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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,781
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Which Is More Important?

we all know the answer was 15

but................

understanding the logic to get to the answer is just as important

3x5  is   5 + 5+ 5

5x3  is  3+3+3+3+3

this is the very reason we were given an extra sheet of paper that was considered a work sheet but that had to be turned in too although the answers on the test were indeed the answers

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,458
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: Which Is More Important?

@Marp, you just had me do the unthinkable, and agree with occasional rain .

Spoiler

OF COURSE the student was penalized. It was a multiplication problem, not an addition problem, and while the child understands the principle involved, he or she isn't mastering the mechanism. Give the kid "378.9 x 47.1" and stand back and tell me it's okay to solve it by adding.

Yes, the method matters, at least in this instance.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,703
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Which Is More Important?

The way I interpret 5x3 is 5 - three times so I would have answered 5+5+5.

If it was 3x5, I would have answered 3, five times so 3+3+3+3+3.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,420
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Which Is More Important?

[ Edited ]

I am a retired high school Mathematics teacher.  I've taught everything from Basic Skills to AP Calculus.  I retired before Common Core Standards were implemented.

I have a number of thoughts about this problem  My first goes to how many of us learned our multiplication tables.  5 x 3 would have been included in our Five Times Tables.  Sister Eileen would have discouraged us from ever using addition facts to back up our multiplication facts.

We have 4 Grands in elementary and/or middle school.  Sometimes when I see how they are expected to solve simple math problems, I scratch my head.  I've learned that Common Core would interpret 5 x 3  as 3+3+3+3+3.  That being the case, if the instructions were to support the answer to 5 x 3 with addition, I understand and support the teacher.

Frequently I butted heads with my department chairperson.  He thought every student should always know the theory and connections behind every math skill.  Personally I thought a lot depended on the skill level as well as the overall abilities of the student.   He disliked students who memorized how to find the answer as opposed to those who discovered how to find the answer.  He called the former, Cook Book Mathematicians. He said he didn't believe in recipes.  I'd argue he was comparing apples to oranges.

Here is the Common Core multiplication interpretation.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,913
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Which Is More Important?

@Marp

Personally, I do not care how anyone gets to the correct and accurate answer to anything. In my life, my preference has always been getting real life experiences, as opposed to reading and/or learning about them from hearing it.

Why the right answer's method means everything to some baffles me. Must we be reminded that destinations have more than 1 route to complete. And some wonder why the education system is failing in many areas of our country?

I am very happy that I attended Catholic Schools. It paid off for me when I attended a Public High School. Things I was being taught there in my 2nd year, I had learned in the 5th and 6th grade in Catholic Grade School. Back then the only important thing was learning the right answers, not the methodology I took to get there.

More money will fix all the educational problems in our country? Please spare me that nonsense. Education belongs at the local levels, not dictated by some idealogues sitting in a bubble far from these localities. Who suffers? Everyone, from those trying to get educated, to those like myself, reaching a cashier that needs an electronic means to know how much change to give me after my purchase. This is everywhere now it seems.

Said enough,

hckynut(john)

hckynut(john)
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,120
Registered: ‎04-17-2015

Re: Which Is More Important?

[ Edited ]

Yes, there is something to be said for following instructions. However, there's also something to be said for the child who is able to think of alternate ways of solving things, which will be critically important when s/he grows up. I'd hate to think that such rigidity in a math problem would stifle creativity and stifle thinking outside the box.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,354
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Which Is More Important?

A question should elicit different  and higher critical thinking skills.

In Social Studies the hook or warmup should be warming up the brain w/questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no. The student should also be able to explain the resoning behind their answer.

Thinking outside of the box is encouraged.ie.: I have a family photo of my DFIL, who was a Major and head of Nuremberg security/prisoner care and transport post WW2. He is pictured as bodyguard (sitting behind) for Gen Eisenhower, Gen Patton, Gen. Bradley. They are all attending a baseball game.

Question (after photo has been passed around as a primary resource and shown under a document reader is- Why would we not see a photo like this today of our military leaders?

Answer: Security concerns for their safety and the impact on our country's security.

Then: How have things changed?-Technology, use of personnel, roles in govt., etc.

This was the hook.

We then proceed into post war Europe, and the evolution of the Cold War.

History is linear and spirals in scope and sequence.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,343
Registered: ‎06-10-2010

Re: Which Is More Important?

@occasionalrain wrote:

I'm in agreement with the instructor. Not only did the student fail to follow the proper method; he failed in reading for meaning.

**************  I understand why the instructor needs to teach this way to the class. It is right and the majority of kids probably get it.  My problem is, if Johnny just can't bring his mind to see it that way and he gets the right answer....and no matter how hard the teacher tries (and the parents) maybe they should realize that there comes a time that he finally can get the correct answer and it seems to be the only way.....I don't see any reason to discourage that.  It's kind of like taking a left handed kid and forcing him to use his right hand, imo.  Otherwise you run the risk of this child "failing" one too many times and giving up.  I just think some exceptions need to be made for kids that struggle so hard.  When they can't get it....many just want to give up.  To me that would be a worse case scenerio.  It doesn't have to apply to the whole class.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,330
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: Which Is More Important?

It seems that by giving partial credit the teacher DID recognize that Johnny got the right answer.  Apparently she evaluated both aspects of the problem: the method and the answer.

I think the teacher got it right.

~ It helps if you imagine Auto Correct as a tiny little faerie in your phone who's trying so hard to be helpful, but is in fact quite drunk. ~