Impossible homework?

Philocalist

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Dec 11, 2004
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Bends my head, some of the stuff I'm seeing sent out as part of the 'learning from home' thing that is ongoing.
Don't misunderstand, I think that largely, the schools are doing a brilliant job under the circumstances, and I'm extremely happy that between mum and I we have enough advanced education, and teaching experience, (and time!) to make the process relatively pain-free - but the level of stuff that is being sent out astounds me, and apparently, it's pretty much the new 'normal'.
If I just take two very basic topics - English and Maths. The level of technical English being presented to our youngest - 8 years old - is staggering. I've used English competently all of my life, both verbally and as a written medium in business, yet I see him being taught stuff - and absorbing it! - that may as well be Swahili, for all I can understand the various technical terms now widely used within schools.

And maths - dont get me started :D

For anyone curious enough / bored, I've copied a few of the problems that have been sent out in the past week, aimed at year 7 - 12-year olds (and bear in mind that most kids have seen very, very little formal schooling since this time last year!).
I'll be honest - I struggled with them despite having an A-level in maths (attained before calculators were allowed!) that was good enough to take me through 2 maths-heavy degrees.

From a total of 8 questions I've seen recently, there was ONE that I could solve by applying a formulaic approach, and 3 more that I could get an answer for by the time-honoured method of intelligent guesswork supported by a healthy dose of trial and error, at which point, I stopped for a breather ..... the rest look a bit like this :rolleyes:




1 / There are 8 mice on a farm at dawn on 1st March. The population of mice doubles at 1am on the 1st of each month. On the morning of 1st August, Linda and Richard, the farmers, each buy a cat. For the first 2 months, Linda’s cat catches 3 mice at noon each day; this then drops to 2 mice at noon each day until there are no mice left. At sunset on the last day of each month, Richard’s cat catches a third of the population of mice (to the nearest mouse). Calculate the population of mice at dawn on the 1 st of each month. On which date does Linda’s cat catch the final mouse?



2 / Barney Akles runs an aquarium. In his collection, he has cyclops starfish (T) (one eye, five legs), blue octopuses (C) (2 eyes, 8 legs) and red lobsters (L) (2 eyes, 10 legs). (For the purpose of this question, we are using ‘legs’ to cover all limbs, arms, tentacles, etc.) In each of 3 tanks, there are a prime number of animals with some or none of each species. Work out how many starfish, lobsters and octopuses could be in each tank: Botany Bay Tank – 175 legs and 41 eyes Sargasso Sea Tank – 92 legs and 22 eyes La Manche Tank – 46 legs and 10 eyes



3/ John, Sarah and Michael go birdwatching. They make it a competition by allocating a different number of points for each type of bird they spot. A sparrow is worth 1 point, a robin is worth 2 points and a wren 4. After the birdwatching, this is what they say: John - “I saw 2 sparrows and at least one of every bird. In total, I got 16 points.” Sarah - “I saw no sparrows and the same number of robins as John.” Michael - “I got 20 points, the same number of wrens as John, double his number of sparrows and double his number of robins.” Find the minimum number of wrens Sarah would need to see to win the competition and the maximum number she could see but still come third in the competition.




And finally:


Bunker.jpg


12 year old kids remember, not adult mathmaticians :oops::D
 

spanky

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1) is just about following the instructions and working out the mouse population before the cats are introduced. It's just an exercise in logic, subtraction and following instructions.

2) is about ratios and permutations. Start with a list of primary numbers and work back from there. Two of the creatures have a ratio of 1:5 and the other 1:4 with eyes to legs, the closer the ratio is to one extreme in the tank, the more biased the ratio will be. This is about trial and error with some educated guesswork, but the primary number limitations should make it quicker.

3) this is about permutations - there are only a couple of possible solutions for John. Work them out then apply the logic to the other two, and I suspect the answer will drop out.

4) for part 1. clearing E is the key - this only has one path in and out, after that start with the quicker paths and build a route up from there. Then try a few different options until you've established the shorter route. This exercise is about trial and error, logic and lots of adding up practice!
for part 2, he has to travel every path once and only once - so the time is obvious, just add up the travel times for each path. Now try to find a route that covers every path once and once only, there will probably be many correct answers. Note that every clearing has an even number of paths - so you should not get stranded if you're careful.
 

Dave

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Most of the time with questions like these it's a case of looking at the facts and dismissing the bloat.
 

Tristar

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My partner and myself having never argued over anything until we started doing home learning for our children. She has two primary School aged children, I have three, my eldest is doing University work at home.

The work our 8yr old girls has been set is difficult, the questions don't appear to be in plain English. This week they have learnt in great details about bile ducts, pancreas and liver problems. Geography is my strong point but some of it I feel is a too much for 8yr olds, this week has been about erosion and deposition and designing rivers that can support cities. In R.E they had to write an essay on why David and Jonathon's relationship was special.....who?

