Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fourth Grade Math

(no, it's not your imagination, I have moved this post)

A number is greater than 456,782 and less than 489,211. The thousands digit is greater than 4. The 10 thousands digit is not 6 or 7. Give the range that the number would be in.

update: capitalistimperialistpig has a post up about the teaching of math and in one of his replies to a comment he said, "Education has this terrible vice of being a fashion industry. Textbook publishers and their collaborators in Ed schools - the profs who write the books - are always looking for a new gimmick to sell a new kind of textbook or learning aid."

I think he hit the nail on the head with that statement, and it reminds me a bit of our old 'friend' hfischer.

9 comments:

DHammett said...

I'm no mathematician, but aren't there two ranges?

456,783 - 456,999 and
485,000 - 489,210

Kristi said...

I am with you dh.

Rae Ann said...

Yeah, that's the answer I came up with too, but I was really bothered by the wording of the question. And it was a real question from my oldest's homework. They are teaching math a lot different now than when we were in school.

Rainypete said...

My wife teaches fourth grade and I'm often amazed at the math those kids have to do!!

As for the textbook things, I couldn't agree more. What one has to remember is that at the end of the day, educationally focused or not, the textbook publishers are still publishers at heart. Their primary focus is still moving product, not making people more intelligent.

Let's face it folks, even our children's education is a business.

Rae Ann said...

rainypete, you're absolutely correct about that. I'm all for free enterprise and capitalism, but when it comes to education things are way out of control.

Belette said...

I'm not really sure its maths anyway.

DHammett said...

Fooled me. I thought it was a puzzle.

I agree that education has become a fashion industry. It seems that all a politician has to do is say he wants to increase funding for education and there's an automatic groundswell of support. If students aren't performing well enough, throw money at them and they'll get better. And in college, if the professors have written books, they're required for students. It's a huge money-sucking machine. And taxpayers just let it go.

Rae Ann said...

bellett, welcome! That kind of problem is supposed to teach the kids 'reasoning skills' which is lumped into the math class.

dh, yeah, I had some of those professors who taught their own books. How hard is that? Teaching your own material? It doesn't seem quite right to me. And it always amazes me that people think more money is always the answer. I think for some things like teacher salaries, yeah more money, but there's a lot of waste at the administrative levels so that much of the money doesn't actually get to the schools and the students.

Nancy143 said...

Thanks for posting this. My son brought this home today, for 4th grade. I'm still too hazy from the summer break to argue with him, but I was sure that it had to be two ranges. Thanks for some information so that I can show him how to get to the right answer.

Because, you know that these are the kinds of problems that we solve every day in the real world...