Friday, February 28, 2014

Math problems of the week: 4th grade 1920s math vs. Everyday Math

The final problem set in the 4th grade curriculum for each book:

I. Hamilton's Essentials of Arithmetic:



II. Everyday Mathematics Student Math Journal, Volume 2:



6 comments:

Auntie Ann said...

I couldn't possibly do both the division and the check multiplication of that first page in 1 minute. Amazing!

GoogleMaster said...

Is that one minute for each subproblem (e.g. 1a) or for each problem (e.g. 1 a,b,c)? Or, god forbid, do they just want to know how much of the page you can get done in a minute?

Auntie Ann said...

The wording sounds to me like you are supposed to solve the division problem and (!) reverse it and do the multiplication to check it in one minute.

Anonymous said...

There are three columns for the ease of the teacher - she can assign column a, b, or c, and switch them between classes or years.

One minute per problem, e.g. 16,434 / 64 and then back again. It would be fine if they came out even, innit?

The textbooks were this way when I was a kid - we didn't have workbooks. Teacher assigned us problem sets from textbooks as old as our parents and we copied them out. Am I old?

GoogleMaster said...

I like that the problems don't come out even. Last week I had to explain to an Algebra I student whom I was tutoring that numbers aren't always "nice" in the real world. Her system of equations came up with an answer something like x = -11/6 and y = 9/2.

One of the things I like about this school: in the five or six times I have tutored there so far, I have yet to see a calculator. Students are expected to solve with pencil and paper, including the Alg I "solve by graphing" problems. Probably the more advanced students use calculators, but at the level that needs help, they don't get to use them.

I've found that it's not the fractions that trips the kids up so much as the negatives and positives. If -3x = 6, then what is x? I get responses like "6?" and "2?" Or, -11 minus 3 is what? "8?" So I go back to the number line ...

ChemProf said...

That's one of the things I find my students struggle with in applying algebra to chemistry. They can solve 2x + 1 = 5, but when the chemistry makes it 1.86x + 2.77 = 32.55, that's a whole different thing (even with calculators).