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Old 04-20-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
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Learning a bunch of crap we'll never use

Mods, I know this might seem like this doesn't belong in this forum, but bear with me, if you will. Here's the situation:

My sister just got a deal to buy 500 sq yards of carpet and 500 sq yards of tiling for a building she's renovating. It cost her $9600 after a 10% discount. Her best friend just bought 60 square yards of carpeting and 30 square yards of tiling for $1080 at the same place. Then yesterday she was talking to her boss and found out he got carpet and tiles at the same place. He bought 50 square yards of carpet and 10 square yards of tiles for $840. He said he did not receive a discount and he doesn't think that she really got 10% off her larger purchase either.

I'm just curious to know if anyone here can tell me if the store lied to her or not, and if so explain why.
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Old 04-20-2006, 06:10 PM   #2
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surely you're not saying that they all bought the exact same carpet and tiling???? A little unbelievable!

Me thinks they bought different carpets and tiles of different quality and price, therefore comparing price/sq across the 3 of them doesn't work.
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Old 04-20-2006, 06:33 PM   #3
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I don't know about you, but my fifth graders are taught to figure area, perimeter, and percentages.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
I don't know about you, but my fifth graders are taught to figure area, perimeter, and percentages.
Did you move up a greade or something?

My third graders are taught area and perimeter.....
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
I don't know about you, but my fifth graders are taught to figure area, perimeter, and percentages.
So maybe you could ask your fifth graders to answer the question instead of denigrate the poster.
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:46 PM   #6
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Re: Learning a bunch of crap we'll never use

Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
My sister just got a deal to buy 500 sq yards of carpet and 500 sq yards of tiling for a building she's renovating. It cost her $9600 after a 10% discount. Her best friend just bought 60 square yards of carpeting and 30 square yards of tiling for $1080 at the same place. Then yesterday she was talking to her boss and found out he got carpet and tiles at the same place. He bought 50 square yards of carpet and 10 square yards of tiles for $840. He said he did not receive a discount and he doesn't think that she really got 10% off her larger purchase either.

I'm just curious to know if anyone here can tell me if the store lied to her or not, and if so explain why.
Your sister spent $19.20 per square yard of carpet and tiling. Without the 10% discount, the cost would have been $10,666, meaning that it would have been $21.33 per square yard of carpet and tiling.

Her best friend spent $18.00 per square yard of carpet and half a yard of tiling.

Her boss spent $16.80 per square yard of carpet and 1/5 of a yard of tiling.

Not a very accurate comparison here, considering I have no idea if carpet or tiling is more expensive, not to mention that the latter two measurements deal in fractions of a yard of tiling here. However, assuming that my calculations are correct here, none of those prices seem all that out of line.

But I'll defer to the gaggle of elementary and high school educators here. I always hated story problems in math.

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Old 04-20-2006, 08:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra


So maybe you could ask your fifth graders to answer the question instead of denigrate the poster.

good idea
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:58 PM   #8
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I am buying carpet and tile all the time.

If it were ceramic tile, stone tile, or something along that order it would cost more than carpet.

Therefore, her purchase of 1/2 carpet and 1/2 tile explains why she paid more per yard (even with a discount).
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:59 PM   #9
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So far no one has actually answered my question. Was my sister lied to about the discount or not? If she was explain how you know. In answer to adrball's question, I'm guessing they may not have ordered the same style or color but the basic price per square yard was the same.

No offense taken (though thanks for "sticking up for me", Indra).

I personally doubt that any fifth grade class could answer this question, and what I'm really wondering is whether adults (or high school students) can.

Again, there is a point to all of this. I'm gonna wait a little longer though to see who answers the question before I explain further what's on my mind.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
So far no one has actually answered my question. Was my sister lied to about the discount or not? If she was explain how you know. In answer to adrball's question, I'm guessing they may not have ordered the same style or color but the basic price per square yard was the same.
Fine. If we're to make a sweeping assumption that a square yard of tiling and a square yard of carpet are identical in cost...

Sister = $9.60/sq. yard ($10.67/sq. yard w/o the discount)

Best friend = $12.00/sq. yard

Boss = $14.00/sq. yard

Beyond that bad assumption, I'll chalk it up to "not enough information to answer the problem correctly." But this is my wild guess.

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Old 04-20-2006, 09:05 PM   #11
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Sorry, several people DID answer my question while I was writing that post.

