Sunday, December 01, 2013

Word problems

On another blog I mentioned a method of trying to parse word problems I'd used with several of our kids, and from the dead silence that ensued I conclude that people are too embarrassed to ask what it was. Or something.

Blogger is not terribly friendly when I want to use and re-use many small images, so I stashed the whole thing on another web site. The idea is quite simple: look for key words and keep careful track of your units.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Excellent idea. I only read the first parts, as I had gradually stumbled on something like this over the years for myself. Good testers do. Yet I would have liked to have it in this form, particularly for my two Romanians. It is something of a disadvantage when the tester is trying to trick you a bit - or perhaps I should say distract or mislead you - and it is not your first language.

I am going to go back and check for two of my own hints I passed along (and they work for mathletes too): be careful with the negative signs, especially if it looks like they are trying to double-negative you; and similarly, be cautious about whther you are being asked to divide by two or by one-half.

I recall even as a student that such questions struck me as not being math, but careful attention to language. That is useful in math, but it's not the same thing.

james said...

What really annoys me is when the tester is merely being sloppy. I've hit too many ambiguous problems over the years...