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## Replies to: Math Placement Test Without a Calculator?

5,694Senior Member7,927Senior Member18,313Senior MemberHere's an analogy. Suppose someone takes a heart stress test. They have to walk on a treadmill, or ride an exercise bike, and the machines measure how their heart is doing. If the test says the heart isn't doing so well, the person wouldn't respond, "But I was forced to WALK three miles. When I need to go three miles, I don't walk! I drive! Why weren't we allowed to use cars?!" That's so beside the point.

And it's the same for the placement test. If I wanted to know the square root of 95, I'd use a calculator. But I *can* figure out a pretty good estimate for the square root of 95 by hand-- actually with Newton's method I can figure out a very good estimate-- if I need to, and that's one indication that I know enough math to take college level math classes.

6,755Senior Member5,032Senior MemberBut what grade did you learn Newton's method? Heck, I don't remember anything about a "Newton's method". Part of the problem, as I see it, is that math classes don't go back and review concepts from earlier years. Those of you who remember are lucky. If I thought my daughter would learn all the basics she's forgotten, or how to do problems without a calculator, I'd be more than thrilled to have her take a remedial class. I just don't see it happening. The name of the "remedial" class is Elementary Algebra 2.

6,755Senior Member18,313Senior MemberSquare roots and multiplication are not arcane mathematical concepts. She should know them. If she doesn't, she isn't remotely ready for calculus.

5,032Senior MemberI don't think she'll ever take calculus. In my previous post, I mentioned taking the two statistics classes in order to avoid calculus.

18,313Senior MemberI tutored at a remedial algebra class at my local community college. The college's assessment test, it seemed to me, didn't place anyone there who didn't belong there. Like your daughter, most of the students in that class were taking it as a prerequisite for statistics.

By the way, depending on schedules your daughter might be able to take her remedial class at a community college in the summer, saving you the cost of an extra class at her school. Community colleges have a lot of experience in math remediation.

96Junior MemberI definitely teach the terms and the procedures for commutative, associative, and inverse with my second graders. I can't speak to all my colleagues but this is in our standards for our grade level.

I think one of the hardest things for me with incoming second graders is getting them to realize that "=" doesn't mean "this is where you put the answer". When we work on the commutative property and a problem is simply 8+2 = __ +8, they would want to put 10 in the blank. It's being 7 years old I know. It is fun to watch when it starts to make sense and how they can play with numbers.

I KNOW many kids do not get a complete understanding of number sense. I get so many parents who will say "I was never good at math either" and just dismiss the subject as a possibility for their kids even in elementary school. I love stretching their mathematical little minds

3,195Senior Member6,755Senior Member5,028Senior Member18,313Senior Memberremedialordevelopmental, it's the same course-- it prepares students for higher level math classes.Like Sylvan, I think the point of taking the remedial/developmental class at community college is to gain the knowledge. It doesn't matter whether the course transfers, if the math material stays in Toledo's daughter's brain.

22,762Senior Member> about a "Newton's method".

Newton's method requires finding the derivative of a function to solve a general problem so you wouldn't see it before calculus to solve general problems.

It can be introduced much earlier, though, as a technique for finding square roots or solving the equation y=x^2 - a where you want to find the square root of a. I would expect this to be an enrichment thing outside of a numerical methods course.