Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math?

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DawnT
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2012/01/24 22:20:43 (permalink)

Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math?

When I was in the first grade ~ '61, during the first few months of the year, we were abruptly issued workbooks. Up in front of the room there were these two stick figures (counting men) placed that had removable fingers. Ones man and Tens man. We were going to relearn how to count!  From that point on until the 6th grade we were in some sort of mathematic twilight zone. In retrospect, the teachers from the beginning were clueless. Parents were outraged that we were functionally illiterate in basic mathmatics. Conventional addition, subtraction,divison and multiplication that one would need on a daily basis had been replaced with pages of expanded notation, simple verbal problems were turned into convoluted narratives involving sets. Johnny no longer had 50 cents in his pocket, it became a labled set of five tens and zero one cents units. Oh it got better. We're assuming the "operation' was being transacted in base 10. On another day, we might be adding in base 8 or base 3. A simple addition problem would have to be accompanied with Venn diagrams showing the intersection of two sets of intergers. By the time we were in 4th grade they finally got around to multiplication that was a fiasco in itself. We had to draw a grid to just to multiply two numbers. Everything was absolutely abusrd and parents were totally freaked out after a few years. Long division became so weird with colums of numbers on the side with "remainders". Jr high became a watershed year. We were totally disfunctional with day to day math and 7th and 8th was mostly remedial. While the whole idea was to prepare one for higher mathmatics, none of it was useful really unless you ventured into pre-calculus and Trig as a college prep student.
 
How many of you old timers had the pleasure of being indoctrinated in the New Math to spite the Russkies while practicing "Duck and Cover" ? 
#1

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    6star
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/01/24 22:59:35 (permalink)
    Anyone who got the new math "bug" is a youngster.  I graduated from high school ten years earlier (1951).

    #2
    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/01/24 23:05:44 (permalink)
    Musical satirist (and Harvard-trained mathematician) Tom Lehrer once stated that "Base 8 is just like Base 10, if you're missing 2 Fingers."  His song "New Math" was one of his best.
    #3
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/01/25 09:48:04 (permalink)
    Frankly, I believe the introduction of the "new math" to have been a communist plot.  That and allowing calculators and now computers in the elementary math classroom have now rendered the vast majoyity of Americans now under 50 to be mathematically illiterate as they were made to try running and leaping before they were able even to crawl. 
    #4
    mar52
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/01/25 14:47:50 (permalink)
    Eight Grade, 1966
     
    The teachers HAD to teach us new math.  The new math books just came out and the teachers were one chapter ahead of the students.
     
    It was a joke to be discontinued later.  A year of wasted learning.
     
    But remember...  addition is commutative
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    fishtaco
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/01/25 16:00:25 (permalink)
    I do recall it. But sure don't remember anything about it. Was there something to do with division that was done down the side of the problem?
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    plb
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/01/25 20:28:14 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim

    Frankly, I believe the introduction of the "new math" to have been a communist plot.  That and allowing calculators and now computers in the elementary math classroom have now rendered the vast majority of Americans now under 50 to be mathematically illiterate as they were made to try running and leaping before they were able even to crawl. 

    I keep reading that we need to have more computers in elementary classrooms because we are not turning out enough computer programmers and engineers and have to import them from China and India.  No one seems to realize that schools in China and India do not have computers in their classrooms.  Their students are studying academic subjects, not punching away on keyboards.
    #7
    Louis
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/01/25 20:58:30 (permalink)
    I remember new math, and now I can't do math problems because of it.
     
    #8
    Mosca
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/01/25 22:49:10 (permalink)
    Hey, I liked new math. It fit the way I understood things. I started it in '60, or '61, and I just "got it". To this day I keep up with stuff like Fermat's last theorem (just solved recently), the Banach-Tarski paradox, stuff like that.
    #9
    carlton pierre
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/01 08:22:02 (permalink)
    Remember it well.  Seems to me it was around 3rd or 4th grade when we got into it.  I started 1st grade in 1960.  Seemed very confusing to me at the time.
    #10
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/02 03:27:51 (permalink)
    I stuck with the old Math...........let's see (XII+VI)/III = VI. Ave atque vale!
    #11
    Mosca
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/02 11:17:31 (permalink)
    FriedClamFanatic

    I stuck with the old Math...........let's see (XII+VI)/III = VI. Ave atque vale!

     
    Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.
    #12
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/02 11:30:48 (permalink)
    The only thing I know about New Math is that eldest daughter came home from junior high one day with this new book and asked for help. Her mother and I looked at it and handed it right back to her. The next year she was back to Old Math, and I was just as much help then.
    #13
    DawnT
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/02 12:39:13 (permalink)
    Pretty much what happened to me. Worse yet, when parents of the kids that I went to school with raised hell that they were unable to participate working with their kid's at home with their homework, the official response from the school was they didn't want the parents confusing the kids with traditional math or interfering with their homework. The teachers themselves were clueless and the only two people that seemed to have any idea what was going on were two, young, twenty something Wunderkind academics that they brought down from one of the universities up north that were overseeing the math program. Both were seemingly unable to communicate coherently with the parents, teachers, or even the school's board. I even remember overhearing a teacher mention that with the two of them, it was like a robot talking to a robot. In today's terms, it sounds like they turned the keys over to two Aspies. They eventually sent them packing or they left during the summer after 5th grade.
     
    #14
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/02 12:59:31 (permalink)
    My Mother tried to teach me some strange counting system by tapping in the 70s. I don't know if it was new math. It did work for counting cards in the 80s.

    Thanks Mom!!!!!
    #15
    DawnT
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/02 14:41:46 (permalink)
    I remember an effort to get a Korean abacus method into the early grades during the early 70's that wasn't sucessful. There was also some strange card like tool the kids shuffled little windows with sliding blinds that had colored dots underneath them that I remember seeing on some talk shows with tiny tots doing big number math much like they did earlier with the abacus. That wasn't new math though and it's primary criticism was the kids were doing a route operation like keying numbers into a calculator years later without having any understanding how they got the results.
    #16
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/02 14:54:11 (permalink)
    I learned the abacus. Honestly...I was mistaken for being partly Asian when I was young. I get that still...but not as much. The abacus is fun!!!
    #17
    jmckee
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/03 09:08:36 (permalink)
    "New Math," by Tom Lehrer. Hysterical.
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIWaJ0sy03g
    #18
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/03 18:22:19 (permalink)
    OMG....I had forgotten about that!......Thanks.....................Guess I was off poisoning pigeons in the park (another good song of his!)
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/04 10:23:30 (permalink)
    plb

    MetroplexJim

    Frankly, I believe the introduction of the "new math" to have been a communist plot.  That and allowing calculators and now computers in the elementary math classroom have now rendered the vast majority of Americans now under 50 to be mathematically illiterate as they were made to try running and leaping before they were able even to crawl. 

    I keep reading that we need to have more computers in elementary classrooms because we are not turning out enough computer programmers and engineers and have to import them from China and India.  No one seems to realize that schools in China and India do not have computers in their classrooms.  Their students are studying academic subjects, not punching away on keyboards.


    Yes.  There is an unfortunate general misconception that the more we spend on education, the better the results will be.  What good does it do a kid to give him a computer before they are able to read; a calculator before they can multiply and divide?
    #20
    bartl
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    Re:Are You Old Enough To Remember New Math? 2012/02/05 16:05:05 (permalink)
    DawnT How many of you old timers had the pleasure of being indoctrinated in the New Math to spite the Russkies while practicing "Duck and Cover" ? 

    Just want to point out that, while "Duck and Cover" would do nothing at ground zero of a nuclear attack, most of the deaths are due to the shockwave and being hit by flying debris. Therefore, "duck and cover" would have greatly increased your chances of surviving a nuclear attack that was 10-100 miles away.
     
    Bart
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