Thursday, December 12, 2013

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

I. The first mixed fractions addition section in the second 5th grade fractions unit in Hamilton's Essentials of Arithmetic (published in 1919), p. 323 [click to enlarge]:

II. The first mixed fractions additions section in the second 5th grade fractions unit in the Trailblazer's Student Guide (published in 1998), p. 389:

III. Extra Credit
Should Trailblazers 5th graders lose points if they don't solve the first four problems using pattern blocks?

1 comment:

C T said...

No wonder so many people don't go into engineering! I don't remember seeing any pattern blocks in my college math classes. How can students be expected to add and subtract fractions in a differential equations class without toys precut into the proper proportions? The horror.

Seriously, though, use manipulatives at first to illustrate what's happening and then drop them. Yes, it will require ability grouping to help the students who need more than that, but lots of fifth graders don't need to play with toys all math class. There's a limit to how "deeply" you can understand how to cut a pizza, etc.