Friday, October 3, 2008

Math problems of the week: 6th grade Connected Math vs. SIngapore Math

1. From the end of the first unit of 6th grade Connected Mathematic Prime Time

A group of students designs card displays for football games. They use 100 square cards for each display. Each card contains part of a picture of a message. At the game, 100 volunteers hold up the cards to form a complete picture. The students have found that the pictures are most effective if the volunteers sit in a rectangular arrangement. What seating arrangements are possible? Which would you choose? Why?

2. From the end of the first unit of 6th grade Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 6A

Simplify the following expressions:

12 + 8h – 6h =

9a + 1 -3a =

7 + 4k – 2 – 2k =

15x + 8 – 10x -3 =

Extra Credit

Estimate the ratio of linguistic complexity to mathematical complexity in each problem.

To quote Connected Math, which would you choose, and why?


Obi-Wandreas, The Funky Viking said...

That's one of the biggest problems I have. The kids can't do the problem not because they don't have the mathematical chops but because they can't fscking read!

Granted, that is also an issue, but I'm sick of my kids getting slammed in math for issues that have nothing to do with math.

If the "math" department downtown had any idea how much of this pile of useless flotsam I leave out of my lessons...

Obi-Wandreas, The Funky Viking said...

And to top it all off, the Singapore Math stuff looks exactly like assignments I write on my own to give them as "supplements" (i.e. the real math they should be learning).

Dawn said...
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Dawn said...

I don't get the Connected Math question. It sort of ignores logic. If the cards have to impart a specific message that depends on putting the cards together in a specific way to read that message, shouldn't there only be one possible arrangement?

I can bet you that my grade 6th self would be utterly confused and convinced this was some kind of trick question.

lgm said...

I wonder what the point of the CM problem is? Showing combos of widths and lenghts to point out that perimeter can be the same with various widths and lengths?

I think the problem is difficult for anyone who hasn't the cultural background of seeing the card pics on TV or live in person.

lefty said...

lgm, good point! What ever happened to multi-cultural math>