Monday, 25 July 2011

Maths homework

Yes really.  Maths homework.

I know, I know, 90% of you have switched off now because if there's one thing you weren't good at when you were at school it was Maths, or Math if you're American.  Well imagine you have a nine or ten year old who has come home with homework.  Do you want to know the type of homework that they might receive these days?

Well this homework wasn't received by one of my children but by a friend's.

I got this text "Hi Ann.  I hope you're well. 'Cos you're really good at maths.  How do you work out which two whole numbers between 50 and 70 which, when multiplied together produce 4095?  (Johnny's homework)  Is it a case of trial and error?"

Well firstly can I set the record straight... I used to be better than average at Maths.  I did take two Maths A Levels and even went on to study Maths at University.  The decision to study Maths at University was stupid and I should have listened to my A Level teachers who warned me that it was a stupid decision.

So anyway, can you work it out?  It's from an old SATS paper.

Is this what we expect our nine year olds to be able to do?


Rana said...

I don't know the quick answer or some clever shortcut that some smartalec ten year old would know but I'd just factorise 4095 - obviously it divides by 5 to give 819 and that obviously divides by 9 to give 91 which is 7 times 13. Rearranging slightly gives 65 times 63

Ann Cardus said...

Interesting approach Rana. I chose a different approach.

Rana said...

Sadly only after I’d done it the prime method (which works for any starting number) and saw the result and only then had the d’oh moment – anyone who’s worked with computers for more than 20 years should have recognised 64 squared.