Friday, April 15, 2016

Math problems of the week: 5th grade Common Core-inspired math problem, plus rewrite

 A 5th grade test question from Engage NY:

There are 12 players on a new softball team. Before the team starts playing games, the team must pay a total registration fee of $572. Along with the registration fee, the team will also need to spend a total of $1,240 on equipment.

To pay for the cost of the registration fee and the equipment, the players held a car wash and raised $786. They then decided to sell candles for $9.50 per candle to cover the remaining costs. If each player sells the same number of candles, how many candles must each player sell?

[95 words]

Rewrite:

A new softball team must spend $572 to register and $1,240 on equipment. To cover these costs, the 12 players raise $786 and then sell candles at $9.50 per candle. If each player sells the same number of candles, how many must each player sell?

[45 words]

Extra Credit:

Assuming away any concerns about English Language Learners and children with language and/or reading impairments, are there reasons for giving kids math problems with gratuitous verbiage?

Do the demands of the 21st century require that we measure reading speed and working memory along with math skills?

Might we accomplish the same goals by blasting distracting noises and conversation at students--or by letting them keep their iPhones turned on--while they do practice problems and take tests?

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