Thursday, January 31, 2008

What are they teaching him?

***UPDATED*** With his teacher's response.

Z. gets home from school today and since he hasn't been feeling well I ask him how he's doing. He says fine but that he has a lot of homework. So off he goes to start working on it. A little while later he comes out and ask me and Hubs if we know how to do Mexican Division? Both of us just look at each other and try not to laugh and say what, since we were expecting a joke? And he says do you know how to do the Mexican division? So this is how the conversation played out.

Me: What do you mean by the Mexican division?

Z: You know where you do division and it looks like your playing hangman.

Me: Well I know how do a kind of division with a box that looks kind of like hangman. But I call it long division. Let me show you. And I do.

Z: No mom, that's different than Mexican Division but it's kind of the same. And he takes the paper from me.

So he shows me a "new" way of doing what I know as long division with some tweaks here and there. It's definetely not the same way I did long division but it comes up with the same answer. I just can't get past the name it was given, "Mexican Division". Z. isn't any help since he just said he thought that must be how they do it in Mexico.

I know this may upset some of you but I truly do find this whole thing funny. And I can hardly wait to get the answer from his teacher as to why it's called "Mexican Division". And just to be sure I wasn't old or anything I googled Mexican Division and nothing came up. So now I really am anxiously awaiting the answer from his math teacher as to why in the world it is called Mexican Division? And I did tell Z. that I'm sure that it's not called Mexican Division because that's the way they do it in Mexico.

Alright for those of you who are actually still curious as to his teachers response I'd thought I'd share it with you.

Z. is correct; we are learning "partial quotients" which is how they divide in Mexico. It helps make division easier for the students who can get stuck very easily on the traditional method of long division. It is where the students break apart the dividend by using multiples of 10, and subtract those pieces from the whole.

Mmmm...okaaay! Since I technically never learned math IN Mexico (just the border town across the Rio Grande) I truly can't 100% contradict her on this one. But I really do kind of want to. ;)


Anonymous said...

Let us know what you find out! I used to teach, and I haven't heard of that either!

Beth said...

I can't wait until tomorrow to find out what Mexican Division is. I've been racking my brain but I can't come up with anything.

I love that you Googled it! I also Googled it and this blog post is on the first results page!

Don Mills Diva said...

Hmmm - sounds strange - let us know what you find out!

GiBee said...

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Heather said...

I'd love to hear this! Man-what are they teaching our kids these days? Long division worked for us!!

Anonymous said...

What?? Please let us know what you find out, I'm at a total loss. I've never heard of such a thing. Now you know why I'm pulling Sean and

Anonymous said...

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nicole said...

Thanks for the update--I was really curious. Now, since it has been so long since I learned division, the explanation doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm glad you got one.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Well, that explains why I can't do math.

I don't speak Spanish.