Thursday, February 4, 2010

Math problems of the week: 5th grade 1920s math vs. Everyday Math

I. From Hamilton's Essentials of Arithmetic, Volume I (published in 1919), final fractions word problems in the year 5 fractions and decimals section, p. 361-2:

Which is cheaper and how much, 3 1/2 lb of sugar for .35 or 5 lb for $.40?

Philip had $2.80, which was 2/3 of what he needed for a tennis racket. Find the price of the racket.

Edwin's father raises 120 lambs which average 78 1/2 lb. The cost of keeping the lambs is $200; they are sold at 12 cents a pound live white. Find his profits.

II. From the 5th grade Everyday Math Student Math Journal, Volume 2, final fractions word problems in the fractions and ratios chapter, p. 293-5:

Regina is cutting lanyard to make bracelets. She has 15 feet of lanyard and needs 1 1/2 feet for each bracelet. How many bracelets can she make? ____ bracelets.

Eric is planning a pizza party. He has 3 large pizzas. He figures each person will eat 3/8 of a pizza. How many people can attend the party, including himself? ___ people.

Explain why you think it is important to know how to find equivalent fractions with common denominators.

III. Extra Credit

The final problem in the 5th grade Everyday Math Student Math Journal fractions and ratios section is the following:

Look back through your journal pages for this unit. What do you think is the most important skill or concept you learned in this unit? Explain why.

Discuss the revolution in meta-cognitive awareness that underlies questions such as these, which are egregiously absent from 1920's math.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. I've thought about this alot..... and I agree with you to some degree.