Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2/3 Finish what we started

My main goal for this week was to get to all the problems we didn't do last week after our KenKen digression.  So I started reviewing the AMC8 6-10 problems. These again didn't feel very deep and the kids had a pretty easy time outlining solutions to each other.

One note: Given a problem like

There are four more girls than boys in Ms. Raub's class of 28 students. What is the ratio of number of girls to the number of boys in her class?

Most of the kids tend to decompose the problem by saying if equally divided there would 14 of each and since there are four more then we should add and subtract 2 from 14 to get the two subtotals: 16 and 12.   I'm surprised that no one tends think in terms of equations i.e. x + x -4 = 28 solve for x.  This is a general trend through most of the problem solving. I'm not sure if its developmental and post algebra this all changes and if its worth emphasizing looking at the more algebraic approach.

After the AMC problems I had everyone choose between some practice Maths Olympiads or some problems from the five triangle site. This worked out pretty well. Almost everyone stayed on track and finished at least one sheet. The only drawback is that it doesn't allow for group solution sharing. I'll have to think if there is any way to do both without an extra person. 

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