Posted on December 21, 2011


Got a little traffic yesterday from a common-core-mathematics “curator” link at “” Reckon I picked the right tags?

Wondering today about whether anybody does individualized assessments of people’s math skills beyond sticking a paper or computer in front of ’em and having them crank out computations or answer word problems (and then making grand assumptions about what thinking processes happened). Katherine Garnett has a sit-down assessment for readiness for drill and practice with math facts as part of Scholastic’s FasttMath program. I wonder if it is ever used; I rather suspect most schools put the kiddos on board regardless. This would be sad since she then goes on with pages and pages of really cool active, FUN exercises to *get* you ready and improve your understanding.
It’s full of questions like “Is six closer to 12 or to 10?” Let’s face it, if you just look at me like I’m nuts… or have to count it out… I know something is happening here. Then it’s got mental math like adding and subtracting ten from a number.
Whether or not anybody using FasttMath does it, I wonder if those of us working with adults should, and perhaps toss in some other basic comprehension things (perhaps involving understanding if you need to get 12 things done in 3 days, that you can spread them evenly? and if they take an hour each, and you wait ’til the last day, you won’t get anything else done?)