Decoding Daniella’s “New Math” – thanks to SnappSchool!
It’s no secret that math has never been my forte. Don’t get me wrong…I’m a whiz at addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and I can figure out a tip at a restaurant without a calculator. It’s all that other stuff that baffles me! It was all fun and games until I was in 5th or 6th grade…and then everything changed. I still have flashbacks of grade school when I would sit at the kitchen table with my dad and he would desperately try to teach me fractions and decimals. I’ll never forget the look on his face as he tried to come up with yet another way to explain the same problem. He was very patient…I just wasn’t getting it. Then there was pre-calculus during my junior year in high school. I still get chills when I think about it. I don’t know what I was thinking when I signed up for that class..it wasn’t required. I guess I chose it because my sister, Suzanne, had taken it and excelled at it. That was a mistake. After the first week of class, my very kind teacher, Mrs. Drinker, pulled me aside, put her arm around my shoulder, and in a soft voice said, “Juli, I think it would be a very good idea if you dropped this class, while you still have the chance.” I ran from the classroom and didn’t look back. I headed straight for creative writing class, signed up and dove right in.
I remember looking up at my dad as he taught me how to subtract fractions and asking, “Why on earth will I ever need to know this when I grow up?” He didn’t know the answer to that, and neither did I. Well, now I do! The answer is, you’ll have to know how to do this so you can teach YOUR kids when THEY bring worksheets home from school. What goes around comes around, right? The only problem is…it’s not the same math that I learned when I was in school…it’s NEW MATH! Oh, the horror!
Daniella does really well in school, but she needs to work hard at math. Like me, it doesn’t come easily to her. When she started 4th grade, in September, she began bringing home math worksheets every night. I would show her how to do a problem and she’d say, “Mommy, that’s not how we do it in school…we don’t borrow from the other columns!” ”What, no borrowing? What’s wrong with borrowing? It worked for us back in the day!”
During our first parent/teacher conference I asked Daniella’s math teacher about the “new” math. She said, “Oh, we’ve been doing that for about 10-11 years now!” Geez, where the heck have I been? Well, I guess I didn’t really need to know it, until now.
Typically, Daniella doesn’t bring her math book home every night…just her math homework sheets. However, a couple of weeks ago her backpack felt unusually heavy. I asked her what was inside. She said, “Oh, I brought my math book home tonight, in case you have trouble with my homework again.” ME? She brought it home for me?? Wait a minute, SHE’S the one having trouble…I was just trying to help! I’ve been learning “New Math” so I could teach it to her! We all had a good laugh over that…but, the truth is, the book was very helpful…and I was glad to have it.
Now, I’m excited to say I have another place to turn for help with Daniella’s homework. Truth is, I think we could all use a refresher, from time to time, on what our kids are learning in school. Anyway, I was thrilled to get an email recently from SnappSchool
I immediately checked out the website and saw, in big bold letters, “Be Your Child’s Homework Hero!” SnappSchool is a website that sends out a weekly email to parents to keep them up to date on what their kids are learning in school and it gives them the tools to help them with their school work. Brilliant! Here’s the best part…it’s all about math for kids in grades K-6!
Here’s how SnappSchool works. You sign up on their website and tell them what grade your child is in. Then you will get weekly emails with a refresher on what they are learning in school. It also contains links to exercises and other resources. Every email is written by a certified teacher and is based on the Common Core Standards that all but five U.S. states use. I now get one every week, for Daniella, focusing on 4th grade math, and a second for Dylan with tips on 1st grade math…it’s fantastic.
Here’s part of one I received recently about 4th grade fractions:
And another I got with a refresher on 1st grade math:
It’s simple to sign up. Just go to the SnappSchool Website and register for your child’s grade level. You’ll immediately start receiving emails. The first three weeks are free, so you can try it out, and then it’s only $7.99 for the rest of the year.
Our kid’s math just got a whole lot easier….thanks to SnappSchool! Now, bring on square roots!
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