I am wondering how to determine if my 13 yr old is showing her work well enough in math. She's doing Saxon Algebra II and I've given up teaching it, but do correct it in that I look for the right final answer. Is there any reason for her to be meticulous with showing steps? Will it be to her advantage in any way to improve? How do I police this when there are many different paths to the answer and the key shows only one option?
Thank you for your help,
~ Rebecca in Washington
LOL...Lee I can't tell you how many times I have marked a math problem wrong and my son would do it over again and get the same answer. I did the same as you (and still do), I would have him call the company and sure enough, he was correct...lol.
My sons do most of their math in their head (5th/6th grade lvls) so I don't require them to show a lot of their work. However, if they get an answer wrong they have to redo the problem and then orally tell me how they came to that answer. If they can do orally process how they came up with the answer, I know they understood 1.)what they did wrong and 2)how to correctly solve the problem.
My son is 12 and doing high school geometry. He didn't show much, if any, work throughout Algebra I. I think he sees the problems and steps in a differnet manner. But, as the work got more complex, he started showing some work. Proofs in geometry are killing him becasue he likes to skip the in-between steps. But, he's doing the proofs...slowly!
When his sister did Algebra II, she also did not show her work. But, like Lee suggested, good grades, or show it. She got the answers right so I let her do it her way. She just took the AP Calculus exam last week. Guess what...free response questions give you a point to show the equation, a point for substituting correctly and a point for the right answer...Ha, ha, ha, ha , ha! Guess who had to sloooow down and show the steps! It took a couple of months of practice for her to be able to show each of the steps.
My son never likes to show his work. He doesn't understand why he should have to and feels it is a waste of time. "I have the answer correct isn't that the point" he says. I watched him and he seems to figure most of it out in his head. I have him show me his process on how he came up with the answer whether on paper or verbally.