# Too hard for second grade?

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The hardest part outside of the reading is knowing the days of the week and their correct order and not including the weekend.

The problem requires that the kid has seen a calendar for the week.

I would not even consider this a math problem, but a life problem -

Given that the example is for public school 2nd graders, they have been drilled days of the week since kindergarten day one. It would be sad if a public school 2nd grader does not know which days are school days and which days are weekends.

However many kids here treat Sunday as the first day of the week, So there is ambiguity in the question. For my kids german textbook, Monday is the first day of the week and they ask me why because in public school, they learn Sunday is the first day of the week. The calendar given out by my city every year has Sunday as the first day of the week.

"According to the international standard ISO 8601, Monday shall be the first day of the week ending with Sunday as the seventh day of the week. Although this is the international standard, countries such as the United States still have their calendars refer to Sunday as the start of the seven-day week." (link)

ETA:

I'm refering to the problem as typed on Facebook. I'm also not trying to stir up controversy. Just commenting on why people might get confused by the facebook question.

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Given that the example is for public school 2nd graders, they have been drilled days of the week since kindergarten day one. It would be sad if a public school 2nd grader does not know which days are school days and which days are weekends.

However many kids here treat Sunday as the first day of the week, So there is ambiguity in the question. For my kids german textbook, Monday is the first day of the week and they ask me why because in public school, they learn Sunday is the first day of the week. The calendar given out by my city every year has Sunday as the first day of the week.

"According to the international standard ISO 8601, Monday shall be the first day of the week ending with Sunday as the seventh day of the week. Although this is the international standard, countries such as the United States still have their calendars refer to Sunday as the start of the seven-day week." (link)

Right, but in the problem as originally written in Saxon's second grade, it specifically mentions 'school day of the week', although that information was left out of the facebook page.

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I found the original Saxon math problem hereâ€”in a first grade classroom's online files. I wonder where the Facebook woman got the idea it had anything to do with Common Core?

She posted this on Facebook three hours ago to clarify "This problem is being given to students in Durant Public School as a CCSS transition. " .

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Given that the example is for public school 2nd graders, they have been drilled days of the week since kindergarten day one. It would be sad if a public school 2nd grader does not know which days are school days and which days are weekends.

However many kids here treat Sunday as the first day of the week, So there is ambiguity in the question. For my kids german textbook, Monday is the first day of the week and they ask me why because in public school, they learn Sunday is the first day of the week. The calendar given out by my city every year has Sunday as the first day of the week.

"According to the international standard ISO 8601, Monday shall be the first day of the week ending with Sunday as the seventh day of the week. Although this is the international standard, countries such as the United States still have their calendars refer to Sunday as the start of the seven-day week." (link)

ETA:

I'm refering to the problem as typed on Facebook. I'm also not trying to stir up controversy. Just commenting on why people might get confused by the facebook question.

LOL.....I think the above requires more critical thinking than the actual question!! Since the child is taking a lunchbox to school, I would suspect that the vast majority of kids are going to think it is the first day of the school week and not what is the first day of the week since they aren't going to take the lunchbox to school on Sunday. ;)

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LOL.....I think the above requires more critical thinking than the actual question!! Since the child is taking a lunchbox to school, I would suspect that the vast majority of kids are going to think it is the first day of the school week and not what is the first day of the week since they aren't going to take the lunchbox to school on Sunday. ;)

Unless they're Tiger Mom's kids!

(kidding)

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I see this simply as an exposure or not exposure to word problems issue.

Word problems have a different set of rules to figure out what they're trying to ask, what clues have been given, and what's being asked of them. If a child hasn't had much experience with them, they will do worse on them than a child who has been taught how to pick them apart and do them.

I can see my child needs more work on the mechanics of figuring out word problems. I don't see it that my kid isn't smart enough to figure it out.

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LOL.....I think the above requires more critical thinking than the actual question!!

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Isolating the problem outside of the Saxon textbook that it came from, makes it an entirely different problem. Saxon sets up a student to solve future problems.

When I was young, I lived on an island with very limited media. I read and played. Despite teaching myself to read at 4 years old, I could not have done this word problem as it's been posted on facebook. I was reading novels, but I couldn't have done this problem.

I do think it's sad that children don't play and read more, but I still don't think ALL children can do this problem (even the Saxon one) without being taught to solve problems like this. I think some parents fail to see how gifted they and their children are. Myself, my oldest, and my youngest all were born with VERY different brains. Yes, we did have some differences in environments, but still, it was obvious there were some significant different biology and brain development involved. My younger son could have done this. My older son and I could not. I don't think there was anything wrong with our environment or early math education. I think it just wasn't time yet.

