Christopher Marotta 0

Stop wasting time with "Math Word of the Day"!

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Every period somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes of valuable class time is wasted every day reviewing math terms, which most people already know. This is not a good use of time especially for kids who may not be taking the math class for that grade level or who don't need this type of review. We should not have to waste our time, and teachers should not be pushed to planned around this.

In most cases 47 minutes on its own is not enough for a teacher to be able to accomplish what they want in a day, taking away class time to review simple words which should be reviewed in math to not a valid use of another subject's class time. Also in most cases as a student reviewing a subject 8 times times for just a 8 minutes doesn't really help, but it definitely takes away class time which that teacher could have used to add a bit to their lesson that would help.

The SOLs put a lot of stress under students so forgetting things that were learned earlier in the year is really common around this time of year, and not just in math! Teachers should use the warm-up which we already use for a review around this time, not extra class time to cover math in every single class. Other subjects are just as important and test scores should not be a major factor in how pre-testing strategies are decided, along with the fact that these strategies shouldn't take away from our ability to learn in other classes.

Why do we keep a pre-testing strategy that students don't enjoy, wastes class time, and really doesn't help that much? A common excuse that students are told is that if you know terms you can get more right or some person says it helps. Yet we should know these things already, and at this point these terms should be reviewed in your math class or on your own time, not at the expense of the kids who know these terms and the teachers who are trying to teach their own subject!

Math Word of the Day is beginning to get to a point where it is more of a joke and annoyance than a help, it feels like its just something we can tell the government to show that we are trying to increase test scores. Almost like an empty promise, because if students don't want to take the time to focus on it, (Which is hard enough saying you will be learning a totally different subject afterwards) and it really just feels like an extra warm up that most people don't need. Why is this not done in math or invest in programs which can optionally be used if you need them?

Why are these taken so seriously, if really I feel they have never helped on a SOL test before? If I am wasting at least 40-80 minutes of class time a day in total for something that I really don't need to do, why are we forced to do this? Reviews should be done by a teacher, not school wide as I find it hard to believe that anyone who really thinks about this knows that some standardized review with the same words every year for the most part will really help? Math should not be considered or recognized as a subject learned through terms. You learn math by using it and memorization terms really won't help that much, even if knowing terms can help with 80% of a test, knowing how to do math will account for closer to 100%.

Though mainly focusing on the fact that we should not be using a grade-wide strategy using the same words as all 8 grades don't take the same math, same goes for 6th and 7th graders. So I can't see how it would make sense that we all do the same word. Also going back to the same point as before, knowing a math word does not exactly mean you know how to solve a math problem. Also it seems to be commonly forgotten that we for 1 don't only have 1 SOL, Math is not our only subject, 8th graders for one, have a language exam which is required at the end of the year, and we always have multiple SOLs a year. I really don't believe we should be deciding how to prepare for the SOLs like this, because it puts the impression on most students that Math is a more important subject than the rest which is certainly not true.

Focusing on the different levels throughout grades part. Why should a 6th grader that is taking 7th grade math have to study for a SOL test they won't ever take? Or why should a 8th grader taking Algebra II have to work on the same words as the Pre-Algebra and Algebra I students? Or more importantly, why aren't we working on getting down the methods we would have to use for the SOLs? Like Inverse Functions or Polynomials? As last I remember, they are usually trying to test our Math and not Vocabulary skills on a SOL test? That is not to say we don't need to know words like rational numbers, but if you aren't making it clear how we are going to use them then why should we learn them?

Also once again, why are we taking time from other High-School Credit and SOL classes to review math terms which we could do at home? If math was chosen by test scores, then why don't we choose the classes you have to do this in based on SOL scores as well? I don't find that it makes much sense that we have to waste our time reviewing for something at the expense of a teacher loosing the time that could have been used alot better? Reviews shouldn't be standard, the whole point of a review is a more personalized approach to look back and get learn something that you may not have understood or remembered before. Which is why I feel that this review may be helping some, but it is also wasting the class time of many others.

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