Math Problem Comparison

Teachers often ask, “What’s the difference between (the textbook I’m using now) and Singapore Math textbooks?” While there are many answers, I’d like to direct you to a resource that has been pointing out some differences  for over a year.

Once a week, Lefty (as in left-brained) over at Out In Left Field posts assignment comparisons between either a traditional math program or Singapore Math and various reform math textbooks.

From the original post:

Math problems of the week: Reform Math vs. other math

We’ll pair up a specific assignment drawn from this set with a specific assignment drawn either from a traditional series like McGraw-Hill, or from the foreign series most popular in America: Singapore Math.
I’ll try to pick assignments that take place at approximately the same point in the school year.  For example, I might choose two assignments from the first few weeks of first grade, or from the last few weeks of second grade, or from approximately 2/3 of the way into third grade.

At the end of many posts are some thought provoking Extra Credit questions. Some examples:

  • Which problem set involves more rote repetition of a given algorithm?
  • Which problem set is more accessible to children with language impairments?
  • Discuss how the two problem sets reflect the cultural and political differences between American and Singaporean societies.

Although many of the sample problems come from Singapore Math, there are also comparisons to traditional math books from the 1920s.

Enjoy!

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Grade 6 Word Problem Solutions

Earlier this month, I posted the following problem from a Nanyang Primary School 2007 Preliminary Examination I found at MissKoh.com:

A mixture, weighing 100 kg is made up of 2 chemicals A and B in the ratio of 7:3. When some volume of Chemical A evaporates, the content of Chemical A is reduced to 60% of the new mixture. What is the mass of the mixture now?

I thought I’d share how my son worked the problem:

chemical wp

He knew that if he multiplied 40% x 2.5, he’d get 100% so:

2.5 x 30 kg = 2.5 x 40%

75kg = 100%

I used a different drawing for “after” :

chem after

How did you solve the problem?

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World Metrology Day


I know you’re on the edge of your seat.

World Metrology Day is celebrated annually on May 20, the anniversary of  the international agreement on units of measurement finalized at the Metre Convention in Paris, France in 1875.

World Metrology Day (WMD) commemorates the signing of the treaty and it is a day when all the countries in the world that enjoy the benefits of a single, coherent system of measurements, traceable to the International System of Units (SI), celebrate the scientific, technological, and economic achievements that this treaty has enabled for more than a century.

There are only 3 countries in the world that have not officially recognized the metric system: Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States.

Great news for students struggling to remember how many ounces in a pound, feet in a mile, or cups in a gallon. According to Elizabeth Gentry of the National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST):

The United States is undergoing a subtle transition to the International System of Units (SI), commonly known as the metric system.

Learn about events in Gaitherburg, MD and Boulder, CO as well as celebrations around the world at the official WMD2009 site.

You were wondering: “What is Metrology?”

From Coastal Calibration Laboratories:

Definition 1): Metrology is the science of measurement.

Definition 2): Metrology is the science of weights and measures used to determine the conformance of an item to technical requirements. Metrology also includes the development of standards and systems for absolute and relative measurements.

Want to learn more about Metrology?

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Greetings!

First visit? Check out the most popular pages:

  • Direct links to placement tests & recommended supplements –  Curriculum Materials.
  • Websites that support & supplement Singapore Math –  Math Links.
  • Download materials from trainings – Handouts.
  • AIR & TIMSS Reports – Resources
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Singapore Math Tests..from Singapore

MissKoh

MissKoh.com (The url is actually www.MissKoh.info) is a website supported by Singapore’s Straits Times. If you click on the academic year, then the grade level you are interested in, you will be brought to a page of mid-year and final semestral papers as well as a few continual assessment papers, all from top schools in Singapore. For example; select 2008 and Primary 6 and you are offered test papers for English, Chinese, Maths or Science from 5 schools. (You need to register for some of the schools)

Go back to the 2007 Academic year and find tests through the second year of Junior College. All assessments are scans from actual school papers, so expect some rough looking pdfs.

My 8th grader and I had a great time working our way through some challenging word problems on a test.  For your mathematical enjoyment, here’s one from the Nanyang Primary School 2007 Preliminary Examination:

A mixture, weighing 100 kg is made up of 2 chemicals A and B in the ratio of 7:3. When some volume of Chemical A evaporates, the content of Chemical A is reduced to 60% of the new mixture. What is the mass of the mixture now?

MissKoh.com advertises itself as “Your Online Test Center” From the About Us page:

Misskoh.com is set up to create awareness for “The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund” to help students from low income families who cannot even afford a proper meal during recess…

Most of the these students do not have extra revision materials to revise, so we hope you can help by sharing your printouts with them if you know of any such friends in school.

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