The Bad Report Card

United States
October 9, 2008 11:35pm CST
Well, it's already the end of the first quarter and I got my daugher's report card at parent/teacher conferences. And it was not good. First off, we have a really strange grading system in Arizona. It's called FAME - Falls Far Below, Approaches, Meets, Exceeds for grading. My daughter had half M's and the rest F & A's. For one subject the teacher only had one test of seven questions. So, whatever you got on that test was your grade in the subject - of course that was an F. (This part is just me venting a bit.) But, what I really need are any tips for getting her to be able to memorize her multiplication tables. She's in fourth grade and she is just not getting. She is visual, but so far using those plastic manipulatives are not working. So what have you done for your kids to help them?
1 person likes this
14 responses
• United States
10 Oct 08
you should make a game out of it and if she gets them right give her a reward. thats what worked for me and i was the same way!lol
2 people like this
• United States
10 Oct 08
So, what kind of game do you do?
• United States
29 Oct 08
any just be creative its been so long ago i cant remeber the games
• United States
10 Oct 08
Well first let me say that it would take me forever to completely understand the system your working iwth there in Arizona. I have two boys one in 3rd grade the other in 6th grade and in Illinois we are on the standard A, B, C, D, E (the change F to E) system. Luckily both of them have always maintained a straight A average but it takes a lot of work at home. I am an old- fashioned flash-card mom, we do flashcards while I make dinner, while I fold laundry- whatever we fit it in and the better they day the more I praise them. Have you tried the 2+2=4 is the sames as 2 x 2 or 3+3+3 is the same as 3x3- maybe if she can relate it to addition that would help her. Good luck to you PS- Keep the learning going through the summer too- we buy little activity books and they both do a couple pages each day, everyday. You know the old "if you don't use it you lose it".
• United States
10 Oct 08
I hate to admit it, but my husband is a high school science teacher. We buy those books and we don't always have the best follow though. Usually my husband keeps them learning over the summer, but he was so buried out this past year that it didn't really get done on a consistant basis. Now we're paying for it. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to get the corilation with the addition when you tell her. I think I will try, but with using beans so she can see it. I tell you, I can't stand the grading system here. It's all part of the "No Child Left Behind" thing.
• United States
11 Oct 08
I worte a paper on the No Child Left Behind a few years back and all I found was that instead of helping push those lagging behind it it seems to have held back those who are ready for more. I don't know what the result of such a rule is going to hold for our children in the future, but I hope it starts to move forward or somehow we find a way to go back to the old way until a new idea can work. Good luck and happy math teaching.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31628)
• United States
11 Oct 08
I am also visual and it helped me when I was learning to write them again and again. Flashcards helped. And doing problems. Then she'll be able to visualize the problems in her mind as they are on paper. That's what helped me. I'm glad I'm no longer in Arizona. Their education system was getting really bad when my boys graduated, in fact most states are getting flakier and flakier. What's wrong with the old A-F grading system? They say F's hurt their self esteem but if a child is never allowed to fail he or she will develop no sense of accomplishment or pride. THAT is damaging to the self-esteem!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Oct 08
That is so true! Plus, the worst grade you can get is still and "F" for Falls Below. Now does that really sound better than just a plan "F"? Thanks for your suggestions. We're also battling rounding - again. I thought she had gotten it, but her homework last night pretty much showed she doesn't understand it.
@tikei18 (359)
• Philippines
11 Oct 08
I don't if it is easy. Just try if you want. Why not compose a song that is related to multiplication. Or record your voice reciting multiplication then play it whenever you want, example before sleeping. If she hears it every time, she might be familiarize of the multiplication. Just a suggestion bec. this is what i do if i have an up coming exam. i record my voice reciting all the formulas. I put on my earphones while going to my school. Then eventually without knowing i'm becoming more familiarize of the formulas. :D
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Oct 08
That's a good idea too. Although, I think I'll search the net before I try composing a song on my own. That is not a strong skill of mine.
@jillhill (37377)
• United States
10 Oct 08
It's been a very long time since I was in that situation but my one daughter had problems with math...I suggested she stay after school for a little one on one with her teacher and after a half an hour she finally "got" it. You might want to check with the teacher....she might be teaching it different too then what we know or remember.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Oct 08
Hummm, I had not thought about the teaching style. Although, the teacher was the one to tell us to do the flash cards over and over again. Thanks!
@baileycows (3667)
• United States
10 Oct 08
Sorry to hear this. Maybe she needs a tutor. That is a weird grading system. have yall always been on that?
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 08
No, they turned to this system when the "No Child Left Behind" came out. I think it's confusing. My poor daughter thought the A's meant she was doing well. We had to explain it, again, that she needs E's and M's. I wish we could go back to the traditional way of grading, it's much more straight forward.
