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Topic: [math-learn] middle school math problems
Replies: 11   Last Post: Jan 18, 2013 9:58 PM

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Ed Wall

Posts: 837
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: [math-learn] middle school math problems
Posted: Jan 18, 2013 3:07 PM
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Dennis

Thanks for this.

That seems to dovetail with my 'ancient' middle school teaching experiences. However, there has been talk since then of pushing Algebra 1 down into middle school and I know that in some places Algebra and Geometry are, insofar as textbooks are concerned, somewhat integrated. Thus I was wondering.

Ed

On Jan 18, 2013, at 2:50 PM, starcap50@aol.com wrote:

> Sorry for the double link to the 2010 Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL)
> 8th Grade Mathematics Test.
>
> The first one does not work.
>
> The second one does.
>
> All The Best,
>
> Dennis
>
>
> In a message dated 1/18/2013 2:39:04 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> starcap50@aol.com writes:
>
>
>
>
> Hello Ed,
>
> My reason for assessing the sample problems as "advanced" is that their
> level of difficulty and prerequisite knowledge for solving them are far
> beyond the standards for any middle school math curriculum I have ever
> worked
> with in the state of Virginia since my retirement in 2005.
>
> In the state of Virginia, students who,are enrolled in middle school are
> usually enrolled in Grades 6,7, and 8. Students usually begin high school
> in Grade 9.
>
> In Virginia, the "average" student takes Algebra 1 in the 9th grade,
> Geometry in the 10th grade, and Algebra 2 in the 11th grade. Above average
> students usually take Algebra 1 in the 8th grade (the last year of middle
> school), Geometry in the 9th grade, and Algebra 2 in the 10th grade.
>
> A small minority of highly advanced students can take Algebra 1 in the 7th
> grade, Geometry in the 8th grade, and Algebra 2 in the 9th grade. At the
> middle school where I taught before I retired in 2005, however, Algebra 1
> was not yet available for 7th grade students.
>
> In the set of problems presented, problem #42 involves the hyperbola,
> which
> is not taught in the state of Virginia until Algebra 2, which most
> students take in either the 10th or the 11th grade in high school. Having
> tutored
> students privately for the past several years, I have not seen the
> hyperbola presented in any math course curriculum until Algebra 2 is taken.
>
> Problem #41 involves the construction of a circle within given parameters,
> which is a topic covered in Geometry. Most students take Geometry in
> either the 9th or 10th grade in high school. Only a small minority of
> students
> take Geometry in 8th grade, which is the last year of middle school in the
> state of Virginia. Problem #39 involves the Triangle Inequality Theorem,
> which is also not covered until Geometry.
>
> The following is a link to a pdf copy of the 2010 Virginia Standards of
> Learning (SOL) Test for 8th Grade Mathematics:
>
> __http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/released_tests/2010/test10_math8.p
> d_
> (http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/released_tests/2010/test10_math8.pd)
> f_
> (_http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/released_tests/2010/test10_math8.p
> df_
> (http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/released_tests/2010/test10_math8.pdf) )
>
> If this link opens, you will see a fair representation of the level of
> problems which are taught in the 8th grade, which is the last year of
> middle
> school in the state of Virginia.
>
> Speaking from the trenches, and based upon my nearly 30 years of teaching
> and tutoring combined, for whatever it may be worth, the sampling of
> problems presented in the "Five Triangles" blog website more closely
> resemble
> advanced problems on the high school level than on the middle school level.
>
> Best Wishes,
>
> Dennis
>
>
> In a message dated 1/18/2013 12:21:42 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> _ewall@umich.edu_ (mailto:ewall@umich.edu) writes:
>
>
>
>
> Dennis
>
> While I haven't taught middle school since 1995, some of these problems
> seem to call on knowledge which isn't in the repertoire of the average 8th
> grader and, in some cases, the average 9th grader. I'd be interested in
> what
> others, currently involved in middle school mathematics teaching, think.
> Putting all that aside, these problems do seem accessible to a student who
> is versed in Algebra I and Geometry, so I'm wondering why you think them
> for advanced students (I don't say they aren't, by the way). Some of these
> problems do require some careful thinking and, perhaps, even more
> importantly an investment of solution time. Is this what you are pointing
> at?
> I looked through the archives, by the way. The quality of problems vary as
> to difficulty and - this is a personal judgement - appeal. I wish I had
> known about it before as I teach course for teachers-to-be and some of the
> problems are nice. I rather liked the geometric construction in the
> original
> email as I just spent a semester grumbling about student performance on
> such.
>
> Ed Wall
>
> On Jan 17, 2013, at 10:36 PM, __starcap50@aol.com_
> (mailto:_starcap50@aol.com) _
> (mailto:_starcap50@aol.com_ (mailto:starcap50@aol.com) ) wrote:
>

>> Yikes! I taught middle school mathematics for 22 years (1983-2005) and I
>
>

>> have never seen any middle school math problems quite this difficult
>> before. Are these for advanced middle school aged students?
>>
>> I now do private tutoring for high school students taking Algebra 1,
>> Geometry, and Algebra 2, and these problems appear to be on the advanced

> level
>> for even these subjects.
>>
>> Dennis
>>
>>
>>
>> In a message dated 1/17/2013 10:23:33 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
>> __ccssimath@gmail.com_ (mailto:_ccssimath@gmail.com) _

> (mailto:_ccssimath@gmail.com_ (mailto:ccssimath@gmail.com) ) writes:
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> We blog at ___http://fivetriangles.blogspot.com___

> (http://fivetriangles.blogspot.com__/)
> (_http://fivetriangles.blogspot.com_/_
> (http://fivetriangles.blogspot.com_/) )

>> (__http://fivetriangles.blogspot.com/__
> (http://fivetriangles.blogspot.com/_)
> (_http://fivetriangles.blogspot.com/_ (http://fivetriangles.blogspot.com/)
> ) ) with some not-so-commonplace math problems.

>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>>
>> ------------------------------------
>>
>> Yahoo! Groups Links
>>
>>
>>

>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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> ------------------------------------
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
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>





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