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    Joined: Sep 2007
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    This thread is a showcase for bad math, language arts, or other questions and texts. Ultramarina came up with the idea and I decided to implement because I want to stop working now (4:45 Pacific time).

    Rules:
    • Ultimate Bad Questions are not restricted to homework or even questions. The title just sounded better that way to me (The Ultimate Bad Homework/Exam/Textbook/Oral Question and Reading Passage Thread would have surpassed the character limit anyway).
    • Particularly witty solutions will earn emoticons as prizes.
    • Anyone can award emoticons.

    Here's our first question, brought to us by fourth grade math, with an approach to the solution kindly provided by Evemomma:

    "24 students wanted to watch candy being made in the firehouse kitchen. The students organized into even groups and gathered around each of 5 pots of candy. How many gathered around each pot? How many students had to stand behind another student?"

    Evemomma's approach to a solution:

    Originally Posted by Evemomma
    ...How many students needed to be dissected or have a limb amputated to create equal mass amongst each group?

    DAD22 suggested a drawing of the firehouse kitchen. I think the forensics team would appreciate that.

    confused shocked grin

    Evemomma and DAD22, congratulations on winning the first Ultimate Bad Question emoticons!

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    And of course, no Bad Question thread would be complete without the story of the Pineapple and the Hare.





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    Two I saved from DS's disastrous second grade year:

    "Robert can swim the first 50 meters of a race in 1 minute. Then he slows down by 12 seconds for each of the next 50 meters of a race. How long will it take Robert to swim a 400-meter race?"

    "Amrita walks 1,416 yd. to the library from her house. She then goes to a shop which is 165 yd. from the library. How far is the shop from her house?"


    Striving to increase my rate of flow, and fight forum gloopiness. sick
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    From 5th grade Social Studies:
    How many people do you think died in the Cold War?

    My son's answer: thousands. Teacher marked it wrong with a note "none, no shots were fired". His explanation: the Cold War led to both the Viet Nam War and Korean War, right, and what about those shot trying to leave East Germany?

    If it's what he THOUGHT, how can it be wrong? If you don't want him to THINK, don't ask!


    What I am is good enough, if I would only be it openly. ~Carl Rogers
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    Oh, gosh... sometimes it feels like we could supply content to an entire thread all on our own.

    This week's gem:

    T/F Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein for Lord Byron.

    :blink-blink-blink:

    DD: "In what sense do they mean.... "FORRRRRR" him? She hated him. Not like she'd have written a novel FOR him. Not really. But on the other hand... it was sort of this 'exercise' that Byron kind of sparked to start with, and she was the only one of them that actually finished the resultant novel... AUGH!! I have no idea what they are looking for here!!!" (She got this wrong, by the way, with her 'strict' interpretation that Mary Shelley would probably sooner have chewed off her own writing arm than do ANYTHING "for" Byron.)

    ------

    I'm also trying to recall a particularly bad cloze question with answer selections from when DD was in 4th grade. It was hilarious, because one of the cloze selections given was grammatically correct-- and hilarious. DD picked right up on it.

    I think it was:

    "Jenny is __________ by her classmates."

    One of the selections was "profiting." DD explained that if Jenny were a clever girl, perhaps she had figured out how to do homework for cash. LOL...

    Yes, her English teacher gave her credit for it.

    I'll remember some real doozies from social studies and science, I'm sure.


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    I can't quite remember this one fully, but DD had a reading assignment recently with a story about a girl, "Jane," who thought a boy was mean and then saw the error of her ways when he did something kind for somebody later on in the story (no day was specified).

    Question: When did Jane learn that she was wrong in her opinion of Bill?

    DD's answer: In the second paragraph.

    (This was marked wrong. I guess this isn't a "terrible question," EXACTLY...)

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    How about, generally the math word problem questions that have given names that most children otherwise never encounter, so that mental effort that is meant to be attached to the word problem is redirected to the interesting new name. Not the worst problem, but pervasive.

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    7th Grade Math: the teacher never made it past the if section before my son piped up with his question:

    "If a person is doing two jumping jacks a minute at a constant rate of speed ..."

    To which my son interjected, "So they were able jump higher than the Twin Towers and then fall that distance without dying and then do it again - all at a steady rate of speed?"

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    Originally Posted by Keerby
    How about, generally the math word problem questions that have given names that most children otherwise never encounter, so that mental effort that is meant to be attached to the word problem is redirected to the interesting new name. Not the worst problem, but pervasive.

    I agree with you, but a book that only used common names such as Alice and Bill would be deemed insufficiently multicultural.

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    Uh. Define "common/most children." (Who's named Alice and Bill anymore?)

    The kids in DD's class are about 40% South Asian, so to her Amrita is not going to be a distracting name.

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