Friday, November 27, 2009

Math problems of the week: 3rd grade Trailblazers vs. Singapore Math

1. The final addition and subtraction word problems in the addition and subtraction chapter of the 3rd grade Math Trailblazers Students Guide (p. 87):

The students held a bake sale to raise extra money to pay for the scenery and costumes. Students in Mr. Sullivan's and Ms. Angelo's classes brought in cookies for the bake sale. Ms. Angelo's class brought in 194 cookies and Mr. Sullivan's class brought in 235.

A. If Ms. Angelo's class brought in 100 more cookies, would they have more cookies than Mr Sullivan's class?

B. How many extra cookies would Ms. Angelo's class need to have the same number as Mr. Sullivan's class?

The bake sale earned $253. Students used $185 to buy material for the costumes.

A. After buying the material for the costumes, did the students have more or less than $100 left from the bake sale money?

B. Exactly how much money did they have left?

2. The final addition and subtraction word problems in the addition and subtraction chapter of the 3rd grade Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 3A (p. 61):

A factory has 2000 workers.
1340 of them are men.
The rest are women.
How many more men than women are there?

The total cost of an oven and a refrigerator is $2030.
The oven costs $695.
Find the difference between the costs of the oven and the refrigerator.

3. Extra Credit

Which is more likely to draw your child into a math problem: a connection to his or her daily life (e.g., school plays and bake sales), or straight forward language with no excess verbiage?

One problem set turns one-step problems into two step problems; the other offers two step problems whose steps aren't spelled out. Which strategy offers a more meaningful mathematical challenge?

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