I thought I’d share the following from my eight year-old’s math homework (Italics are his responses):
Solve the following and state whether you used the identity, commutative or associative property. Explain your answers.
x + 14 = 14
x = 0 Identity property, because when the sum of two addends is one of the addends, then the other addend must be zero.
x + (8 + 9) = (7 + 8) +9
x = 7 Associative property, because the addends stay the same when only the grouping changes.
x + 18 = 18 + 12
x = 12 Commutative property, because the addends stay the same when only the order changes.
I’m advised that this is “standard accelerated third-grade math curriculum.” Funny, I thought that this was “algebra.” Yet another way that my children remind me daily that I am one asteroid or tar pit away from being a fossil fuel source . . . . But it’s reassuring to know that, although my child cannot secure shoes on his feet unless they have Velcro or a bungee cord, he is apparently quite capable of solving for x.