I've had enough.
I've watched too many kids count on their fingers, draw out circles and dots, skip count on paper, and just flat out guess when nothing else works.
In 4th grade, we learn long division and double digit multiplication.
At least, we try.
But it's pretty difficult to remember all the steps to something like long division when you spend more than one minute just trying to figure out what 6x8 is. And another minute for the next fact... and another... how can you even keep track of the actual problem when you don't remember that 7x10 is 70?
Really, it's not just difficult. It's maddening. It's hopeless. No wonder so many kids think they hate math.
And it's not just their multiplication and division facts. These kids are incredibly hit and miss when asked a basic addition or subtraction fact.
In 4th grade.
Somewhere, somehow, we are failing these kids. I don't know where it happens or when it starts, and quite frankly, I don't care. What I do care about is their future.
I know seniors in high school that are still counting on their fingers.
So, I've had enough. No more pushing forward through multi-step problems and watching kids attempt to enjoy math while counting on their fingers and banging their heads on desks. No more saying, "Well, they can do the problem if they write out all the factors each time, so that'll have to work." No more crutches.
We're going back to basics. I've got the beginning of a plan, a wealth of parents willing to help, and 21 kids that I just won't allow to cling to their "strategies" instead of memorizing these facts. These kids are going to succeed. We're going to learn the why of numbers, not just the how of math.
And we're going to have fun, damn it.