# The Three Questions...

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Interestingly, 4th grade common core math is overflowing with this type of bat and ball problem. Many are specifically that format. Others are just generally ambiguous, and require the student to have access to information that is not explicitly stated in the problem. My son's teacher's solution? Choose an interpretation, do the work and turn it in early. If you chose the wrong interpretation, she'll give it back for corrections along with the missing information.

Ok, so there is a "right" answer.

I don't get the turn it in early idea at all.

Wonder if they are screening for certain "mind-types" early in their "education?"

A...

Paranoia is a healthy state of mind...

and we all know the song...paranoia strikes deep...

The turn it in early idea was a reaction to parents' complaints. On Monday of each week, the students are given a word problem to solve, and the solution is due on Friday. One word problem, and the grade is weighted the same as a test grade. Now, the solution goes on for 3 pages because the student has to draw pictures and create models and write paragraphs of explanation, but that's not relevant to this discussion. Anyway, after so many complaints, the teacher announced that the students could turn the work in anytime before Friday and be allowed to make any needed corrections.

I don't think there's anything more nefarious going on than a school trying to save face after making a stupid decision. (My son attends a small private school, so I am less distrustful than if he were in public school.)

Understood.

It is interactive and given a decent teacher, it can be made to work to discipline the mind.

Thanks D.

A...

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Please. None of the questions are even slightly ambiguous and all have a right answer. Totally about reading comprehension. Pure mental laziness to jump to a conclusion without reading the questions. An illustration of thinking being volitional. This puts all of the complicated convoluted philosophical discussions here in a new light. As in, if you can screw this up, how much else is bullshit?

To be clear, I don't necessarily think the bat and ball problem is ambiguous, and I agree that reading comprehension plays a big role there. I meant only to note that the particular format used in that problem is seen often in my son's 4th grade common core-based math which also includes many other formats that, indeed, are ambiguous.

That said, while this kind of exercise can be instructional and even a little fun, I'm not sure that building an entire curriculum around them is the best way to teach 8, 9 and 10 year olds basic math skills. When a child is being introduced to 2-digit multiplication and long division for the very first time, how helpful is it to sneak in reading comprehension? And yes, the bat and ball problem is a bit sneaky. I mean, we're all seemingly intelligent and educated adults here, and we're debating it. Imagine children whose prior mathematical experience includes only addition and subtraction.

I wouldn't even mind so much if this type of problem was used less frequently or more in balance with traditional math problems. However, math being taught now as part of common core is primarily word problems. Gone are the days of a sheet full of neat, tidy, straightforward numbers for teaching math.

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Please. None of the questions are even slightly ambiguous and all have a right answer. Totally about reading comprehension. Pure mental laziness to jump to a conclusion without reading the questions. An illustration of thinking being volitional. This puts all of the complicated convoluted philosophical discussions here in a new light. As in, if you can screw this up, how much else is bullshit?

To be clear, I don't necessarily think the bat and ball problem is ambiguous, and I agree that reading comprehension plays a big role there. I meant only to note that the particular format used in that problem is seen often in my son's 4th grade common core-based math which also includes many other formats that, indeed, are ambiguous.

That said, while this kind of exercise can be instructional and even a little fun, I'm not sure that building an entire curriculum around them is the best way to teach 8, 9 and 10 year olds basic math skills. When a child is being introduced to 2-digit multiplication and long division for the very first time, how helpful is it to sneak in reading comprehension? And yes, the bat and ball problem is a bit sneaky. I mean, we're all seemingly intelligent and educated adults here, and we're debating it. Imagine children whose prior mathematical experience includes only addition and subtraction.

I wouldn't even mind so much if this type of problem was used less frequently or more in balance with traditional math problems. However, math being taught now as part of common core is primarily word problems. Gone are the days of a sheet full of neat, tidy, straightforward numbers for teaching math.

Language is manipulatable, math is not.

Therefore, the more ambiguity that is instilled in how children perceive a "word" is to the advantage of folks who manipulate as a primary goal.

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I hadn't thought of it in that way, Adam, and it makes me shudder to consider it now. My concerns have been more short-sighted, focused on the immediate impact I have seen just this school year.

