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Thanks so much for visiting HipWriterMama, my blog about children's books, authors and readergirlz!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why Fourth Grade Math Scares Me...and a Prize

I'm pretty good at math. 

Er, at least I thought I was. But my fourth grader is bringing home math homework that makes me sweat.  For example, check out the last puzzle in the photo below.  Everything seems easy, except, it needs to fit in the puzzle...

So, here's my challenge to you.  

Figure out the answers to the last puzzle below and e-mail it to me at hipwritermama@comcast.net.  If you want to disclose simple tips on the best way to solve this problem so I can explain it to my child without one of us throwing a tantrum, you'll win an extra entry for a prize.  (I tend to overanalyze these math problems and make the process more complicated for my daughter.)
Deadline is next Wednesday, February 18th.

Since this is a meeting of the minds, so to speak, I'll give away something that requires my time for you--a critique of the first three chapters of your manuscript.  

Any takers?

(Added for easy reference)
Rules: 
1. Figure out the answers to the last puzzle below and e-mail it to me, along with your blog information, to hipwritermama@comcast.net under the subject header: math puzzle.

2. If you want to disclose simple tips on the best way to solve this problem so I can explain it to my child without one of us throwing a tantrum, you'll win an extra entry for a prize. (I tend to 
overanalyze these math problems and make the process more complicated for my daughter.)

3. Deadline is next Wednesday, February 18th.

4. Prize is critique of first three chapters of your manuscript.  

5. Have fun!




16 comments:

Beth Kephart said...

All I can say is: Ouch. I'm going to go retreat now. I'm never going to look at fourth grade math again.

Vivian said...

Beth,
I was a little worried about posting this and unveiling my stumbling block, so I'm relieved with your comment!

The kids have state exams in the next couple of months and my daughter is anxious since there could be questions like this on the test.

Vivian said...

Infant Bibliophile,
Fantastic, easy-to-understand steps! My daughter was getting too frustrated with my explanations...sigh.

I just deleted your answer in case anyone else wants a shot at answering this puzzle, but you are now entered twice for the prize drawing. I'll also reveal your answer in next weeks post--is that okay?

Thank you!

Infant Bibliophile said...

Glad it made sense! I sort of solved it, and then thought about how to explain it. That was the hard part! (Of course it's fine to reveal my answer in next week's post). :)

beckylevine said...

Can I cheat and ask my son this weekend?

My conversation (several years ago) with HIS 4th-grade math teacher:
Me: "I can't help him with his homework."
Her: "Oh, of course you can."
Me: "No, I can't."
Her: "Yes, you can."

NOT! Now he's in 7th and they're basically doing what we did in 10th or 11th? When I was so lost, NOTHING was connecting? Thank goodness my husband truly gets it all.

Vivian said...

Becky.
Sure! It'll be good to hear everyone's stories on this. We can all commiserate with one another.


Infant Bibliophile,
I'm impressed with how easily you broke down the puzzle into the steps. I won't even tell you how long it took me to solve this. Not to mention the tears when I tried to explain to my daughter the problem solving process.

Who else is in?

Infant Bibliophile said...

Sara,
Your answer was really the way I did it, then I thought about explaining it and couldn't do it easily, so I thought of a different way. You explained it really well!

Vivian said...

Sara! (as in Sara Lewis Holmes author of Letters from Rapunzel)
Great answer! I deleted your comment so other people could answer this. But you're now entered twice in my prize drawing and I'll reveal your answer next week!

Thank you!

Sara said...

Apparently I can do math, but I don't follow instructions very well. I just saw where you said EMAIL ME. Sorry about that!

Vivian said...

No worries, Sara. I added the rules at the bottom--I could have made it more clear.

BTW, your directions were excellent!

Janicu said...

oo oo oo. I love doing this stuff. I'll try this one even though I don't want the prize.. Just a reader here, no manuscripts that need help..

Vivian said...

Janicu,
Looking forward to your answer!


For those of you who have e-mailed me, thank you! You should have confirmation e-mails by now.

lady said...

I can solve problems like this, but explain them? That's why I teach reading. I look forward to seeing the answers others give you. I might suggest you use manipulative. It might help you(r 4th grader) solve the puzzle more easily. I find that letter tiles help my students see word relationships better than just writing them.

Jim Danielson said...

OK...a little slow on noticing this and then worked the answer and saw someone else had given you a step by step.
Wasn't trying to win the prize anyway (but attest to your critiquing skill).
The solution is all about breaking the totals into their smallest components (prime numbers). I can still send my explanation if you're interested, by my guess is it's effectively whats been sent.

Vivian said...

Lady,
Thanks for your suggestion. I have a difficult time explaining math to my child--a huge part of it is she's learning math differently from the way I did, so we keep confusing each other with our "math speak."

And because of your helpful tip, I'm going to enter you into the prize drawing!

Jim,
Thank you! And no need to send an explanation...

BTW, you offered a very concise approach to starting the solution. I'm going to enter you in the prize drawing!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Vivian,
I hate math, but I love puzzles so I might try this out. Plus I'd really love to have you critique my work! I have a fourth grader but I try not to look at his math because it scares me:-0 I'll email you later if I have enough brain cells to do this!