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Author Topic: It may not be so funny after all.  (Read 1782 times)

Offline iddee

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It may not be so funny after all.
« on: June 04, 2013, 09:35:47 AM »

Years of Math 1950 - 2010

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register.

I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:

1. Teaching Math In The 1950s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?

2. Teaching Math In The 1960s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In The 1970s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In The 1980s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In The 1990s

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20.. What do you think of this way of making a living?

Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok. )

6. Teaching Math In 2009

Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?
 
 
7. Teaching Math In 2013
Who cares, just steal the lumber from your rich neighbor's property. He won't have a gun to stop you, and the President says it's OK anyway 'cuz it's redistributing the wealth.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline Moots

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Re: It may not be so funny after all.
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 09:51:00 AM »
THIS IS Soooooo GOOD!

If it wasn't so true, it would be funny!  :(
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan

Offline nietssemaj

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Re: It may not be so funny after all.
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 02:43:35 PM »
I do this all the time just to see the reaction on the cashiers face.

Incidentally, most cashiers have had trouble making change for the last 20 years that I have noticed.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: It may not be so funny after all.
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 03:55:40 PM »
I handed a clerk a twenty, a one, and some change so I could get a ten back instead of a bunch of ones, a five and some change.  She accused me of purposely trying to confuse her in order to get more money back.  Called her supervisor to sort it out.

That actually seems to have improved some now that they totally rely on the cash register for the answer... as long as you give it all to them up front...

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline rgy

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Re: It may not be so funny after all.
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 07:43:09 PM »
hey Mike, just yesterday I went to CVS the bill was 22. somthing and i gave the clerk 30.  he put 25 in the register so it said he owed me 2 something, he then realized he had made a mistake and said something to the effect of " oh crap how am I going to figure this out" i said "you owe me 7.whatever"  he gave it to me and then thanked me for figuring it out for him.  he said it would of taken him forever!!

Offline JPinMO

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Re: It may not be so funny after all.
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 01:57:22 AM »
I started substitute teaching in 1999; my first call was for high school math. It was the beginning of a new semester, and the teacher had left 'diagnostic' worksheets - fairly basic multiplication and division. I was *incredulous* when they dove for their calculators.

I asked, "Remember those multiplication tables that you learned in 3rd or 4th grade?"
Answer: "After that, they always made us use calculators!" Some of them were actually apologetic.

Problem: 15 divided by __?__ = 3.  You wouldn't believe how many of them answered 45 (because all they would do was punch in 15x3=)

 :jawdrop:

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters
cannot be trusted in large ones either. – Albert Einstein

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: It may not be so funny after all.
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2013, 10:04:55 AM »
Someone posted this earlier this year... Ma and Pa Kettle doing math...  He even checks his work by doing it in reverse.

ma and pa kettle math
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline lonestarbee

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Re: It may not be so funny after all.
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 12:09:27 AM »
Actually, as a middle school teacher in Texas, I see the problem as the opposite.  So much time is spent on extremely difficult concepts and things kids will NEVER use that real-life situations are not taught.  I'm not surprised that kids don't know what to do in simple situations. They are too busy trying to remember the formula for slope or when to apply the Pythagorean Theorem that they can't do the obvious things.  The state keeps making the tests more and more difficult, teachers have no choice but to teach to the test so we can meet state expectations and not lose school funding, and we are leaving the kids in the dust.  Here is a sample of a 7th grade problem. It's off the TEA website, not an actual test, but I will tell you this is a pretty simple one.

Travis drew a triangle that had a right angle. He also drew a rectangle.

The triangle has a height of 4 cm and a base of 8 cm.

The rectangle has a perimeter of 24 cm and a length of 8 cm. Based on this information, which of the following statements is true?
A The area of the triangle is equivalent to the area of the rectangle because 8 x 4 = 24 + 8.
B The width of the rectangle is equivalent to the height of the triangle because (24 – 8 x 2) ÷ 2 = 4.
C The area of the rectangle is 64 square centimeters because (24 – 2 x 8) x 8 = 64.
D The area of the triangle is 6 square centimeters because (4 + 8) ÷ 2 = 6.

By the way, the answer is B.

Offline lonestarbee

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Re: It may not be so funny after all.
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 12:12:12 AM »
Don't know what the emoticons are in there.  They should be 8 and then close parenthesis for anyone working the problem.