My son is dyslexic. Prior to the introduction of common core at his school, math was the one and only subject at which he naturally excelled. He didn't even have to try, and it was a huge confidence builder for him. (He has managed to be an honor roll student, but, to his credit, he works really really hard for it.) This year, however, because of the common core changes, math is just as much of a struggle as every other subject. In the first quarter, for the first time ever, he failed a math test, and I saw his self-esteem plummet. All of his solutions to the problems on that test were correct. He failed because of spelling mistakes, incomplete sentences, missing punctuation, and misinterpreted word problems. And yep, you better believe, that this momma threw a big ol' southern girl hissy fit. The policy was changed such that spelling and grammar mistakes no longer count against the student in math. That one test grade stood, and the ambiguous word problems keep coming, but you know, one hissy fit at a time...

Oh, wait, he also excels in art class! He is quite the budding artist.

Sorry for the hijack!

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I hadn't thought of it in that way, Adam, and it makes me shudder to consider it now. My concerns have been more short-sighted, focused on the immediate impact I have seen just this school year.

My son is dyslexic. Prior to the introduction of common core at his school, math was the one and only subject at which he naturally excelled. He didn't even have to try, and it was a huge confidence builder for him. (He has managed to be an honor roll student, but, to his credit, he works really really hard for it.) This year, however, because of the common core changes, math is just as much of a struggle as every other subject. In the first quarter, for the first time ever, he failed a math test, and I saw his self-esteem plummet. All of his solutions to the problems on that test were correct. He failed because of spelling mistakes, incomplete sentences, missing punctuation, and misinterpreted word problems. And yep, you better believe, that this momma threw a big ol' southern girl hissy fit. The policy was changed such that spelling and grammar mistakes no longer count against the student in math. That one test grade stood, and the ambiguous word problems keep coming, but you know, one hissy fit at a time...

Oh, wait, he also excels in art class! He is quite the budding artist.

Sorry for the hijack!

I really detest these people.

You should tell him about the attorney who defended Gore, brilliant attorney and dyslexic, David Boies. I love this guy, even when we are on opposite sides of an issue. He wears a suit and tennis shoes to Court! Never takes notes and has a perfect memory. He is a work of art in the Courtroom.

"Reading has nothing to do with intelligence. It's just one way of getting information. The important thing is how a person processes that information, the kind of person we are, the contributions we make, and the kind of utility we have for society."

David Boies, perhaps the nation's most highly acclaimed and sought-after attorney, is known for his brilliance, creativity and passion for justice. Boies has represented clients in many of the nation's landmark high-profile cases, including Bush v. Gore, where he represented Vice President Al Gore in litigation surrounding the controversial 2000 presidential election; the U.S. Department of Justice in its successful antitrust suit against Microsoft; and together with Ted Olson, represented gay and lesbian couples to overturn Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage.

http://dyslexia.yale.edu/boies.html

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I am sure PDS would appreciate this Boies video:

"I'm crafting a story" that the judge or jury will hear.

http://youtu.be/3gkiW1Le2p4?list=PL2_mkcRZbGTgV7reCy-m4cNI-BJAv3gC1

He also comments about the Microsoft case that he personally read every line of every exhibit for both sides. As he explains, so that he could decide...here the interviewer jumps in and says to decide "what to enter"... and Boies' eyes widen and he says "and what not to enter."

A...

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I wouldn't even mind so much if this type of problem was used less frequently or more in balance with traditional math problems. However, math being taught now as part of common core is primarily word problems. Gone are the days of a sheet full of neat, tidy, straightforward numbers for teaching math.

This may be of interest for anyone with kids or grandkids.

Financial company Bloomberg partnered Wednesday with CodeNow, a nonprofit aimed at teaching technology skills to underprivileged kids. Bloomberg and CodeNow have teamed up to launch “CodeNow in a Box,” a nationwide program that will give teachers the tools to instruct according to CodeNow’s own researched technology curriculum. (Press release embedded below; no link available as of publication.)

http://readwrite.com/2014/11/19/disney-bloomberg-learn-to-code?utm_source=ReadWrite%2BNewsletters&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=bd2f9edb3f-RWWDailyNewsletter&utm_term=0_9fbeb5d667-bd2f9edb3f-201267301

Meanwhile, Disney has united with Code.org to teach kids the basics of programming syntax using the beloved Frozen characters Elsa and Anna. The tutorial aims to get children, especially girls, interested in coding early. Additionally, Disney will be donating \$100,000 to Code.org to implement after-school technology programs around the country.

Grrr...^^^^this link was in the above quote http://studio.code.org/s/frozen

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