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# Primary 1 Math, Crazy Problem Sum!!!!

• Hi

I'm posting this on behalf of my aunt's friend's son who is currently in primary one and the he has come up with a problem sum that he cannot solve at all. In desperation, my aunt asked me to try to help himwith one problem sum that even an O Level graduate like me couldn't solve it without using algebra. Is there anyone willing to help this boy? Thanks in advance.

Here goes the question:

Kim, Mei and Yanti collect stamps. Kim and Mei have 220 stamps more than Yanti. Yanti and Mei have 140 stamps more than Kim. Kim and Yanti have 500 stamps. How many stamps does Mei have?

My answer is 180, using System of Linear Equations

• Originally posted by tanpantheon1:

Hi

I'm posting this on behalf of my aunt's friend's son who is currently in primary one and the he has come up with a problem sum that he cannot solve at all. In desperation, my aunt asked me to try to help him with one problem sum that even an O Level graduate like me couldn't solve it without using algebra. Is there anyone willing to help this boy? Thanks in advance.

Here goes the question:

Kim, Mei and Yanti collect stamps. Kim and Mei have 220 stamps more than Yanti. Yanti and Mei have 140 stamps more than Kim. Kim and Yanti have 500 stamps. How many stamps does Mei have?

My answer is 180, using System of Linear Equations

Silly Singapore PSLE Math that force you not to use algebra. Whatever works most efficiently is by definition the best method. This is why I teach A levels, not PSLE. So, while I can't help you out with a non-algebra method, this confirms your final answer is correct.

K + M = 220 + Y

Y + M = 140 + K

K + Y = 500

Sub K = (500 - Y) into 1st eqn, we get : 2Y - M = 280, hence M = 2Y - 280

Sub K = (500 - Y) and M = (2Y - 280) into 2nd eqn, we get : Y + (2Y - 280) = 140 + (500 - Y), hence 4Y = 920, ie. Y = 230

Concordantly, K = 270, and M = 180.

• Sometimes I face difficulties in helping my tutees to solve such problems.

• Sigh... last time when I started Primary 1 (2007), Maths during that time was at least 10x easier than an average problem sum in primary 1 now in 2017...  I don't have to draw model diagrams at my primary 1 and 2 time, dunno why primary school math is getting increasingly harder these years... if MOE were to at least bring the whole topic of secondady school algebra into the primary school syllabus, then it would save the lives of thousands of primary school kids who struggled badly just to barely pass maths.

• Umm what...? This question's standard is akin to Sec 1! (simultaneous equations IIRC) O.O

Primary schools' questions are getting tougher and tougher. Young children still in primary school shouldn't face this amount of stress, as I think it will foster a competitive and selfish attitude towards others for future generations.

When I was Primary 1 in 2007, I only counted apples and stuff in the workbook, on top of the 1+1 straightforward stuff. T_T

• You sure this is primary 1? How the fuck do you do this via draw model, or write simple equations (without finding common unit)? Looks more like secondary 2, where students are taught how to find the common 'x' and then use that to find the other values.
• Originally posted by Lockheed5150:

Umm what...? This question's standard is akin to Sec 1! (simultaneous equations IIRC) O.O

Primary schools' questions are getting tougher and tougher. Young children still in primary school shouldn't face this amount of stress, as I think it will foster a competitive and selfish attitude towards others for future generations.

When I was Primary 1 in 2007, I only counted apples and stuff in the workbook, on top of the 1+1 straightforward stuff. T_T

Actually I find that this question is more like A Levels where one is expected to solve 3-variable simultaneous equations (not taught in secondary school). And I agree with you in terms of not putting such extreme stress at such an age becuase of the reason you pointed out plus it causes one to lose interest in studying at such a young age.

• Originally posted by gekpohboy:

You sure this is primary 1? How the fuck do you do this via draw model, or write simple equations (without finding common unit)? Looks more like secondary 2, where students are taught how to find the common ‘x’ and then use that to find the other values.

100% sure. Despite the fact that it is a primary 1 sum, I couldn't even draw an appropriate model to represent this question... so I had no choice but to use algebraic methods. Plus this boy mentioned at the top of this topic is a Primary 1 kid now.

• Top primary school P1 students do not have this level of difficulty question.

A check of the top 10 P1 exam questions from 2012 to 2016 shows that there is no question of this level of difficulty.

• By the way, Model is primary 2 work. Multiplication is primary 3 work. Fraction is primary 4/5 work. Ratio is primary 5 work. Algebra is primary 6 work. Primary 1 is only addition and subtraction, and shape recognition... (ah. those days when Maths was so easy...) The objective of lower primary is not really about the academic, but about the character development, learning life skills, make friends, have fun, and so on. Let your child have a childhood first, then talk about the exam results, when he is in primary 3/4.
• I used to work in a student care until end of 2016  and this is not in their school syllabus unless they are having kumon tuition (primary one handling numbers up to 1,000, multiplication, division, addition and substraction)

They were taught that

more than/and refers to "+"

Less than refers to "-"

is/have refers to "="

Kim + Mei = 220 + Yanti

yanti + Mei = 140  + Kim

Kim + yanti = 500 stamps ( extra information; focus is on mei )

kim + Mei + yanti + Mei = 220 + yanti + 140 + kim

mei + Mei = 360

mei = 360/2 = 180

• Originally posted by Ryanne:

I used to work in a student care until end of 2016  and this is not in their school syllabus unless they are having kumon tuition (primary one handling numbers up to 1,000, multiplication, division, addition and substraction)

They were taught that

more than/and refers to "+"

Less than refers to "-"

is/have refers to "="

Kim + Mei = 220 + Yanti

yanti + Mei = 140  + Kim

Kim + yanti = 500 stamps ( extra information; focus is on mei )

kim + Mei + yanti + Mei = 220 + yanti + 140 + kim

mei + Mei = 360

mei = 360/2 = 180

The problem is do MOE schools accept this kind of answers and give grade for that or not?

• Originally posted by The Code:

The problem is do MOE schools accept this kind of answers and give grade for that or not?

I actually think it looks pretty standard Pri sch answer to me.

Ryanne was illustrating the model method using words.

• Model Drawing is only taught from primary three not from primary one.

• Ah I see. I don't know primary school syllabus haha

• Originally posted by eagle:

Ah I see. I don't know primary school syllabus haha

You and me both. I couldn't remember what I learnt in primary school other than the problem sum nightmares (same for other subjects)