## Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My son is currently finishing up 5th grade (only 12 more days for him!) and last week forgot to bring home his math workbook. I mean, it's not like having homework has been a habit for him; maybe once every other week does he have an assignment.

I put a plea out on facebook to see if anyone could send me a picture of the page and was thankful that a friend of mine obliged.  (He was too, considering that the punishment for not having an assignment is 50% off and having to sit during recess. Grr.)

I normally don't check over his assignments too closely because he does so well, but because I was copying from a picture that my friend sent onto a separate sheet of paper I obviously knew exactly what the problems were.

#1 - 4 were multiplication.
The next section went to this:
(Point E was drawn in by my friend's son.)
My guess is that they were working on plotting points.

The page finished up by asking the students to plot Point E so that BDEC was a square. (FYI, my boy was able to do it correctly. :) )

And the kicker? Find the area of the square.

This caught me off guard. I don't think the kids have done Pythagorean Theorem or (most definitely) the Distance Formula. So when my boy looked at me with a blank look on his face, I decided I'd talk him through it.

I started by asking him what shapes he knows how to find the area of. The answer? A square/rectangle and a triangle.  We drew a big square around BDEC so that he could see some extra triangles.  He figured out that the big square was 5 x 5 and each triangle had a leg of 1 and a leg of 4. Taking the area of the big square minus the four triangles, he ended up with area 17.

Perfect.

I followed up the next day and asked how his math had gone (I basically wanted to make sure that she accepted the homework even though he'd written it on a different piece of paper.)  The first thing that he told me was that "my" answer of 17 for the area was wrong. It was supposed to be 16.

Um, what?! [You know what she did, though, right?]

I tweeted it. (Of course.)

I was happy that everyone agreed with me.  And Mike Lawler even YouTubed his son solving it!

(Check out Mike's blog here!)

I sent the video to my son's math teacher (thought it would be a nicer way than saying nyah nyah nyah) and haven't heard anything back.  [I did put it nicely; said it was such a great problem that I tweeted it and this guy made a video!]

Shocker.