Thursday, August 11, 2011

Parents Can't Solve a Primary 1 Math Question

Saw a mother posted the following question on the motherhood forum:

Q: I am more than 35 but less than 50.
When I add my digits, I get 12.
I am not 48.
What number am I?

She asked for solution to this question.
Some mothers pointed out the answer is 39, many complained the question been too difficult for a primary 1 student.
I personally do not think this question is that difficult. Let me explain the answer before arguing my points.
Numbers from 35 to 50 that if you add up the digits become 12, will only be 39 and 48, as the question said it is not 48, it is then 39. This is about reasoning, which is not a tough mathematics question.
This kind of questions are not designed to fail the students, but to encourage them to think, and not solve the questions blindly.
No doubt, in our time, we are doing solely mathematics like adding, subtract, multiply, division only, that's why in our time, most children do not think out of the box. This is why the current system is trying to change this, we want a generation that can think, and not just doing theory, but not practical!
It is understandable why the mother cannot solve this question, as she might be trained in the old system, think and solve problems the old way, but the problem I want to highlight here is, we should encourage our kids to think further, think more, instead of complaining the questions been tough, not suitable. Sometimes, I would think the parents should learn and progress with the children. Example in the question above, if the mother encourages the kid to think what are the numbers from 35 to 50 that can add up its own digits to become 12, the kid will not find this question difficult, can 36 be the answer? 3+6=9, so it can't, can 37 be the answer? 3+7=10, so it is not the answer.......etc; but if the mother complains to the kid this question is too tough, then she might kill the interest in the kid in learning the mathematics.
Think and solve the questions from an easy perspective! And progress with your children in their learning path the fun way!

Click here on "preparing your kid for primary 1"


Serene on September 17, 2011 at 12:39 PM said...

I guess the mum asked for solution as she may think there might be a mathematical solution rather than trying every combination from 35 to 50 and use the method of elimination (48) to find the correct answer.

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