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It seems like the original posting on Facebook left some things out and didn't know where it actually came from. :001_rolleyes:

As a Common Core problem, I would still assume the kids are working on something similar but I don't think it would be that hard for a kid to do if it's written out better. But the Facebook posters are actually claiming that a 2nd grader does not have the capacity to do this type of problem, regardless of it being introduced earlier. They claim 2nd graders would not be developmentally ready, which I don't see. Of course, many of them claimed they couldn't solve it either but maybe they were just trying to show support to the original poster. :confused1:

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Of course, many of them claimed they couldn't solve it either but maybe they were just trying to show support to the original poster. :confused1:

Well, it was also phrased as a 'math problem' and for some reason in today's culture it's okay to claim 'Oh I'm terrible at math, teehee, I can't even add two and two.'

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Isolating the problem outside of the Saxon textbook that it came from, makes it an entirely different problem. Saxon sets up a student to solve future problems.

That's a good point. Even before I knew it was a Saxon problem, I thought it looked similar to the math problems DD has regularly, so it didn't seem unusual or difficult at all for a student her age. She and her classmates likely wouldn't even blink at that question, as they're used to doing these types of problems even at age 7/8. If you gave the problem to a student who had no experience with making simple charts or word problems (and Saxon does a lot of that while also focusing on mastery of math facts), it wouldn't be as easy. Still, students wouldn't likely be given this problem completely out of context and separate from any instruction or curriculum, so isolating it to use as an example to prove CCSSI standards are too hard is misguided.

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Honestly I did not even try to solve the problem because I am terrible at logic. Terrible. My 5th grader also struggles with this and has trouble with word problems.

However, when I read the problem to my 2nd grader and reiterated the days of the week, he got it in a few seconds. He is very literal and logic-minded.

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Should I be embarrassed to admit that my 4th grader had a tough time with this? :huh:

No.

I see this simply as an exposure or not exposure to word problems issue.

Word problems have a different set of rules to figure out what they're trying to ask, what clues have been given, and what's being asked of them. If a child hasn't had much experience with them, they will do worse on them than a child who has been taught how to pick them apart and do them.

I can see my child needs more work on the mechanics of figuring out word problems. I don't see it that my kid isn't smart enough to figure it out.

This. I'm sure she is smart enough to do it. If my 2nd grade or above child couldn't do this problem, I'd take it as a heads up to really walk them through the words problems in their math and play more complicated board games or card games. No big deal to stress over.

Also I find reducing everything to cookies greatly helps the logic skills of an elementary child. I'd bet money that a 2nd grader could figure that problem in no time if it were types of cookies or candy or ice cream or... instead of uninteresting lunch boxes. ;p

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My 7 year old figured it out pretty quickly once I explained which days of the week were school days for Angelica. (It's not unusual for us to skip a weekday and do school on a Saturday instead.)

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Should I be embarrassed to admit that my 4th grader had a tough time with this? :huh:

No. The problem has a lot of information. It would be easy to freeze up and think the problem couldn't be solved, unless you knew a 'trick' like the chart.

The way it is presented in Saxon makes it a very easy problem. The clues are listed to the left. To the right are five boxes labeled MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY. As the teacher/parent reads the clues, the child crosses off the days of the week one at a time until Wednesday is the only one left. It isn't a logic problem that the student has to organize and sort out - or even read themselves.

That is a nice way of presenting it. A lot of our math and logic books do something similar. Imo, the technique of making a chart to solve this type of multi-step problem is often learned, rather than natural.

I had to be TAUGHT that a chart was a possible problem solving tool for math word problems. But on the other hand I didn't need to be taught to read; I figured it out for myself.

Just because I don't need to be TAUGHT certain things, doesn't mean I assume others don't need explicit instruction in that area. And vice-versa it's difficult when others assume I, and others like me, don't need explicit instruction.

Exactly. I think all kids should be offered explicit instruction. Perhaps a challenging pre-test to screen out kids who already understand and can use the concept.

I just got the classic book by George PÃ³lya, How to Solve It. Well worth reading -- it's explicit about a lot of skills that schools too often assume we should understand innately.

http://en.wikipedia....How_to_Solve_It

pdf of the book:

https://notendur.hi.is/hei2/teaching/Polya_HowToSolveIt.pdf

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Well, it was also phrased as a 'math problem' and for some reason in today's culture it's okay to claim 'Oh I'm terrible at math, teehee, I can't even add two and two.'

Yes, this. It never ceases to amaze me that people seem to be proud of this. Nobody is proudly saying that they are illiterate. "Oh, haha, you know, I never understood this reading business".

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My 2nd grader figured it out. I do think it could have been worded better, but 2nd graders should be learning basic logic.

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