Friday, April 04, 2008

Homework 911

Have you seen this YouTube video that's been circulating on the world-wide-web for the last six months??

Yeah, well, we have our own personal homework hotline. Here's an excerpt from an email my 5th-grade son sent to his grandmother, a former math teacher, this week...

Dear Mimi,

This is my problem of the week. We're all stumped. Can you help?

Carmine and her sister are selling raffle tickets for the swim team at the local supermarket. Carmine notices that about one person out of every fifteen who walk by their table stops for more information. Of the people who stop, approximately two thirds of them buy a $2 ticket. At the end of two hours, Carmine finds that they have sold $88 worth of tickets. Approximately how many people walked by their table each hour?

Even my dad is lost on this one. If you don't know, that's o.k. Tell Papa he can help you. Thank you.


Will sent this email because his 5th grade mind couldn't wrap itself around the problem to be solved, and honestly, it made my head hurt so bad that I wanted to take two Tylenol PM and go to bed. It's 5th grade math for crying out loud!

Will has a POW (Problem of the Week) that he brings home every Monday. He has until Friday to turn it in, and this is not the first time that John and I have been stumped. To her credit, Will's teacher is not as interested in them getting the answer correct as she is in seeing their problem-solving strategy. In fact, she requires them to write a detailed explanation of how they approached the problem, and the steps involved in solving it. And believe me, there were many steps required to solve this one. Many steps that involved algebra. And justsoyouknow, I made my first and only "C" in algebra.

Will did a great job of tackling it, and once John and I knew the answer (thank you so much, Mimi!) we were able to point him in the right direction.

So...anyone out there bored enough to give the POW a go??? Or does it make your head hurt as much as it does mine?


Casey said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Headache, yes.

Math has never been my strong subject.... good thing I have a smart hubby b/c he will be in charge of that homework help.

Unknown said...

Both my kids have to do POW as well.

Quite frankly, I make The Mister deal with it. He's so much better at problem solving.

Another things I am so grateful for (as a parent of school aged children) is the internet. Especially when my son came home with this problem: Convert .5894 into a fraction.

WHAT? For goodness sake!

And the crazy thing was that they don't allow the kids to take their textbooks home to look it up!

Anyway, thank goodness there is the internet!

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

Garry thinks the answer would be 445--is he right?

Jenn said...

Oh math totally makes my head hurt!!!! I am very thankful that Jeremy has a math minor and enjoys math - that way he can help the boys with their math homework. So far 2nd grade math has not stumped me - we will see about 3rd grade. :o)

Anonymous said...

I typed the wrong thing for Garry he said it was 495 and I typed 445. Is 495 right?????

PS He will be helping Preston with this stuff :) He did all of that in his head :)

extrala said...
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extrala said...

* 88 dollars total with 2$ for each ticket. So 44 persons bought a ticket.
* Only 2/3 of the people who stopped bought a ticket, so 66 persons stopped.
* Only 1 in 15 stopped at all, so 15 * 66 = 990 persons walked by.
* 990 in 2 hours then equals that 495 persons walked by per hour.
It's all about going backwards from the end of the text.

Barb said...

Waaaaay too tired to tackle it. However, my daughter teaches fifth grade and I plan to ask her, this weekend, if she's torturing her students' parents like this.


Leah Belle said...

I got 495 people walked by per hour. I hope I'm right so I can boost my math confidence :) I have never been strong in math....but when I'm not under pressure I have some success.

Girl Raised in the South said...

I have a girlfriend who could solve this in an instant, and enjoy the process too. Me, not so much!

Leah Belle said...

P.S. That's the first time I'd seen that video....hilarious!

Gina said...

$88/$2= 44tickets sold
44=2/3 X
X= 66 people who stop
66= 1/15 X
X=990 people total
990/2 hours= 495 people who walk by each hour.

My question is, if 3 women sat outside thier local grocery store to sell MOPs auction tickets on a cold, cold, cold March day, and didn't sell any tickets, what town were they in?

YoMJ said...

Hey Mer,

Glad you stopped by my blog. I am keeping the two young ones whilst their parents are jaunting in AK. So much more energy required to keep their schedules!

Don't you love these problems. Actually if a student wants to work these he is a Business Major in the making. This is what Wal Mart does to the enth degree. Business Majors don't go on strike! They don't have to, they are always in demand.


Natalie Witcher said...

I read it twice...fagetaboutit