What Should a 4th Grader Know in Math?
|Above copied from The Mathematics Common Core Toolbox|
|Above copied from TIMSS 2011|
Improving math education obviously involves much more than just writing new test questions. First, one must take a look at what current assessments are telling us. Grade 4 students are currently finding the above TIMSS question already challenging. This question only requires finding how much area is shaded. Among all the education systems in the world that participated in TIMSS 2011, there were only four that scored 50% or above on this question. The international average is suggesting that more than two-thirds of grade 4 students are currently unable. Thus, it is not surprising that on the Education Week blog where the above PARCC question is also presented, there is one comment posted:
"Unreasonable is the only way I can describe these questions."By the way, to answer the question of how many deer are in the park, one must know the following:
- the perimeter of a rectangle is the sum of its four sides
- a rectangle is defined by two dimensions: length (L) and width (W)
- the perimeter of a rectangle is therefore equal to 2L + 2W
- from the given length and perimeter: 42 = 2(8) + 2W
- the width is therefore 13 miles
- the area of a rectangle is the product of its length and width, so in this case, the area is 8 times 13 = 104 square miles
- with 9 deer for every square mile, there are 104 times 9 deer in this park = 936 deer.