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Science & Math: The Double Digit Deciphered

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    Science and MathNaomi Tamura

    9/14/2009

    By introducing science to math lessons tutees can see the interrelationship between the two subjectsand gain more than just math or science knowledge.

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    ScienceandMath

    Substitute teaching and private tutoring in the elementary schools has given me anadvantage in knowing how to emphasize the subjects that are used to baseour school mill levyappropriations. Money will be appropriated solely based on the scores of reading and math. Ofcourse, other subjects are taught but the emphasis is very heavily on reading and math. Thereare many support services for these two subjects. For classes in science, social studies,geography, and others they're taught either alternate day, doubled up with each other andusualIy have very Iittle emphasis on the importa nce in them. This ls not the faultof the teachersjust as it is not due to parent's wishes for most of the situation is due to the state mandatedtesting/ scoring and the bond issue.

    The situation creates students who are very poorly prepared for middle school science.This has prompted me to offer science as a tutored session to the tutees that have come to mefor help in math. All of the parents who have been approached about this were very eager toadd science to the curriculum. I have found since science and math are very closely related thatit is easyto show how math plays a very integrated part of working asa scientist.

    While working as beginning scientists many of my tutees found that it was not only a funsubject but also had many different subjects connected to the world of science. We found mathwas useful in calculating the measurements of household ingredients for our homeexperiments. I would challenge them to try and make more or less of the science project. Forexample, when we were making slimey goo Iwould tell them that I only had a smaller containerfor all the ingredients to safely go in and they needed to calculate how much less of theingredients we would need to complete the experiment. This was done using mathematicalskills in fractions and subtraction. Since also all of my tutees were coming for math assistancethis was a great way to show the practical use of math. I was pleased to see their faceacknowledge that connection through a big grin or words of Ahhh.

    We then found using good writing skills was necessary to keep accurate records of ourobservations. A little bit of art capability helped make the "pictures worth a thousand words" atrue saying for us. Reading also was a very important part of doing our experiments. If thewords did not make sense and/or were foreign to them I would have them look it up in thedictionary or on the computer. Soon their science notebooks were filled with questions,hypothesis, observations, and conclusions. Each of them would, to various degrees ofexcitement, greet their parents with their new learning of the day.

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    Double DigitDecipheredA variation using math strategies to find products ofdouble digit number.Naomi Tamura9/1/2009

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    Bibliography

    Double Digit DecipheredWhen we conquered the world of single digit multiplication,we feel like a super hero on a good day. Everyone knows the thrill of

    getting our math facts done in 5 minutes and passing on to the nextlevel. When we reached our 12's it was with a jump for joy feelingthat we were able to take home and show our parents. Little did weknow more was to come to bring us down to earth in a meteoric rush!One of my 6th grade tutee had a lot of difficulty with math factsand memorizing to recite facts back randomly. Her inability to knowbasic facts made math a nightmare. She would always be the very lastone to turn in her tests and worried about.the correct answersafterwards. By the time she came to me for tutoring, her perception ofmath was it was not only difficult but a drudgery to put up doing. Westarted with discussing how single digit multiplication wasremembering the doubles (4X4=I6) and using the different strategieslike the Nifty Nine. She soon was able to do single digitmultiplication but only up to II's without hesitation.

    The higher double digits were her next hurdle to try andovercome. At first, she would sit and look at the problem and gulp afew times and then try to write a product. This process would take herat least 2-3 minutes. I'm sure it felt like a lifetime of agony for her .and I could feel her uneasiness during this time. We then hit on theidea to take the double digit (only if it was an even number) and cut itin half. Then multiplying that number by the other single digit factorshe could easily get an answer. This was a continuation of hermastery of single digit multiplication mentioned above. With thisanswer she would then double the answer to get her fmal product.

    18 X 8 =?

    Take the 18 and halve it, which makes it 9.

    Then multiply 9 X 8 =72

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    Last double 72, which =154We then used a variation of the basic addingtragedy of adding the double digit figure afterdoing the above steps.

    18 X 9 =?

    We know 18X 8=154 from the above steps andthen added 18 to get 172.While she was learning this strategy, she gradually could

    see how learning strategies will help her in other life situations. 1We called this math logic or math sense. Her whole attitudetowards math changed from dread to finding math can not onlybe done but can be somewhat fun! I have watched as sheprogressed to apply this "logic" to other subjects. For exampleshe has related to me that she can see how logic is used to helpin solving math work problems and in choosing answers intests. We have since moved to doing some math and a lot moreScience. Two subjects very closely joined by numbers andlogic.

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    Bibliography

    www.accesscenter.org/training: Improving outcome for all students K-8 ...

    www.brainpopjr.com/mathl ...lbasic adding/growup/wemlVan DeWalle, J.A.(1990). Elementary school mathematics:teachingdevelopmentally .... Lonciman, N.Y.

    http://www.accesscenter.org/training:http://www.brainpopjr.com/mathlhttp://www.brainpopjr.com/mathlhttp://www.accesscenter.org/training: