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View Diary: WTF do you want from public education? w/poll (116 comments)

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  •  I disagree (5+ / 0-)

    Estimating is a valuable skill to have.  You might feel like there is too much focus on it, but the reality is that kids will often arrive at an answer with no clue as to how they did it.  When you can estimate your answers, you are able to gauge the accuracy of your answer.  

    I have had to go through this with my own son.  If he gets an answer incorrect, I'll just ask him to first estimate the answer to see if his numbers are way off.

    I think as adults we do this, but we don't realize that we've actually learned to process of estimating before we do a problem.  We are running the approximate numbers in our heads whenever we do a problem.

    "Most of them arrived via public transit."

    by otto on Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 07:36:30 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  not everyone thinks that way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      algebrateacher

      Its easier to calculate than give an account of how  you do it--the latter question actually being a rather complicated philosophical question.

      We can think, without having an account of how we think. Kids can be good at math, grasp mathematical concepts with remarkable ease, and be held back by the requirement to "estimate' and such.

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