kitchen table math, the sequel: Playland

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Yesterday C. and I went to Playland for their annual developmental disabilities day, also known as our annual Playland fudge day. Just inside the entrance, there's a fudge stand that sells the best fudge I've ever consumed, and C. and I binge on the stuff once a year.*

The price is $3 per piece, or buy 4 pieces & get one free.

I told the young person behind the counter that I wanted 15 pieces, and she began methodically filling up the boxes. Methodically .... and .... slowly. At some point in this process, possibly thinking I could speed things along, I said, "So that's $36, right?"

And she said "No." She didn't seem to be exactly sure how much 15 pieces would be, but she didn't think it was going to be $36.

I said, "You get 1 free with each 4, right?"


"So I'm paying for 12 pieces and getting 3 pieces free."

She looked confused. I went over it again, but she still didn't think $36 sounded right.

Finally I said, "I want to buy 3 boxes of fudge, with 4 pieces in each box and 1 extra free piece," and that did the trick. Twelve dollars a box.

I don't think she knew how to work backwards from "15 pieces of fudge" to 12 pieces of fudge at $3/each + 3 extra free pieces.

Meanwhile, here are the "mathematical practices" required by the new Common Core standards (pdf file) for Kindergarten:
1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.

* Have I mentioned the fact that I've de-veganed myself? Well, I have.


SteveH said...

"the best fudge I've ever consumed"

I'm not much of a fudge fan, except for the fudge I get at Mystic Seaport. It's better than Mackinac fudge. Like the Playland fudge, you have to study hard in school to get a good job to pay for the fudge. I hope those were big pieces.

Robin said...

Maybe after the CCSSI math standards go into effect for a few years they'll have to abandon these "Buy some. Get One free" schemes.

If you can't draw it and you don't know what to tell the calculator, you can't do it.

Now the CCSSI math standards are inflationary to boot and not just using math content language to force adoption of NCTM's awful 1989 process standards.

Sorry- not a fudge fan. Check with my daughters though.

Allison said...

to be fair,

You pulled the overview from the K standards. The actual K standards are very specific, and I think, very demanding. Certainly, your fudge seller would have benefited.


1. Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
2. Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
3. Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
4. For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
5. Fluently add and subtract within 5.

Barry Garelick said...

The overview was not for the K standards,per se, but for the whole document. And while the K standards are good, other grades are not. The draft standards required the standard algorithm for addition/subtraction in 2nd grade. That's now been moved to 4th, and in the grades before, students use a variety of algorithms and "strategies". Sounds like EM had some influence. The standard algorithm for long division doesn't show up until 6th grade.

And while it is true that can look at the standards and say "Well, they could be worse, and they're better than a lot of states' standards", there are some states like California, Mass. and Indiana whose standards are better than these. So if states are going to drop their standards for something better, why not adopt the better ones? One reason is the Race to the Top requirements.

Catherine Johnson said...

Basically, I don't want to read the kind of language that appears in the Overview ever.

I never, never, never want to see the words "Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others" applied to 5 year olds.