The Basics of Teaching Math to Young StudentsThis refers...


June 19, 1994

The Basics of Teaching Math to Young Students

This refers to the May 1 article in The Sun about a new method of teaching mathematics which is supposed to improve on teaching methods and will be adopted by our school systems in the future. The words of disgust I have for these so-called new teaching methods could not be printed in this newspaper.

I have tutored math students both in Baltimore City and in Anne Arundel County middle schools for the past 11 years. These new methods are nothing more than the typical excuses and reasons why students have difficulty with math in middle and high school.

I would like to suggest that the real reason for so many students having trouble is that their teachers in grades 1 through 5 did not insist on the children learning basic math facts. They must memorize these facts in the same way that they are able to memorize words to popular rock and roll tunes.

It is difficult for me to understand why professional educators will not admit this publicly. Most of the students I have tutored had not learned number facts and they were lost in trying to perform new math concepts taught in middle and high school.

The other ideas in this new math teaching that are ill-conceived pertain to students working in groups rather than as individuals. The concept that students should solve problems in groups will never instill in them a sense of individual accomplishment. When I was in school, this was considered "cheating."

In closing, we better get some people in charge of our schools who have common sense and know how to apply it when assuming the responsibility for instructing our young people.

David Wetterau

Severna Park

Naming New Bridge

A May 27 editorial in The Sun stated that the 29th Infantry Division will be memorialized by officially calling former U.S. Route 29 the 29th Infantry Division Memorial Highway. A very patriotic (and inexpensive) move.

Any gesture that can be made to perpetuate the memory of World War II units (because it is the furthest away in time) or the war's outstanding heroes should be mandated now.

There is an excellent opportunity for the state of Maryland to do this at virtually no cost, by naming the new bridge over the Severn River at Annapolis the Lt. Milton E. Ricketts Memorial Bridge.

Lieutenant Ricketts, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, was killed during the Battle of the Coral Sea, May 8, 1942. He was a native of Baltimore.

By naming this span the Lieutenant Ricketts bridge, the more than 1,000 Maryland sailors who made the supreme sacrifice would be indirectly honored. The naming of this bridge . . . has the endorsement of the major veterans organizations.

These organizations include the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association. This organization is composed of irreplaceable sailors because there are no more destroyer escort ships in the U.S. Navy. This insidious demise seems to be in all military organizations.

Hence, unless the memory of the respective units or heroes is preserved, as in the naming of this Severn River Bridge after Lieutenant Ricketts, the actions and sacrifices (supreme or otherwise) of the service personnel will become dimmed into oblivion.

Joseph G. Amrhein


The writer is chaplain for the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association in Maryland.

Cat Attack

On May 23, while standing in front of my residence, I was attacked by a 22-pound cat that was being walked, unleashed, by a woman who lives in my community. Even though the owner knew that the cat had the propensity to attack, she still did not have it leashed. Furthermore, although the cat has been a member of her household for 11 years, the cat did not have necessary inoculations.

As a result, I had to be taken to the Anne Arundel Medical Center emergency room. I sustained puncture wounds, lacerations, contusions and one of the cat's claws was extracted from my leg. I had to receive a tetanus shot and be on an antibiotic for five days. I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic which resulted in another trip to a doctor. I have also had to take medication for pain.

All this could have been avoided if Article 12 of the Anne Arundel County Code, Animal Control Ordinance, had been obeyed. The law states:

* No animal shall be off the property of its owner, except by a leash, a cord or a chain. (This means no animals can run loose -- no cat, dog, pig, cow, horse, goat, etc.)

* All cats and dogs four months of age shall be vaccinated against rabies.

* All animal bites are to be reported to Anne Arundel County or Annapolis City police.

Penalties for violations of this law range from $20 to $500. If we choose to make animals, especially cats and dogs, members of our families, we should act responsibly . . . and abide by the law. nTC These laws were not only enacted to protect our communities, they were enacted in the best interest of our pets.

Mary T. Page


Reining In 'Great Society'

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