This robs students of everything mathematics should be…


  • The “real world” connection
  • The step-by-step procedure
  • Circle the numbers you need to solve the problem
  • The pseudo-context word problem.
  • Lesson 19.2 infers that this unit is front-end load with procedures and formulas

What a sham!

I can’t help but ask the question FOR students, “When will they ever use this?

As if that wasn’t enough, the “real world” problem is followed up with mind-numbing practice…

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Notice that question #7 has been labelled as “H.O.T.”

Instead of going on a rant, I’ll keep my head down and continue to do my best providing alternative opportunities for students and teachers to engage in math.  The Fish Tank and Got Cubes are two examples that push back on pseudo-context questions and volume.

As for Mike’s DVD box, H.O.T question, and curriculum developers, I’ll offer this new task as a means to undo the limited understanding you promote with every edition you pump out.


Question: How are the sugar cubes packed in the box?

There’s no empty space.


Number of Cubes in the Box

I’ll let students play around with the dimensions for a while. Then I’ll share this video of me putting in the last cube.


Now students have two dimensions and know the total number of cubes.


How the sugar is packed

As a potential extension I might ask if this the most cost efficient way to box the 198 sugar cubes. Sure it dives into middle grade standards but it seems like a natural progression.

I doesn’t seem forced and that’s what I’m after.