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Beginner, Average, Proficient:

Freshmen Students Accuracy in

Performing the Basic Four
Fundamental Operations in
Bernardo Lirio Memorial National
High School

Submitted by: Mark Daniel G.

Abaricio & Sarah Rose M.
Gonzaga IV-A (Pythagoras)

Date: January 5, 2014

Chapter 1

Knowing the significance of the most important thing of Mathematics-fundamental operations is one of our equipment to survive in our daily living
nowadays. We use addition to figure out total amounts of something else. We
use subtraction to make comparisons between what we have and what we
need and to calculate remaining items as they are used. We use
multiplication to figure out larger totals and to transform units from one
measure into another. We use division to determine equal portions of items
and also, to figure out average of large numbers. Being incapable of these
four fundamental operations is also being illiterate of utilizing money as we
look further in our real world.

It is important that students know addition, subtraction, multiplication

and division. They also need to know, with speed and accuracy, these four
fundamental operations with positive and negative integers. Students who
failed to improve their skills on these four fundamental operations struggle
each year as we move onto other topics. Their inability to add, subtract,
multiply and divide impedes on their ability to solve higher-order thinking
problems. It gets to the point where they are consistently getting problems
wrong, not because they do not know to do a problem but because of their
computation skills.

The following are the factors contributing to students poor

performance in four fundamental operations:

Parents Involvement on Students Learning. The amount of math

homework has been cut in half from 24-30 problems, to 12-15. This
has come about from parents complaining about too much homework
over the years. Unfortunately, the current lighter homework often does
not give sufficient practice in a certain type of problem for the students
to be able to understand or master that type of problem. One or two
examples of a certain type of problem are just not sufficient. Due to
lack of drill practice at home, many children are just never mastering
even the basic addition facts, let alone multiplication facts. Sometimes,
parents who cannot afford tutors or cannot understand math often
have children who completely fail math. It is also a case that parents
who spend most of their time on their job cannot associate with their

children specifically if a child enters kindergarten and not prepared to

participate well in class.
The common reason of some parents is teachers are obliged to
teach their child properly and as a parent, they are responsible to pay
for their school expenses which are not an acceptable reason. In the
early age, children should interpret numbers 1-10 through the
supervision of their parents because parents are their first and most
important teachers.

Teaching and Learning Materials for Mathematics. Drill practice

is considered old-fashioned. Never mind that the teacher can make
drill practice into a fun lesson, just like any other type of lesson can be
made fun by a dedicated teacher to make learning fun and exciting.
There are also several cases in primary schools that students are using
calculators to add 5+3, 9+6, 8+7. What to pay close attention, their
teachers allow them! Calculators should just be thrown out until about
Grade 9, or whenever math involving higher functions on calculators is
started. Prior to that time, they shouldnt be allowed in school at all.
Assignments were usually accomplished at home where students ask
for parents help. Students are not motivated enough to try what they
have learned from school. Hence, worksheets are just papers and not a
tool to practice students learning.

Methods of Teaching Mathematics. Most teachers have also the

same difficulties in training students to master a unit. For them, it
doesnt matter if children dont master a unit. Just move through all
the units and the same units will be covered next year in a little more
detail. If they still dont get it, the same thing will happen the following
year, and hopefully they will get it then. This idea has a name, which
is called something like spiraling. Sometimes, teachers always rush
all the topics and give backbreaking tests to students where they dont
know anything about. Lessons are usually not taking up successfully.
Lecture methods are commonly found in school which is ineffective in
that it turns the learners into passive participants in the learning

Mathematics Teachers Deficient Characteristics. Learning from

school usually starts with a good relationship between students and
teachers. But how if Math teachers force their students to learn
Mathematics even they are not capable of doing basic math facts?
Aside from this, teachers are quite strict when it comes in solving on

the board. When students failed to answer what is going to tackle

about, their aggressiveness affects students cognitive process and
motivation to learn further resulting to a huge numbers of students
who are afraid to attend school. Several students dont have tolerance
for bad teachers which become a difficult situation to bring them in a
higher level. In addition, students rely on their own capabilities and
begin to hate their Math subject and also their Math teachers which are
not good for their academic progress. Students learn by means of fear.
Its often the case that high school students who have a harder
time learning mathematical concepts utilize their fingers. According to
Mathematical Development Research, children generally move from
the less-efficient strategies using their fingers to the more efficient
strategies without finger use. Many things in life must memorize in the
future and finger counting closes students mind to this essential skill.
According to Mental Math Research, when Chinese children could not
retrieve an addition fact directly from memory, they tended to count
verbally, whereas the American children tended to count on their
fingers or guess. The Chinese children scored better in addition facts
tests. Rather than noticing this as a problem, it should be seen as an
outcome of difficulty with Mathematics.
It is not good to see students who always tend to use finger counting
in the secondary level which lead to a poor progress on their basic
math mastery. They are already done in their primary level and facing
the secondary level, they must be prepared for any changes.

Few freshmen students already attained proficiency in

mathematical concepts since they have learned from their previous
level but most freshmen students have subtle changes on their
improvement and must be immediately resolve before it gets too late.
It is good to see how accurate and fast our next sophomore students
solve problems and perform advanced operations for the next year
class. It will only be possible through formal assessment, hands-on
practice and evaluation consisting of a test or observation.

