Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Prime Factorization and Bill of Rights

Ok, so my 5th Grade kid got into serious talk with me about how he used to enjoy Math especially that part about place values and stuff . Now he's on prime factorization and complains about the headache it gives him (In Manila it's called nose-bleed)! [insert emergency sound clip here]

Instinctively, I knew it's about breaking down a concept into its most basic level and that good prime factorization skill offers solid preparation for Algebra. I was ready to argue that it's about learning to drill down to the core of something, like what's inside a fruit. But he wouldn't budge.

So I launched good ol' reliable Google and found this: "Why learn prime factorization? How does it apply to the real world?". I like that part that says "Sorting numbers is great lesson in sorting reality." The article ends with:
"Math is about seeing how things fit it. It is the science of (among other things) patterns and order. If you learn to accept math as a way to describe and think about certain parts of reality, you will get "the big picture" - the picture of math as something beyond just a boring subject in school."
Now what's with the Bill of Rights? You'd have to read the rest of the article to see what I mean.

As to the factorization drills, perhaps this exercise from Quia could help take away the headache?

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