Friday, May 6, 2011

Math problems of the week: 2nd grade Investigations vs. Singapore Math

I. From Sessions 2 and 3 of the first "Investigation" in data analysis the 2nd grade TERC/Investigations curriculum, p. 153:

II. The first and third problems in the 1st exercise in data analysis in 2nd grade Singapore Math, Primary Mathematics 2B Workbook p. 148 and p. 150:

III. Extra Credit:
Which involves higher-level thinking: actively creating your own representations of data, or passively reading off someone else's?


Deirdre Mundy said...

The first question on the Investigations is MINDBOGGLINGLY dumb. It basically amounts to 6=6..... for the record, my not-quite-yet-a-kindergartner finds it trivial. If I put it to my second grader, she'd probably wonder why anyone would bother asking something so easy.

NO WONDER kids are growing up innumerate! Thanks (as always) for the vivid illustration!

Jo in OKC said...

Note how both pages in Singapore Math ask the kids to take the work a step further -- they have to say exactly how many more or fewer one is than another (___ more children like blue better than green, He has ____ more cars than robots, and He has ____ fewer airplanes than soldiers).

Anonymous said...

I'm not getting it -- I see no obvious difference in higher level thinking between these two sets of exercises. (Well, except that the singapore math does require some substraction).

Why is having a child answer that the representation of M having 6 apples (or whatever she has) means she has six cubes any different from asking "how many children like the color yellow" (which means looking at a graph of tally marks and counting them). They're inverse questions about the same concept.


Katharine Beals said...

"Well, except that the singapore math does require some substraction"

And multiplication.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, did you miss the other worksheet, the one that uses three step problems? None of the Investigation problems require any more than one step procedures. The Joe toys problem requires creating data from the data representation because the step after counting the triangles is to multiply by two to figure out the actual number of objects. Almost all of the Investigations are simple one-one correspondence problems, which should have been taught back in preschool or kindergarten.

Aly V said...

I believe Out In Left Field was expecting us to say Investigations uses higher level thinking because of the key word, active. Am I wrong in thinking you thought the Singapore Math used passive skills and was therefore inferior? Interpretation of data graphed in various forms is a higher level skill than creating a stack of cubes with a 1:1 correspondence.

Katharine Beals said...

"Interpretation of data graphed in various forms is a higher level skill than creating a stack of cubes with a 1:1 correspondence."

Then maybe, just maybe, Out In Left Field is expecting you to say that Singapore Math uses higher level thinking.

Especially given her earlier comment above. :)