This is an example of a math problem given to a 1st grader (7 year old) in the Pittsfield school district.
This was sent by a mom who is frustrated by the math problems that are being assigned to the young children.
This is an extremely challenging problem for a 1st grader who is still trying to master (if even required) basic math facts.
As students progress, this might be a worthwhile problem, but as you can see, for many 7 year olds, this kind of abstract thinking can be extremely frustrating to a young child.
One has to also wonder, why not focus on memorizing: 5 + 8 = 13? If children have to manipulate basic math, it can lead to simple errors. Children who memorize their math facts, do not have to worry about making simple mistakes. Students who’ve memorized their math facts are at an advantage over their peers who did not.