Thursday, January 31, 2013

Math problems of the week: 5th grade Investigations vs. Singapore Math

More on skirting actual calculation (and higher-level problem solving) in Reform Math:
statistics in TERC/Investigations vs. Singapore Math

I. The closest the TERC/Investigations Math Student Activity Workbook gets to the topic of averages [click to enlarge]:

II. The third problem set involving averages in the Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 5B Workbook [click to enlarge]:
III. Extra Credit:

Comparing the relative difficulty of the two problem sets, speculate on why 5th grade Investigations avoids even simple problems involving averages.


Anonymous said...


TERC Investigations hasn't taught kids to divide yet by fifth grade, so it can't have them figure out averages.

Auntie Ann said...

1) The students haven't enough experience with addition to competently do the computation.

2) The teachers can't even do the division without a calculator.

3) There are too many numbers in the problem, and, really, you can't expect the kids to work all of that out!

4) No one uses averages anyway, so what difference does it make.

5) Only nerds want to do so much math, and they'd just write some code or use a spreadsheet anyway--they don't need to compute anything themselves.

6) No one likes nerds anyway, so we're helping the kids with their self-esteem by making sure they can't become one. It's part of the anti-bullying movement.