@belk89 (1103)
• Philippines
10 Oct 08
Try letting her watch educational program that teaches kids how to learn multiplication the easy way. She will have fun watching it but at the same time learn how to solve the multiplication table witout memorizing it. You can buy this one online. Hope i help you with your query. Happy mylotting!
1 person likes this
@checapricorn (16049)
• United States
10 Oct 08
[i]Hi Suki, I am sure she can cope up once you will just set time each night to help her review and enhance what has been taught in the school! There are simple books available which is also like a game and I am sure when we integrate games to studying, it will always capture their mind and whatever you do and wherever you are, always integrate this lesson like when you are in the store, roads or in the house![/i]
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 08
I used to do that more when they were little, it's easy to stick in colors and shapes. I guess I just need to be more creative when I am out/or around the house with her and figure out where I can work in multiplication.
• India
10 Oct 08
It gave me some solace to hear from a mom in similar situation to me. My son in fourth grade isnt doing excellently either. His half-yearly results are due in mid November and I know it wont be good. He is approaching adolescence and having a mind and temper of his own and its becoming extremely difficult to make him listen. Rewarding is no longer an option coz he's starting to blackmail me on things he wants. My thoughts on this are that they are no longer babies so (I'm old fashioned on this) soft handling should give way to tough talks. Rub it in her that fourth grade is very very important class and she wouldnt really enjoy it if her friends go up and she remains here next year. To me, nothing beats the age-old process of memorizing. Be at it with her constantly...make her memorize the tables, work out problems on multiplication and you can even devise school-type question papers at home which she can solve. It will give both of you an idea of how she might fare and what to expect.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 08
My son can be a handful as well, he's on the austic spectrum. So we use rewards quite a bit. And when starts to take advantage of it we will take away privilages instead. So then he has to earn them back. That has worked really well with him. So, yesterday evening we (my daughter and I, then later with her dad), worked on it. I did the flashcards, my husband a worksheet. I think I will tell her about the possibility of not going on to the next grade. Thanks for your response.
@crazydaisy (3899)
• Canada
10 Oct 08
Myself what I did make a game of it get deck of playing cards take the,jack.king,queen,out then start playing cards then say how would you like to learn a new game start with the 2 times have her put a card down after you put you then ask. like you put down 2 she puts 3 so you ask what is answer it is 6 .try with all.see what happens. good luck cd
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 08
That's a good idea, then it's even more random and more interactive than me holding up a flash card.
• United States
10 Oct 08
hi suki! sorry to hear about your daughter's report card. :( i am sorry to say that my kids are not in school yet so i cannot give you any tips as far as they are concerned. but i know i was very visual as well in learning new things. what always worked for me was making flashcards. even in college i would make them and just keep going through them. maybe you and your daughter could make them together- that way she is hearing them while making them, and after you can quiz her with them, or she can quiz herself. maybe make the multiplication different things... like for all the one's draw apples...for all the two's draw hearts, etc. whatever. then maybe she can associate those pictures with the numbers and it may help her even more. i hope that helped. :) good luck!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Oct 08
Thanks for the ideas. We do the flash cards now, but they are torture for both of us.
@thanujad (405)
• Sri Lanka
10 Oct 08
Don't worry Suki. Your daughter will be just fine later. Don't get angry or scold her. Talk to her with love and care and say that she'll be able to do better next time. I don't know about your country, in my country we can buy workbooks on every subject. What I do is I buy those books and in the eavenings I make it a point to sit with my kids atleast for about 2 hours and teaching them to do it. This way, they understands and getting the practice to answer questions. This way is much more better than memorizing. Sometimes even if you get them to memmorize they wouldn't know the way of answering questions. So best thing is getting them to answer past papers and work books. Try this method and let me know how it goes.
• United States
10 Oct 08
I think we have some of those workbooks left over from when my son was younger. I should pull them out for her to do, especially if she doesn't have any homework. My kids only have homework if they don't finish their classwork. I think the teachers should at least send a little bit to help cement what they are learning in class. Because she could do a lousy job on her classwork and we wouldn't know it until much later.
• United States
10 Oct 08
Hi there, I remember when I was in 4th grade.. I got held back in 3rd grade because I was soooo shy, or I was either a total crazy hyper child. I would actually put "I don't know" on tests.. 2-3 grade. So feel good that your daughter doesn't do that. She's young so her mind is everywhere, and she doesn't realize she's getting older and needs to pay attention more. Never treat her bad over grades.. or anything that makes her feel like a failure. Have a talk with her and tell her that she is getting older and needs to grow wiser. Maybe you can say that you will take her out for icecream or something if she gets good grades. I always felt I needed something in return from learning and wasting my time in school.. (besides learning) You never know.. or possibly there may be some rude kids on the block messing with her head?
• China
10 Oct 08
do some communite with your child,it must be someting borther her..
• United States
10 Oct 08
We do communicate with her. Unfortunately its just not a subject she is strong in.