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41 votes

What value is there in requiring students to answer word problems in complete sentences?

Yes, there is mathematical pedagogical value in the usage of complete sentences - but this does not only refer to "answers" and not only to "word problems", but to all parts of the ...
Jochen Glueck's user avatar
38 votes

What value is there in requiring students to answer word problems in complete sentences?

I do think there is value in expecting students to give answers in correct English. It will certainly help when they start to face longer and less structured questions. However, the example you give ...
Especially Lime's user avatar
26 votes

Don't these word problems seem designed to be confusing?

I think there's a countervailing issue that the book you're describing is trying to deal with. I teach college students, so I don't know what the particular approach it's taking is age appropriate ...
Henry Towsner's user avatar
23 votes

What value is there in requiring students to answer word problems in complete sentences?

An example of a problem where phrasing the answer as a sentence might prevent mistakes and encourage understanding is: Alice goes to the store with \$2.00. A gumball costs \$0.80. How many gumballs ...
Tjaden Hess's user avatar
19 votes

What is the value of sentence type maths problems for primary school students?

Consider these 5 problems: What is $ 35 \div 10 $ ? We are in the store and want to buy packages of party plates for a birthday party. The plates come in packages of 10. There will be 35 children ...
Amy B's user avatar
  • 8,017
17 votes

What value is there in requiring students to declare the dimensions of an answer when it is already clear from context?

In my experience with remedial-level community-college students (USA), it is simply never the case that the units are trivially "clear from context". I can easily see some of my former ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
13 votes

Don't these word problems seem designed to be confusing?

I feel like I always post the same thing in these threads, but this again sounds like an issue of blocking vs interleaving. In this case, the textbook may have started interleaving different problems ...
WeCanLearnAnything's user avatar
12 votes

Interesting settings for exponential growth or decay

(edited) a. For all of these, I would think to expand the category into subcategories. So not just "bank account" but time value of money and NPV, bond details, etc. You learn something when doing ...
guest's user avatar
  • 1,828
11 votes

What is the value of sentence type maths problems for primary school students?

Professional work in general, and scientific and mathematical work in particular, is done principally in writing. Requirements, specifications, orders, field reports, case studies, journals, grants, ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
11 votes

What value is there in requiring students to declare the dimensions of an answer when it is already clear from context?

The legitimate purpose of this is trying to get the student to actually read the question and take note of the fact that there is indeed a context. Many students approach mathematical exercises as &...
Arno's user avatar
  • 966
11 votes

What value is there in requiring students to answer word problems in complete sentences?

Jochen's answer is very good. To add to it, here's the reasoning I was given as a student: answering in full sentences makes students think about the answer in different psychological context. This ...
Omegastick's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

request for evidence about class perspectives in math word problems

Yes, there is evidence for the claim; for example, consult the following: Abedi, J., & Lord, C. (2001). The language factor in mathematics tests. Applied Measurement in Education, 14(3), 219-...
Benjamin Dickman's user avatar
10 votes

Difficulty with word problem interpretation

I suggest you break it down into smaller parts. In fact, don't start on equations. Start on translation of terms: Double of a number, translation: $2x$ Sum of two numbers, translation: $x+y$ The ...
Mark Fantini's user avatar
  • 3,040
10 votes

What value is there in requiring students to answer word problems in complete sentences?

I do think this has (some) pedagogical value, specifically for word problems. Word problems are designed to give students practice applying math to real-world situations. Doing this effectively means ...
Jonathan Cast's user avatar
9 votes

Should word problems be reasonable?

Physically (or even economically) unreasonable answers are confusing. The student needs to be shown that math is a tool that can solve practical problems. Answers that are unreasonable send the ...
guest's user avatar
  • 164
9 votes

Don't these word problems seem designed to be confusing?

I would say that this book is trying to get students to think about what the calculations mean, rather than simply execute an algorithm, and I strongly believe that is something that should be done ...
mweiss's user avatar
  • 17.4k
8 votes
Accepted

How can I explain ratio problems without talking about ratio?

Have your students covered division and multiplication yet? To me, these problems can all be solved using the "meaning of division" and the "meaning of multiplication". "Meaning of multiplication": ...
Steven Gubkin's user avatar
7 votes

What is the value of sentence type maths problems for primary school students?

I think you have a very different understanding of what "mathematics" is than I do. Consider the following questions: What kinds of geometric properties are held by the figure you get when you join ...
mweiss's user avatar
  • 17.4k
7 votes
Accepted

Difficulty with word problem interpretation

Recently, I got to teach a new high school class called "Essentials of College Math." It sounds like hard content, but it was basically just a transition course from Algebra II to Precal. Anyways, ...
ruferd's user avatar
  • 2,081
7 votes

What value is there in requiring students to declare the dimensions of an answer when it is already clear from context?

Different STEM fields have different conventions about this. These conventions are adapted to the needs of the field, so in general if the work you're doing has the flavor of field X, you will ...
klsjdfhgslfkdjgh's user avatar
7 votes

What value is there in requiring students to answer word problems in complete sentences?

The answer to What is the speed of Anne's car? is simply 45 mph However, math problems such as this follow a very simple pattern of pick up every number and do something with them, so with a simple ...
Ángel's user avatar
  • 171
6 votes

request for evidence about class perspectives in math word problems

I only have anecdotal evidence but since you said it was welcome, I am adding my 2 cents from both the perspective of a teacher and an item writer, hired to write questions for standardized tests. ...
Amy B's user avatar
  • 8,017
6 votes

What value is there in requiring students to declare the dimensions of an answer when it is already clear from context?

I think it is ridiculous to keep repeating "self-sealing stem bolts" over and over in order to maintain units throughout a computation. But there is important benefit in keeping correct ...
user21820's user avatar
  • 2,649
4 votes

What is the value of sentence type maths problems for primary school students?

I think there's a very basic answer to this. It's the very origin of math and numbers. Try to teach a child that 1+1=2 without the visual (or tactile) example of using fingers to show the concept of 1 ...
JTP - Apologise to Monica's user avatar
4 votes

What is the value of sentence type maths problems for primary school students?

There are three direct benefits, as far as I can tell. Word problems answer questions like "why do I need to know this". If you have a student who thinks that learning math is pointless then you can ...
Tesserae's user avatar
  • 277
4 votes

Where can I find realistic data for college-level elementary statistics problems?

An alternate suggestion: EIA.gov has WONDERFUL statistics and easily downloaded. The site has a gazillion pages so you may want to navigate around. But almost all of them that have a table or graph ...
guest's user avatar
  • 1,828
4 votes

Interesting settings for exponential growth or decay

One basic model of atmospheric pressure has it decaying exponentially as a function of height above sea level. Two places to look for this are https://people.clas.ufl.edu/kees/files/...
KCd's user avatar
  • 3,516
4 votes

Don't these word problems seem designed to be confusing?

My mathematical teaching experience is limited to helping my kids with their homework, but have you considered getting her to draw the problems? Pizzas, chocolate bars, stickmen, whatever - depending ...
Bloke Down The Pub's user avatar
4 votes

What value is there in requiring students to declare the dimensions of an answer when it is already clear from context?

Apologies for jumping to early college. It turns out that the problem persists, if you don't get into the habit of (at least mentally) keeping track of dimensions/units/whatnot. I have been battling ...
Jyrki Lahtonen's user avatar
4 votes

What value is there in requiring students to declare the dimensions of an answer when it is already clear from context?

Sometimes the problem has only one unit, but the answer has different units. A cube has a face with an area of 9 square inches. Find the volume. The answer would of course be in cubic inches. ...
Amy B's user avatar
  • 8,017

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