Thanks for your responses. mOre in a minute.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:05 PM   #12
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Too many numbers and multiplying for my feeble mind to handle, sorry












Robert Kennedy sucked at math too...you don't have to be able to add numbers that's what you hire people to do in politics
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
So far no one has actually answered my question.

Your sister paid $9.60 per yard with discount. $9600 divided by 1000
$10.67 without discounts.

Her best friend paid $12.00 per yard. $1080 divided by 90

Her boss paid $14.00 per yard. $840 divided by 60

Your sister was undercharged.


(Melon check your math)
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
(Melon check your math)
We have identical figures.

Of course, the first time around, I overthought the question. But, at the same time, is carpet and tiling *ever* the same price?

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Old 04-20-2006, 09:23 PM   #15
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Re: Learning a bunch of crap we'll never use

Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean




I'm just curious to know if anyone here can tell me if the store lied to her or not, and if so explain why.

Yes, they lied to her.
She got quite a bit more than 10% discount.
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:14 PM   #16
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Okay, I'm back. Thanks for your responses.

First, let me say my intention here was not to make anyone feel stupid, but to point out that something is seriously wrong with the way we teach math (and other subjects as well, I'm guessing). And I say this is a teacher.

First, a few confessions.

I'm sure many of you already suspsected this was not a real situation (some of you asked when are tile and carpet ever the same price, and wouldn't different styles of carpet and tile have different pricing. All very good "real-world" thinking). It wasn't. It was one of those "word" problems in my freshman Algebra assignment yesterday. The reason I posed it as a "real situation" was because if I'd said, "hey, can anyone solve this word problem" people might have said. . "Who cares. I hate word problems!" (That's what I would have said anyway).

Second confession. I wouldn't have been able to tell whether my "sister" had been cheated either. My students had questions on that problem when we were grading their homework yesterday, and we all worked on it together. Eventually we solved it, but we had two advantages you didn't. I had the teachers edition with the answer, so we were able to think "how did they get this answer" rather than "what is the answer AND how did they get it." Second advantage is that the students knew what this Algebra unit was about (solving systems) so they had a clue as to what they might need to do to solve the problem.

The solution, by the way is this:

Yes, she was lied to. The regular cost of the carpet, paid by the "friend" and "the boss" was $16 per square yard, the cost of the tiles (it was linoleum in the textbook, but I figured someone would ask 'who buys linoleum anymore?') was $4 per square yard. With those prices, a 10% discount should have been $9000, not $9600. She got a discount but not as much as she was told.

Don't feel bad that you got it wrong. I'm very doubtful I'd have gotten it right if I hadn't had those two advantages. And even with them I'm not sure I'd have gotten it right if I hadn't been teaching Algebra for the past five years.

So now for the FYM issue: The problem, I'm suggesting, is not that we're not "that smart". I consider the people on this thread (for the most part pretty intelligent, perhaps more intelligent than average. The problem is in the way that we teach math.

What struck me is that this situation sounded close enough to real life that it could actually happen, and I realized most of us wouldn't know if we were being misled. My students and I started talking about this yesterday and that's when we decided to post this, to "test our theory."

I guess my point is that, I hate word problems as much as the next person, but I think this is what we really need to be teaching. "Word problems." Real-life situations with real life variables using the tools of mathematics to solve them. Our schools do not teach problem solving. . .of any kind. And if we do, it's an afterthought---a couple of "word problems" at the end of 20 "exercises" to complete. And I think this is to all of our detriment.

You know you'll hear students complain about how they have to "learn all this crap we'll never use" and, in a sense, they're right.

what do you think?

Oh, and by the way those that are annoyed at me for "messing with you", I can deal with that. I deserve it
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:39 PM   #17
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i have to confess that when I read the two first lines of the thread, I left. I always had problems with logical problems and if it envolves numbers... even worse.

I remember a good math teacher I had in High school, we were always complaining because we couldn't solve the problems and he said "if you learn how to solve this kind of problems you will see life in an easier way, you will be able to see any difficult situation from a logic point of view".
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:59 PM   #18
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I'm trying to think if I ever had a "good" math teacher...
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Oh yeah! My freshman year geometry teacher wasn't bad.
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra


So maybe you could ask your fifth graders to answer the question instead of denigrate the poster.
I wasn't denigrating anyone. I was responding to the puzzling title of the post. I teach my students a bunch of crap they'll use. I don't know why he titled his post what he did; but I was defending the teaching of crap, useful or not.
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


Did you move up a greade or something?
Yeah. 5/6 combo.
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