Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mathematics - Higher Order Thinking

If you have been following my blog, you would know that Reese dislikes mathematics. He hates repetition. Whenever he starts on a math worksheet, in less than 5 minutes, he will yawn and becomes  sleepy. He always goes for questions involving word problems first and addition/subtraction/multiplication or anything that is repetitive last. 

I was baffled as to why he dislike math so much. He has no problem understanding math concepts and in fact, using manipulative was totally unnecessary. Then I realised that he hates repetition  but then again, you need to practise in order to be good in it right? 

A few weeks ago, I met a former Math teacher turned math/parental coach online and I asked her what I can do to help my son. She said he needs higher order thinking word problems. He needs challenging math rather than the usual stuff! Don't make him do repetitive work. 

So again, I have to change the way we do math and also the kind of worksheets for him to work on. I got Reese a few Challenging Maths books for Primary 2 and 3 last night. These are Singapore Math books and retailing at RM19 per book. I also got Horizons Math Grade 3 from USA for  RM142.00 (Shipping charges is a killer!) Will be using these books soon as Reese is finishing Grade 2 Math.

A quick review of Challenging Maths series by EPH Pte Ltd
The questions in these books are indeed challenging! They expose children to various types of word problems with higher order thinking as well as critical thinking skills. This series is for above average children. You can find them at Popular Bookstore.

Soon Reese will start Horizons Math Grade 3 as his Math Core and will supplement it with Challenging Math Primary 2 and 3 for higher order thinking word problems.

Some word problems with higher order thinking examples:

Challenging Maths Primary 1 (We are currently doing this)

Jars A and B have 12 cookies each. There are 14 fewer cookies in jar C than jars A and B together.
a) How many cookies are there in jar A and jar B altogether?
b) How many cookies are there in jar C?

There are 7 cakes in a bakery. There are 5 cherries on each cake.
a) How many cherries are there on the cakes altogether?
b) If there were only 4 cherries on each cake, how many fewer cherries would have been here altogether?

Betty exchanged a fifty-cent coin for ten-cent and twenty-cent coins. She got more ten-cent coins than twenty-cent coins.
a) How many twenty-cent coins did she get?
b) How many ten-cent coins did she get?

Challenging Maths Primary 2

Bianca had 197 beads. She gave 17 beads to Susan. Bianca now has 10 more beads than Susan.
a) How many bead does Bianca have now?
b) How many beads does Susan have now?
c) How many beads did Susan have at first?

There were 8 watermelons in a fruit shop. 3 of them were sold at $4 each and the rest were sold at $3 each. How much money was collected from the sale of the watermelon?

John finished his English homework at 4 o'clock. He did it in 45 minutes. At what time did John start to do his English homework?

Challenging Maths Primary 3

Mrs Lee left her office and took 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop. She boarded a bus after 5 minutes and the journey lasted 25 minutes. She walked to the food centre in 5 minutes and stayed there for 25 minutes. Then she left for her house at 7.50pm. At aha time did Mrs Lee leave her office?

2 oranges and 3 apples have a total mass of 840g. Each apple is 30g heavier than an orange. Find the total mass of the 2 oranges.

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