Friday, March 22, 2013

Math problems of the week: ratios in 7th grade Connected Math vs. 6th grade Singapore Math

I. The final problem set in the "Comparing Ratios, Percents, and Fractions" investigation of Connected Math 2: Grade 7 (the book's only section on ratios):

II. The ratio problems in the "Review" section that follows the "Ratio" chapter in the 6th grade Singapore Math Primary Mathematics 6A Workbook:

III. Extra Credit

It has struck me recently that Reform Math provides little or no opportunities for students to show mathematical cleverness--and to be appreciated for being clever. Several of the above Singapore Math problems, on the other hand, do reward cleverness. What does this suggest about the different values of the Singaporean vs. the American education establishments?

1 comment:

Auntie Ann said...

The first page is the type that would drive me crazy as a student. Compare the kids with respect to what? Just their raw numbers? The wording is incredibly vague; yet, if I went to the teacher for clarification, I have no doubt that I'd be waved off with a "figure it out yourself" response.

In addition to your point about cleverness, I'd add this: I got a degree in physics in large part because I loved the thrill of solving very difficult problems correctly. With some problems, I could struggle with it for an hour or more, but when it fell into place, it was a tremendous feeling.

These modern curricula don't seem to account for the thrill of achievement.