The maths is where we struggle, I'm OK with maths but the way they have to work out the answers is totally different to how I learned. The problem is that I'm not allowed to show them the way I was taught as the children have to show the workings out to the teacher as that's what is set out in the curriculum.
 

160642fishing

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The answer to question 1 is only of any use if, a) your a farmer with a mouse infestation and b), you've got a cat.
 

stikflote

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When i was at school it was Arithmetic not maths so whats the difference??
 

Vikki1231

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Feb 21, 2021
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Bends my head, some of the stuff I'm seeing sent out as part of the 'learning from home' thing that is ongoing.
Don't misunderstand, I think that largely, the schools are doing a brilliant job under the circumstances, and I'm extremely happy that between mum and I we have enough advanced education, and teaching experience, (and time!) to make the process relatively pain-free - but the level of stuff that is being sent out astounds me, and apparently, it's pretty much the new 'normal'.
If I just take two very basic topics - English and Maths. The level of technical English being presented to our youngest - 8 years old - is staggering. I've used English competently all of my life, both verbally and as a written medium in business, yet I see him being taught stuff - and absorbing it! - that may as well be Swahili, for all I can understand the various technical terms now widely used within schools.

And maths - dont get me started :D

For anyone curious enough / bored, I've copied a few of the problems that have been sent out in the past week, aimed at year 7 - 12-year olds (and bear in mind that most kids have seen very, very little formal schooling since this time last year!).
I'll be honest - I struggled with them despite having an A-level in maths (attained before calculators were allowed!) that was good enough to take me through 2 maths-heavy degrees.

From a total of 8 questions I've seen recently, there was ONE that I could solve by applying a formulaic approach, and 3 more that I could get an answer for by the time-honoured method of intelligent guesswork supported by a healthy dose of trial and error, at which point, I stopped for a breather ..... the rest look a bit like this :rolleyes:




1 / There are 8 mice on a farm at dawn on 1st March. The population of mice doubles at 1am on the 1st of each month. On the morning of 1st August, Linda and Richard, the farmers, each buy a cat. For the first 2 months, Linda’s cat catches 3 mice at noon each day; this then drops to 2 mice at noon each day until there are no mice left. At sunset on the last day of each month, Richard’s cat catches a third of the population of mice (to the nearest mouse). Calculate the population of mice at dawn on the 1 st of each month. On which date does Linda’s cat catch the final mouse?



2 / Barney Akles runs an aquarium. In his collection, he has cyclops starfish (T) (one eye, five legs), blue octopuses (C) (2 eyes, 8 legs) and red lobsters (L) (2 eyes, 10 legs). (For the purpose of this question, we are using ‘legs’ to cover all limbs, arms, tentacles, etc.) In each of 3 tanks, there are a prime number of animals with some or none of each species. Work out how many starfish, lobsters and octopuses could be in each tank: Botany Bay Tank – 175 legs and 41 eyes Sargasso Sea Tank – 92 legs and 22 eyes La Manche Tank – 46 legs and 10 eyes



3/ John, Sarah and Michael go birdwatching. They make it a competition by allocating a different number of points for each type of bird they spot. A sparrow is worth 1 point, a robin is worth 2 points and a wren 4. After the birdwatching, this is what they say: John - “I saw 2 sparrows and at least one of every bird. In total, I got 16 points.” Sarah - “I saw no sparrows and the same number of robins as John.” Michael - “I got 20 points, the same number of wrens as John, double his number of sparrows and double his number of robins.” Find the minimum number of wrens Sarah would need to see to win the competition and the maximum number she could see but still come third in the competition.




And finally:


Bunker.jpg


12 year old kids remember, not adult mathmaticians :oops::D
Did you ever get the answer to question 2? My daughter has been given this piece of work and our brains have stopped functioning from the other questions so we can’t work this one out 😂
 

spanky

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Did you ever get the answer to question 2? My daughter has been given this piece of work and our brains have stopped functioning from the other questions so we can’t work this one out 😂
See post number 4 in the thread above.

1613988435974.png

So for Botany it's 5 Starfish (T) 15 Octopi (C) and 3 Lobsters (L). Giving 23 creatures in total (a prime number as needed), 175 Legs and 41 Eyes.
 

Vikki1231

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Feb 21, 2021
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See post number 4 in the thread above.

1613988435974.png

So for Botany it's 5 Starfish (T) 15 Octopi (C) and 3 Lobsters (L). Giving 23 creatures in total (a prime number as needed), 175 Legs and 41 Eyes.
You know where I’ve been going wrong? I thought that each species within the tank had to be a prime number too so I’ve been looking for singular and total prime numbers 🤦🏼‍♀️
 

Philocalist

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Lets not forget people - this is stuff that was sent out with the expectation of 12-year olds being able to complete these questions! :oops: :D
 

Billy the fish 1954

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Sep 11, 2018
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Helped with home schooling for my 11 year old grand son was fractions, 60 years since I last attempted, looked on YouTube all was well explaind grand son picked it up very quickly, was time for coffee and cakes, job well done
 
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