American Consumers Can't Add

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
American Consumers Can't Add
9
Fri, 01-08-2010 - 5:44pm

This was a very interesting read!


From MSNBC, Why American Consumers Can't Add


From the article:



According to the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Adult Literacy, U.S. adults are terrible at solving real-world math problems, like calculating tips or comparing prices in grocery stores.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 01-08-2010 - 7:07pm

I agree.

Yesterday I had to walk a CASHIER through a transaction. She couldn't make change on a bill on $110 when the customer gave her $150. She started to give him back more than $110 dollars. I don't know how she balances most days if this is the case. Our tills don't tell the amount of change.

All of our transactions are also whole dollar amounts and she ended up with $2.00 in change. Yes, TWO dollars in change that she only "thought" was two dollars. When I counted the drawer after her I couldn't believe it: inside was 7 quarters, 2 dimes and a nickel. She wasn't SURE she had two dollars? The first graders I used to teach could have told her that in about 10 seconds.

This is a high school graduate.



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2007
Fri, 01-08-2010 - 9:04pm

OMG!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2005
Sat, 01-09-2010 - 2:33am

I can remember being in high school, working fast food, and I was one of the best at the window. Because I could make change without the computer having to tell me. Wow...

Its not that hard. Really. But kids aren't learning this now. I am seeing first hand how weird math is becoming. I watch a 5th grader after school. He has NO idea how to work a problem out.

Example.

2(3x+4)= x + 18 x=2
2(3 times 2 + 4) = 2 + 18
2(6 +4) = 20
2(10) = 20
20 = 20

He can't show his work like that. He has to use weird little hershey kiss symbols. Even when I show him this way when his answer is wrong (like he had x = 5), he can't see that it is wrong without the kiss things. Ugh!

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thanks to magicalluv for the GREAT siggy!!



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2004
Sat, 01-09-2010 - 8:04am

Interesting, thanks for posting that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2003
Sat, 01-09-2010 - 8:49am

I can remember being in high school, working fast food, and I was one of the best at the window. Because I could make change without the computer having to tell me. Wow...


LOL and to show my age--I can remember being in high school, working fast food (DQ and McDs)---prices had to be MEMORIZED, you marked the order on paper w/pencil,

Kelly



Avatar for sarahfran
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 01-09-2010 - 12:03pm

I have the same problem helping my 5th grade DD with her math homework--I know how to do the math the way I was taught, but now they teach it differently and she gets angry with me when I try to help because "I'm doing it wrong!" And she's right--if she brought in her homework completed the way I was taught, it would be marked off for being done incorrectly. Doesn't matter if the answer is right--the process is wrong.

In some ways I think it's a better way of teaching. Now, instead of focusing on just getting the right answer, they seem to really be trying to get the kids to understand how numbers worked. I went all the way through AP calculus in high school and never understood that. I just followed the formula and hoped for the best, but if I got messed up, I didn't know how to figure out where I went wrong.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2005
Sat, 01-09-2010 - 12:46pm

I would say so long as the student understands whatever way they get there, and the answer is right, the homework should be right. Now I can understand if the kid can't explain what they are talking about to the teacher, marking it wrong. It would be that way with anything else.

All I was doing was showing the kid how to check his answer, not get the answer in the first place. He couldn't check his answer. Even when you put the number right in, he had no idea what was going on. That to me is a pretty big problem.

I can only imagine that I am going to run into more issues like this when I start homeschooling my son.

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thanks to magicalluv for the GREAT siggy!!



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Avatar for monkeesmom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 01-09-2010 - 3:51pm
LOL Kelly! When I started reading this thread, I immediately thought back to the days of shopping at the market as a kid...and all of the cashiers just knew the prices of the items, and had to



 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2005
Sat, 01-16-2010 - 12:52pm
I was good at math in school, went through AP Calculus, even, and it takes me a minute to add. I'm not great at adding!

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