Friday, September 16, 2011

Math problems of the week: Symmetry in Connected Math vs. Singapore Math

I. From the 8th grade Connected Mathematics "Kaleidoscopes, Hubcabs, and Mirrors" chapter, Investigations 2: Symmetry Transformations, end of unit Connections and Extension problems, pp. 38-39:

II. From the 4th grade Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 4B Workbook, "Congruent and Symmetric Figures" chapter, final exercises, pp. 100-101:

III. Extra Credit:

Singapore Math moves on from symmetry after 4th grade; 8th grade Connected Math spends 40 pages on it. What sort of real-world problems and careers will Connected Math students be better prepared for as a result?


gasstationwithoutpumps said...

Symmetries are particularly important in group theory and in X-ray crystallography, but I doubt that Connected Math gets into either type of symmetry.

Deirdre Mundy said...

But Katherine, Symmetry makes math fun!!!! It engages kids by letting them draw!!!! So of course we need it in Jr. High-- kids get much better grades when you include a 2 week drawing unit!

Of course, paradoxically, geometric constructions are dry, dull and old-fashioned. Or maybe just too risky as they involve sharp objects.

Honestly, symmetry is a pretty easy concept. It's a definition. You learn what it means, you practice a couple of times, and you're set for life. This should be about 15 minutes of any school kid's life, not years.