Thursday, July 30, 2015

Math problems of the week: Common Core-inspired 4th grade test questions

From the Smarter Balanced Assessments, a Common Core-inspired, standardized test consortium now consisting of about 12 states: the next three problems on the sample 4th grade practice test.

Extra Credit

Discuss the various ways in which the emphasis on conceptual understanding and interpreting the thought processes of other "mathematical thinkers" undermines more challenging applications of procedures.


Anonymous said...

I guess Nicole doesn't know how to divide?

Auntie Ann said...

Last week, when you posted the MPOTW, I went and took the online sample for 4th grade. The way they asked the questions was often tortuous! It's like they tried to find the most complicated way to create a multiple choice exam.

Students could have shown their understanding by asking them to actually *solve* the problem. Another problem could have displayed the problem as a division problem with the divisor missing, and asked kids to *solve* it.

I found the number of times kids were actually asked for an answer ridiculously low--and pointless. The philosophy seems to be: asking kids to actually solve math problems is not as good as writing complicated and tortured problems to force them to figure out the logic of the test writers. To me it seems no better, and often worse.

Again and again they gave the kids a set of equations and asked them which one was right, instead of having them generate the equations themselves and solve the problem. It makes no sense.