Thursday, October 4, 2012

Math problems of the week: 4th grade Investigations vs. Singapore Math

I. The last dollars and cents problem in the 4th grade TERC/Investigations Math Student Activity Booklet [click to enlage]:

II. The last dollars and cents problem in the 4th grade Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 4B Workbook [click to enlage]:

1 comment:

Barry Garelick said...

Singapore uses good multi-step problems which require students to synthesize previously mastered skills and knowledge--which is what critics of traditional math keep wanting to see. They continually ask, "Why can't students apply prior knowledge to new situations?" Probably because they are given a steady diet of challenging problems that are not knowledge/age appropriate in the hopes that they will learn what is needed to solve the problem in a "just in time" basis. This is sometimes called "embedded learning".

Investigations provides the bare minimum and students may be 2 years behind traditional math students by 5th grade. And then people wonder why kids can't apply their prior knowledge to non-routine problems. Usual reasons given: Teachers didn't teach Investigations (or EM or whatever) with fidelity. Students are inattentive and unfocused.