Saturday, February 19, 2011

A truer word never said

Presenter at a district training I went to recently:

"Why do we still persist in teaching students to look for 'key' words in word problems? It's a WORD PROBLEM. All the words are important!"


Ricochet said...

No they aren't. And they aren't in the real world either.

True word problems, like your boss trying to explain what he wants you to do to solve the frimfram problem with the whatchamadoodle, come with a lot of chaff that has to be gotten through before you come to the meat of the problem and can solve it.

Your boss may tell you he has a headache (irrelevant) and he is thinking about buying a new car (irrelevant) but maybe he needs a new watchmacallit (beginning to be relevant) unless we can find out why the frimfram is sticking (aha).

Bonnie said...

Hm. In that case, I would call it a multi-step problem. Headaches and buying new cars are just extra steps.

I would also consider the problem of being patient with your boss as something to solve too.

The fact that those things are irrelevant to YOU, doesn't make them any less of a problem to at least one other person.

But if you were talking about WHO should do the actual solving of this multi-step problem, then you'll be getting somewhere. =)