Research Questions:

1. What are the effective methods that can help students to attain
proficiency level in these four fundamental operations?
2. Among the four fundamental operations, which operation do
students find more difficult?
3. Will there be a significant improvement for those students who will
be benefited of this research?

Research Objectives:

To acquire students through rigorous methods by enhancing their

basic math facts mastery and to help them move to another
level of mathematical concept.

To lessen the finger counting cases that can often be found in

freshmen students of Bernardo Lirio Memorial National High

To help Mathematics teachers in improving huge numbers of

students who struggle most of the time during Math class hours.

Scope and Limits:

The cover of this research is the poor performance of freshmen
students in performing four fundamental operations that inhibits their
computation skills in a certain unit in Mathematics as they go further in more
complex lessons. In addition, how they can solve complicated problem
solving accurately and analyze application and generalization quickly if the
real problem is their inability of mastering Addition, Subtraction,
Multiplication and Division.

It also contains the concern on how to support students in aiming the

full mastery of those four fundamental operations and keeping basic math
facts on their minds and not to burden with their hands. Before leaving the
introductory part of Mathematics in secondary level, students must precisely

memorize those basic math facts and they can easily cope up and survive in
the following year level as Mathematics becomes a challenge for everyone.
In fact, there will be a difficult either confusing topic in the branch of
Mathematics unless students can perform well in the field of four
fundamental operations.

The scope of this research is only exclusive for freshmen students who
need to undergo observation and enhancement of their mastery on the four
fundamental operations. Any other issues about the complex content of
Mathematics and how students describe it as Mental Abuse To Human is
not beyond of this research. This research will also serve as an analysis to
figure out the level of mastery of freshmen students. We can consider them
as beginners, average and proficient in performing four fundamental
Definition of Terms:

Complex- denoting or involving

numbers or quantities containing both

a real and an imaginary part.

Accuracy- the degree to which the

result of a measurement, calculation,

or specification conforms to the
correct value or a standard.

Acquire- to achieve or develop a

skill, habit, or quality.

Assessment- the evaluation or

Deceitful practices- the action or

practice of deceiving someone by
concealing or misrepresenting the

Drill practice- behaviorist aligned

estimation of nature, quality or ability

of something.

technique in which students are given

the same materials repeatedly until
mastery is achieved.

Attain- succeed in achieving

something that one desires and has

worked for.

Backbreaking- physically
demanding especially of manual labor.

Enhancement- an increase or
improvement in students ability, skills
and performance.

Evaluation- appraisal about the

students performance.


Functions- a relationship or

Passive- accepting or allowing what

expression involving one or more


happens or what others do, without

active response or resistance.

Fundamental operations-

Proficiency- a high degree of

referring to Addition, Subtraction,

Multiplication and Division.

competence or skill; expertise.

Hands-on- involving or offering
active participation rather than theory.

Retrieve- get or bring something
back or regain possession of.

Rigorous- extremely thorough,

exhaustive, or accurate.

Impedes- to interfere with or slow

the progress of something.

Inhibit- hinder, restrain, or prevent

an action or process.

Spiraling- repetition of lessons every

school year.

Subtle- difficult to understand or


Significance of the Study:

Freshmen students who would reap benefits from this research can see
themselves gaining control in Mathematics as various topics introduce in
every quarter. Everyone desires to master those four fundamental operations
which help us not in school but also ensuring that everything takes place in a
fair situation. Moreover, we are distant from deceitful practices when it
comes to financial matters. It would be great to see how students get rid of
using finger counting during tests and activities.

Mathematics teachers in secondary level cannot accommodate huge
numbers of students who still have problem in the four fundamental
operations because they expect that it should be taught already in their
primary level and any adjustments for computations complications were not
tolerated. How will a typical teacher proceeds his topics in the area of

Mathematics if students are required to begin again in the basic math facts?
If this research becomes an ideal breakthrough to achieve mastery of
students in those four fundamental operations then, Mathematics teachers
would probably reduce hard times in teaching advanced Mathematics.

As a young researcher, it is an honor to take part in such a step up
action to constitute a remarkable change that would help a lot of students in
transforming themselves into well-experienced learners. In fact, while
conducting this research as our project, it becomes a bridge for senior
graduates to combat poor performance in four fundamental operations of his
fellow students. And also, coming into contact with research papers that we
can possibly encounter in our tertiary level: a beneficial practice for us that
deserves more than gratitude.

Chapter 2
Related Literature and Study

Foreign Literature

Petreshene, S. S. (1985). Mind joggers! 5 to 15 minute activities
that make kids think. West Nyack, NY: The Center for Applied
Research in Education, Inc.

https://www.msu.edu/~trentac1/mathfactslessonplan.pdf -

Goal-directed Instructional Design Plan- Mastery of Basic Math Facts

by Mariah Trentacosti

https://expattutor.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/why-somany-elementary-students-arent-mastering-basic-mathfacts/ Why So Many Elementary Students Arent Mastering Basic Math

Facts Part I (of 2)

No! No! No! No! Dont Let your Child Finger Count! By Caroline
Mukisa in Mental Maths

Should my kids be counting on their fingers? By Tiernan McKay

Factors Contributing To Students Poor Performance in
Mathematics at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in
Kenya: A Case of Baringo County, Kenya.