Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Favorite comments of '14: GoogleMaster, Hainish, Auntie Ann, and Anonymous

On Math problems of the week: more Common Core-inspired math problems:

GoogleMaster said...
The answer to question 1 is given directly in the text. Mom bought a 16 ounce package of ten hot dogs.

Question 5 cannot be answered without additional background information that some fourth-graders may not have:
a) what is a smore?
b) what are the ingredients to a smore?

To test these questions, you can translate all of the food items to Hungarian or even nonsense words.

Hainish said...
It seems that anyone can be "inspired" by common core, in various ways.

Auntie Ann said...
There is absolutely nothing even remotely challenging in that problem, and most of it you can do with a quick glance. The only thing you have to remember is to count Wendy in and know that there are 6 kids. The addition is the only thing you need to write down your work for. Since the items add up to $12.99, subtracting to get the change is trivial. Question 6 is stupid; all it is doing is asking you to multiply 6 x 2.

The problem takes about 5 times longer to read than it does to solve, and the math content is negligible.

It also could be criticized, I suppose for not telling the student which ingredients go into making s'mores. There must be kids out there who have no idea what a s'more is--I'm thinking about urban kids and kids in immigrant families.

Anonymous said...
The figurative language really struck me for its potential to confound the assessment of math skills. The roasting sticks "sprouted" hot dogs and "hovered" over the fire -- I could envision many 4th graders, with language-based learning differences or not, puzzling hard over what that means for what got cooked and when.

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