Friday, January 2, 2009

Math problems of the week: 3rd grade Pennsylvania Standards Test vs. Singapore Assessment

A. From the beginning of a sample placement test for the Pennsylvania Academic Standards, given at the end of 3rd grade (16 questions in all):

1. Which number has the greatest value?
200 1,001 30 1,100

A. 30
B. 200
C. 1,001
D. 1,100

2. Olivia looks at 4 different measurements. These are the measurements: 1 inch, 1 foot, 1 yard, 1 mile. Which measurement is the least?

A. 1 inch
B. 1 foot
C. 1 yard
D. 1 mile


B. From the beginning of the placement test for Singapore Primary Mathematics 3B, an exit exam for 3rd grade (18 questions in all):

1. Use mental calculation.

(a) 34 + 28 =
(b) 62 - 37 =
(c) 600 x 5 =
(d) 3600 ÷ 9 =

2. Fill in the blanks.

(a) 5 m - 3 m 45 cm = ______ m _______ cm
(b) 3408 m = ______ km ______ m
(c) 3 kg 250 g - 8 kg 600 g = ______ kg ______ g
(d) 3 L 6 ml = ______ ml

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With standards like Pennsylvania's, why should our schools bother teaching anything but Reform Math?

Unless, of course, they care as much about their students as they do about their test scores.

3 comments:

onlinepastrychef said...

It boggles the mind. Very sad. And please tell me that those PA answers not giving IN ASCENDING ORDER?!?!

Anne said...

With kids in PA public schools (5 in right now, 2 to go) I'd much rather go back to homeschooling.

I noticed a drop in everything as soon as we sent them off to public school.

Lori said...

As a third grade teacher in PA, I found this comparison to be very interesting. I think it is important to note that the PSSAs assess our Anchors, a select portion of the Standards that make up our curriculum. Unfortunately some teachers feel pressure to focus only on the Anchors.

Anne - I feel your pain and, as a public school teacher, have dreamed of being about to homeschool. I taught in a building where class size was 18 and it was absolutely amazing what we accomplished! Now I am looking at 25-27 in a class, and, I hate to admit, there is a difference. Good luck!