# Writing number seven with dash. Correct or not?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by debela65, May 1, 2012.

1. ### debela65

My son (8y-high functional autism) was told that school policy or rule is that he's not allowed to write number seven with dash or he want be mark in his work. Is this correct or not? I'm from Europe and I write seven with dash. We do a lots of advance maths at home and he sees my seven and now he's confused why is he not allowed to do the same. Please advice.

2. ### debela65

My son (8y-high functional autism) was told that school policy or rule is that he's not allowed to write number seven with dash or he want be mark in his work. Is this correct or not? I'm from Europe and I write seven with dash. We do a lots of advance maths at home and he sees my seven and now he's confused why is he not allowed to do the same. Please advice.

3. ### s1phillips

I use a seven with a dash all the time. I explain to my classes that I use it to tell the difference with a 1 (especially when writing a lot at high speed). I also dash my z to stop confusion with a 2!

4. ### debela65

What about school policy? Is there any?

5. ### ian60New commenter

Not in any school I've worked in.

6. ### swampyjoNew commenter

Me too! Pretty bizarre that a school would dictate this as being wrong!

Sounds like a strange rule to me. As a mathematics teacher I prefer the opposite. I do not impose either but point out how the confusions can arise.
I was taught to write a seven with a dash to stop confusions. Initially this was with numerators of fractions. Fractions with numerators 2 and 7 could get confused.latterly it helped distinguish between letter z as well. I too draw a dash across the z.
<ol>[*] ask to see this rule in writing. [sometimes some people are just awkward][*] in the meantime, bearing in mind your description of your child, suggest to him that: the school has a standard font. There are many fonts available in word and other applications that you can compare with.[*]Ask to speak to the teacher and find out what reason(s) are given</ol>This is not a rule that I expect a mathematics would come up with. If the teacher is strying to achieve something then fair enough.
Good luck.

ROFL twofold and 1,2,3 .
Threefold?

9. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

If the only thing your son does "wrong" is dash through a 7 then he doesn't have a lot to woory about.

The school is being pathetic and I can see absolutely no justification for saying this is wrong.

Do they also insisit on a particular handwriting stlye.

This is small minded pettiness.

10. ### Polecat

Of course 7, wih or without the dash, is equally acceptable.
The distinction between 2 and z is more of a problem in my experience.

It is a ridiculous rule. Of more interest is how the school would cope with a student from, say, Poland who wrote division signs as colons and multiplication as dots. But the continental 7 has no confusion at all. In SATs the markers would be perfectly happy with a dash.

12. ### frustumStar commenter

The most confusing one I had was a student who wrote a 1 with a large serif. There was no ambiguity if you were marking his book, as he used a dash across the 7. But if you marked a pile of papers question by question, so didn't realise it was him, it was easy to read it as a 7. When it got to SATs, I transcribed every answer with a 1 in it, in case we hit this problem.

13. ### likeglue2

I see the Math forum has hit a new low.

14. ### Kevinberry03

I am a science teacher and I do it all the time. Before entering teacher I was a broker/dealer in the city and I always did it on hand written tickets- I brought it up during EAL INSET, andit sparked a large discussion. Due to the cursive nature of numbers in Europe it is common place there. s, eems biazarre to disallow it.

15. ### NazardNew commenter

As Adam mentioned in passing, in England we call this a "continental seven".

Given that you are from "the continent" it is perfectly reasonable for you to write your sevens like this. (And as it happens, even though I am not from mainland Europe I still write my sevens like this too.) If the school insists on being ridiculous you could explain to your son that in the same way there is a different word for "petty" in different languages, the number seven is written differently in different languages.

16. ### lilybetbeeNew commenter

but aren't we writing in English, not other languages?

I cannot imagine "banning" continental sevens but I would actively discourage continental style "one" because of their confusion with our traditional number seven

17. ### NazardNew commenter

Sorry - I wasn't clear! In the original post the poster said that 8-yr-old son was confused about why it was not allowed at school in England when parent writes it that way. I was attempting to give a justification/explanation that could be passed on to the child.

I agree! I do try to ban zeroes that look like sixes and fours that look like nines, but according to the Yr 11 practice papers I have just marked, with limited success ... (my favourite one is where the pupil gets the wrong answer because they have misread their own workings and changed a zero into a six!)

18. ### ColinTindal

I've experienced this too.

19. ### Vicky496

7 is supposed to have a dash through it - I haven't had a piece of work in all year written without it so it seems to be the norm from my students' previous schools as well. Also, multiplication can be written with a dot in England too - the minute you get to A level you'll need it. And I agree that a z should have a line to avoid confusion with 2. Also l (lower case L) should be looped in maths so as not to confuse it with a 1 or I (capital i). If you want a real 'international maths' confusion then try describing y=|x| as a 'modulus' graph to an American (they only seem to use 'mod' for modulo arithmetic and would use 'absolute' in this setting).

20. ### JTG

You should speak to the head of department and explain your background. The head of department should accept that children brought up in other European countries write the number 7 like that.