I teach the upper grades in my school, yet I continue to see kids who do not even have basic algebra skills in place. As a parent, I'm very aware of what my own children are learning in school. For the most part, I've been happy with their progress, but as they rise in grade level, I'm starting to see more emphasis on a loose understanding of the concepts and less emphasis on skills__particularly skills with arithmetic of fractions. The main problem with what I see with my students and my own children is that kids are taught "concepts" and are not taught skills__unless they're lucky enough to have a teacher who knows better. Most particularly, children are not taught mastery of arithmetic with fractions. Unfortunately, virtually all of their future math education depends on being able to do fractional arithmetic.

Let us discuss some tangible advantages of Mathematics in today's world. One should also be aware of the wide importance of Mathematics, and the way in which it is advancing at a spectacular rate. Mathematics is about pattern and structure; it is about logical analysis, deduction, calculation within these patterns and structures. When patterns are found, often in widely different areas of science and technology, the mathematics of these patterns can be used to explain and control natural happenings and situations. Mathematics has a pervasive influence on our everyday lives, and contributes to the wealth of the individual.

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