I Just… Mathed

| MN, USA | Learning | November 6, 2015

(I am tutoring a flippant seventh grader, who has missed a fraction problem on a test.)

Me: “What did you have?”

Seventh Grader: “1/5.”

Me: “Right… If we multiply this out, 1 times 3 is 3, and 2 times 10 is 20, so our answer is 3/20.”

Seventh Grader: “Yeah, and I simplified it.”

Me: “Oh, really? What did you simplify it by?”

Seventh Grader: “…I dunno. I just did it.”

Me: “…Yeah, that’s why you double-check if you have time left over.”

(He spent five minutes on seven problems, and used his phone the other ten minutes.)

Seventh Grader: “…No, it was like, I was thinking about taking 3 out of 20, and that’s, like… kindergarten math. I didn’t need to think about it. I just did it somehow.”

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