Thursday, May 28, 2009

Math problem of the week: 5th grade Trailblazers vs. 1920's Math

Higher Level Thinking Problems from the end of the 5th grade curriculum:

I. Hamilton's Essentials of Arithmetic Higher Grades (published in 1919), "Problems Without Numbers," p. 155:

How can you tell, by means of a scale on a map, how far it is from one city to another?

If you know the dimensions of a hall, how can you find the number of square yards of plaster needed to cover the walls and the ceiling?

If you know the first three terms of a proportion, how can you find the fourth term?


II. Math Trailblazers Student Guide, "Grass Act," p 508:

Manny: I can't believe how long it took me to cut the grass in our yard Saturday. There must be a zillion blades of grass there.

Felicia: There's no such thing as a zillion.

Manny: I know. It's just a way of saying there's a whole lot. Still, I wonder how many blades of grass are in my yard? It would be really interesting to find out. I wonder how we can.

1. Think about how Manny and Felicia can estimate the number of blades of grass in the yard. Work with your group to develop a plan that can be used to solve this problem.

2. Record your group's plan. Use the Student Rubric: Solving to help you as you write your plan.


Extra Credit: Work with your group to develop a plan to estimate how far U.S. grade school math has come since the 1920s.

No comments: