Category Archives: math performance

The Specter of the EOG

One Test Could Be the Deciding Factor My heart goes out to young students at this time of year, especially this year. They are living with the specter of one all-important standardized test and the possible implications of their performance on that test. I’m talking about the end-of-grade (EOG) test that is required in North […]

The Problem with Word Problems Word problems are hard. Word problems are confusing. Kids hate word problems. Why? A student’s first experience with word problems is often overwhelming. They are used to seeing straightforward problems such as “3 + 8 = ?” or “121 ÷ 11 = ?”. Then we throw long-winded sentences at them […]

Say the magic word!

It makes me sad when I hear a student say something like “I can’t do fractions” or “I’m not good at long division.” I don’t feel sad just because they feel they lack a certain skill. What really gets to me is that they seem to have given up on ever attaining that skill. They […]

In a 2002 paper, Dr. Gene Fitea concluded that “Students who can read fluently can do anything academically.” He cites a 1999 study by MacGregor and Price that concluded that “Vocabulary, number and symbol senses, as well as the ability to read and comprehend word problems are important factors affecting achievement in math.” They also […]