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July 31st, 2019, 08:55 AM   #11
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In Africa primary School students are taught subtraction mathematics through improvisation. For instance I recall my math teacher told the class to collect ten bottle tops as a learning material. To use it for the problem like 5 -3, we were taught to take five bottle tops and reduce the number by three so that the remaining number of bottle tops become the answer.

Alternatively use of Cartesian plain on the x-axis. This works with problems like -5+3. You just have to tell her that taking three steps from negative five towards the right hand side would give -2 as an answer. OKAY?
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July 31st, 2019, 09:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DarnItJimImAnEngineer View Post
And who is going to claim it's racist to acknowledge that someone speaks more than one language? I have frequently told international students struggling to figure out problems or explain concepts, "Do it in [French/Arabic/Vietnamese/whatever] if it helps."
I'm not saying it's could be called racist to acknowledge that. I'm saying it could be called racist to ask if a student is struggling in math (or any other subject) because she doesn't know English well enough. There's a difference between being fluent in two languages and being fluent in one language with some knowledge of another language.

I have tutored minority students who failed Regents in June and passed in August after a combination of summer school and my tutoring. In 2000 while I was in high school, I tutored a girl who was African-American or Hispanic. I was told that she scored in the 20s in the Sequential Math I (Algebra 1) Regents and passed after I tutored her. I didn't tutor for a long time until two summers ago, when I tutored a Hispanic girl who got a 58 on the Geometry Regents in June and a 72 in August. I'm not saying I'm perfect at tutoring, but it's not like the only tutoring I've done is helping smart students do better. It's the opposite.

I could try to say one digit numbers in Spanish. What are the Spanish words for "addition," "subtraction," and "negative" that would be used when teaching math? I could look it up myself, but I want the best translation. I don't want to use a Spanish word thinking it means "addition" when it really means something similar like "combining." I'm not going to learn enough Spanish to say whole sentences.

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Originally Posted by Khoxy View Post
In Africa primary School students are taught subtraction mathematics through improvisation. For instance I recall my math teacher told the class to collect ten bottle tops as a learning material. To use it for the problem like 5 -3, we were taught to take five bottle tops and reduce the number by three so that the remaining number of bottle tops become the answer.

Alternatively use of Cartesian plain on the x-axis. This works with problems like -5+3. You just have to tell her that taking three steps from negative five towards the right hand side would give -2 as an answer. OKAY?
For the first paragraph, I took your suggestion and packed pennies. For the second paragraph, I already did that with number lines.

Last edited by EvanJ; July 31st, 2019 at 09:04 AM.
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