly in the first place?

(15th January 2017, 11:40)Whateverist Wrote:
(15th January 2017, 04:06)Firefighter01 Wrote: I own a business where employees need to now how to work out fractions and long multiplication to do their job efficiently. Here are my questions that I placed in their interview exam to determine if they know basic maths: 
1. 1/4 + 1/3 =
2. 1/4 x 1/3 =
3. 132 x 64 =

Only about 3 applicants over dozens that have sat the exam have answered all questions correctly. Most of them got the last one right, but they used their mobile phones.  I originally thought that the questions were too easy, but apparently they are now redundant? I don't know why teachers today don't teach fractions so that their students are competent in their usage, or is it a case that they aren't considered important enough to warrant any special attention?

Operations with fractions were always taught between 2 and 3 years before students came to me.  Part of the failure of the american education system traditionally has been that we teach a shit load of things every year and then go on reteaching them since we never do any of it in enough depth to stick.  So I almost always had to work in some review too.  With the common core that was implemented just before I retired there is a chance this cycle will finally be broken. But then there are so many other things wrong with the education system as a whole that I wouldn't bet on it.  The only think I am positive about is that if we continually jump between one reform system and another forever students are screwed.
I'm no expert or teacher, I'm just a layperson. I remember an older neighbouring kid came to see me for help when I was about 17 and still living at home. He was trying to get into the navy and failed their entrance exam, mainly on his ignorance on how to work out simple fractions, decimals and percentages. He said he never understood them at school and always got terrible grades. We sat down and I explained what they are and how to solve them. We worked on them separately over a week using lots of examples until he mastered them all by himself. It was like lights going on in his head.

It was obvious that he got lost in the system. I felt something similar when I was trying to get a project completed when I was working in a commercial fire safety branch of the fire brigade. I got enrolled in a course called "Microsoft Project" and was placed in a class of about 30 people, most of whom were building estimators or were high end tradespeople. Whenever the teacher said "got that?" everyone except me said, "yeah, yeah" and he skipped to the next section. I kept asking questions, but in the end stopped as it was getting embarrassing. I ended up getting a certificate of attendance, but I didn't deserve anything. The teacher told me later that I would have to take some other introductory courses, but I never followed through.

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