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first grade math ?s

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
This is my 3rd 1st grader in the same school system, 2nd in this school. They are doing timed addition tests in the first quarter of the year. I just got a letter that my bright, visual, spatial, deep thinker 1st grader needs improvement on his speed for addition and should be able to know them cold. He's 6.

My daughter had to pass these timed tests in 3rd grade--why are they doing them in 1st grade? Aren't they still learning what a "plus" means? I know my son knows like his 1s through 12s pretty good for addition and 1s through 8s or so for subtraction; can answer questions= correctly 90 percent of the time (like 4+7=____).

Feedback? is this appropriate for the grade?
post #2 of 16
My son has been in first grade since mid-august in a "good" public school. We love his teacher. No timed tests for addition here. It does seem early to me! I would think second grade, or at least second half of first grade.
post #3 of 16
That seems too early to me. My 1st grade ds is doing addition and subtraction - but really working on the concept, not speed.

Not sure what would come from talking to the teacher - but it doesn't seem like normal expectations for first grade.
post #4 of 16
My son is in 3rd grade and is just getting timed "quizzes" now. None in 1st or 2nd grade
post #5 of 16
My dd is in first grade and no timed quizzes here either. It seems to me that at this age/stage it's enough that they're getting the concept of addition and subtraction, not that they should be able to whiz through arithmetic sheets.
post #6 of 16
yeah - mine is in first and getting the timed tests too... not happy about it but she's doing well with them so I don't make a big deal of it -

I'm annoyed at the entire approach to school (on a national level really, but particularly on a state level here in WV) homeschooling would not work for us for a whole host of reasons and there are no other good options right now...
post #7 of 16
Here, timed addition/subtraction tests are common in 1st grade.

DS is in the "accelerated" program and the kids had timed tests (on the computer)--- Math Facts in a Flash--- covering mult, div, fractions and decimals. Now, in 3rd grade they are supposed to do 100 problems in 5 minutes (they are tested each week, I'm not sure all of what they will cover. So far it has only been 12x12).
post #8 of 16
They call it Rocket Math here. There is a rocket with the alphabet letters on it and they correspond to what the kids are working on. When they master the problems on a sheet with that letter on it they move their names along the rocket. They try to do as many problems as they can in a minute. They track their progress as they learn more and can do it faster.

We talked about it at our DD's conference. The teacher said some kids couldn't even write the numbers fast enough to make the time crunch, but they knew how to do the work.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by linclane View Post
That seems too early to me. My 1st grade ds is doing addition and subtraction - but really working on the concept, not speed.
post #10 of 16
I think it's early compared to the timing of what has been the "standard" math curriculi (like Everyday Mathematics). But not so early compared to the pushback against "new-ish math".

My first grader did timed addition and subtraction drills, but only because she was in a split 1st/2nd class I think. My boys would have loved them in first. They still did single digit addition and subtraction, just wasn't timed.

I don't think the concept of single digit computation is out of the norm for 1st grade instruction (seems a little early in the school year though, assuming you guys operate on sept-june)--the timed thing kind of surprises me.

Does your state start testing in 2nd grade? That might be why they're introducing the concept of timed stuff early.
post #11 of 16
DS1 is in first grade. The school uses Saxon Math for their math curriculum. They basically are just introducing the plus and equal signs right now. I don't foresee any timed tests happening anytime soon. So far, the only test DS1 has had is a weekly spelling test/quiz that covers about 8 words.

IMHO, it's more important at this age that they conceptually "get" addition, rather than being quick at doing it.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Nope, I agree with everyone who says that computation in 1st is fine. He is fine with computation up through about 15; like 7 + 8= 15. He is a slow writer and deliberate thinker. Lots of first graders are still fine-tuning their writing skills. It's not the single digit computation I take issue with; it's the timed tests.

This all came about because of an "interim" report that mentioned that he "needs improvement" on the speed (not accuracy, mind you) of his addition facts.

DH and I wrote a letter last night and we sent it in with him today. We shall see exactly where we go from here.

We have had a mathematics overhaul in VA in the last year. They're trying to get algebra the standard 8th grade math class, and the effort there trickles right down to KG and first grade. But I reviewed the standards of learning for vA, and it says nothing about "timed tests"; just something like "gain facility with computation of addition and subtraction up through 18 (total)". The kicker here is he LOVES math. He builds all day with Legos. He has amazing spatial perception--has read maps since he was 2 years old. He BEGS for lateral thinking puzzles at dinner, mazes and other mathematical games, and has learned to play and loves to play chess this year. This kid makes up equations for fun on his own time.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
They don't test until 3rd grade in our state.

We wouldn't know about the math overhaul except we have a middle schooler as well who is in 7th grade taking algebra. So we're aware of the trickle-down.
post #14 of 16
My ds attends an academically accelerated charter school and they do not do timed tests in first (I still have to remind him to check if there is a + or a - sign in the problem). His school seems to be pushing reading and writing ahead of math at this point; we were notified of a bump in homework starting next week, but it is a reading/story project that is connected to the in-class work.

We don't start state testing until 3rd grade.

My sixth grade teacher did timed multiplication tests and I had trouble with it then.
post #15 of 16
My children, also in first, are being timed and graded on these timed tests. I've been told our PS's start this in Kindy. (My children didn't go to public Kindy so they are 'behind'.)
I think it is ridiculous.
post #16 of 16
You know, with all the problems with schools using "fuzzy math" curricula these days, I'm glad to see schools still realize that teaching basic math facts is important! These are important for kids to know! I guess I have a problem that the tests are timed?? That seems like overkill for a 1st grader to me.
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