Sunday, April 5, 2009

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

I. From the end of the percents unit in 6th grade Connected Math, Bits and Pieces II:

As you work on these ACE [Applications/Connections/Extensions] problems, use your calculator when you need it.

1. Find three examples of advertisements, news reports, or other information in which percents are used. Store windows, newspapers, magazines, radio, and television are good places to look. Write down each example, or cut it out and tape it to your paper. For each example, describe how percents are use and what they mean.

2. Faaiz and Tat Ming go to a restaurant for dinner. Their meals total $13.75.

a. The local sales tax is 5%. How much tax will be added to the bill?

b. They want to leave a 15% tip based on the bill and the tax combined. How much should they leave? Explain.

c. If Faaiz decides decides he should pay $2.75 more than Tat Ming because he ordered the most expensive dinner, how much should each pay? Explain.

II. From the end of the 6th grade Singapore Math unit on percentages, Primary Mathematics 6A, p. 62:

1. 20% of Menon's books are comic books. If Menon has 52 comic books, how many books does he have altogether?

2. Sulin's savings is 75% of Meifen's savings. If Sulin saves $300, how much does Meifen save?

III. Extra Credit

1. Predict which Connected Math problem Connected Math students will need calculators to solve.

2. Predict whether Connected Math students will be able to solve the two Singapore Math problems with help from calculators.


Michael Paul Goldenberg said...

Ah, Lefty, I see what you're about. Do you seriously propose that you've offered a balanced sampling of the two curricula? Why not just state outright that you are choosing to trash CMP? Not that your tactics are at all subtle.

Love those extra credit problems, too. Lovely propagandizing. Just nothing to do with what this debate is really about. I'd hoped for better when you left your link on my blog, but all I see thus far is predictable, dull, and utterly useless.

I'm sure your fans, however, are VERY impressed. Too bad those of us who actually have seen all the CMP materials know that you are stacking the deck, loading the dice, and, like most anti-reform ideologues I've met, trying to rig the game entirely to favor your own prejudices.

lefty said...

Mr. Goldberg, the devil, I like to say, is in the details. Please cite some specific 6th Grade Everyday Math percents problems that pose a (mathematically) conceptual challenge similar to (or greater than!) the 6th grade Singapore Math problem cited below! I, myself, have been unable to find anything like the conceptual challenge offered by Singapore Math within the corresponding grade levels of today's Reform Math. But I am OPEN, yes, OPEN, to being proved wrong! Please do so, with specific examples.

ugh said...

I remember my 6th grade daughter struggling over these same CMP problems. She just now got beat by her younger sister in a timed test and asked me to find a harder problem to have a contest. I googled CMP problem of the week and ended up here. Ok, so I showed her the Singapore problems and she answered each one in about 5 seconds, in her head. So what's your point? Do you seriously think those are challenging problems? I personally like them because they're straightforward and the CMP always goobley gucks everything. I am a high school math teacher in a different district that uses CMP (We adopted Discovering, bleh) and hate that the kids coming into the high school are at about a 3rd grade level. I think CMP goes over their heads myself. It's fine for the bright kids, but the struggling math student (and now the struggling readers) do horrible. Just my 2 cents.