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Drops In The Bucket series, and I don't recall seeing it when I was a kid, so at least one thing has gotten better. It's genuinely an applicable class of problem, and it definitely helps reinforce the concepts of borrowing and carrying in elementary arithmetic. After you've done them for a while, if you're a really deep thinker, you might develop a deeper appreciation for the brains behind the place value system we use (and for the benefits of the metric system). The problems look like this: 6 hours 15 minutes - 3 hours 36 minutes = ___ 3 feet 5 inches + 3 feet 8 inches = ______ 6 years 4 months 12 days - 2 years 9 months 15 days = _____ You get the idea. Life is rife with examples of problems like this. You can use quarts/pints/ounces, yards/feet, days/hours, punds/ounces, you name it. The kids will be borrowing and carrying weird quantities all over the place, and if they're like Ben it'll take some getting used to, but they will benefit from it. And when they're good and sick of carrying 12 inches and borrowing 60 minutes, give them meters and decimeters, or centimeters and millimeters. And then explain to them again what's going on when they carry and borrow in ordinary math. That should seem fairly easy by contrast, and they should feel privileged.
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Singapore math has a supplement called Intensive Practice and it has lots of these type problems plus loads of other interesting ones. Some of the problems are incredibly difficult. Singapore level 3B also has many problems like this. -- KtmGuest - 30 Jun 2005
These are VERY important problems, and I'm so glad you reinforced this idea, which I was thinking about just yesterday. After Christopher does his timed Saxon fast facts test, I make him subtract the time on the timer from 5 minutes, which is what he started with. So we get one a day. But what a great idea, doing it with different units! KtmGuest I've got to get out my Intensive Practice book. Christopher and I are working our way through ALL of the bar model problems in either 3A or 3B right now (can't remember which), including the workbook. But I'm going to pull out the intensive practice book, too. -- CatherineJohnson - 30 Jun 2005