August 2015 Brain Teaser Solution

Q: You have 8 batteries but only 4 of them work and 2 are needed to power a flashlight.  What is the fewest number of pairs you need to test to guarantee you can get the flashlight on?
A: 7. If you break the batteries into 3 groups: Two groups of 3 and one group of 2. By doing this you guarantee that one of the groups has 2 working batteries. Both of the groups of 3 have 3 possible combinations of 2 batteries and the group of 2 only has 1 combination. So, 3 + 3 + 1 = 7 tries at most to find two working batteries.

SAT Weeks 3 and 4: My book looks loved

1438796197048My book is looking loved!  Check out the dog ear on the upper right hand corner of the blue College Board SAT book!

During weeks 3 and 4, I took the 4 non essay sections of each of the 4 exams in the SAT book.
This content is much more challenging than the old SAT.   I am not sure why the College Board is making the exam harder than it was.  It seems like many students will jump to the ACT.
Next steps:
Work on each of the 4 essays
Go through the Ivy Global SAT book ( arriving this week)
Get familiar with the Khan Academy offerings for SAT prep

Read This Carefully!! The Complexity of SAT Reading Passages

Read this carefully regarding the new SAT Reading Test:

“All Reading Test passages are selected from previously published works and represent some of the best writing and thinking in the fields of classic and contemporary U.S. and world literature, history/social studies, and science. The passages on the Reading Test vary in complexity, ranging from texts like those found in challenging courses in grades nine and 10 to texts comparable to those assigned in typical college-level, credit-bearing courses. The test asks students to base their answers on what is stated or implied in the passages and any accompanying supplementary material, such as informational graphics.”

Each of the 4 exams in the new SAT book has 5 reading passages which can be accessed here:

here are links to the sources for Test #1
excerpt from the novel The Strangeness of Beauty by Lydia Minatoya
from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology “Money Can’t Buy Love”
from Nature: Francis Crick and James Watson on DNA  available for $5
Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf see page 53
Both from New Scientist: Passage 1:Space Mining: The Next Gold Rush?  Passage 2:Taming the Final Frontier

On the first pass on July 16th, I got 39/52.  Perhaps I am rusty at Reading Comp but these felt much more challenging than the old SAT Reading Comp.  Stay tuned for the next blog post on Writing and Language.

Common Core Alg I, why so hard? It’s not for HS Seniors

Rigor?  Or graduation rate?  Hmmm.. this has been the debate for the Algebra Regents for many years.

If seniors need a Regents for graduation, the bar cannot be set too high, which has been the reason that Integrated Algebra Regents/Math A etc have not had high intensity.  BUT this year all the seniors were taking ye olde Integrated Algebra and most of the Common Core takers were 8th and 9th graders.  Wondering if this will get easier as this year’s freshmen approach their 2018 graduation date.

The June 2015 Common Core Algebra I Regents was more challenging than previous: read here although one poster wrote that her students did great with
the materials from below:  Just got a copy in the mail and will be reviewing it for Gen Ed, Sp Ed and ELLs.

emathinstruction Alg I

Answers with Questions…WHY oh Why? The New SAT: Week 2 of Studying

Glad to have this book but why oh why did the answers get right next to the questions?  Students will not actually “do” questions when answers are RIGHT THERE!!!

Read the rest of Part 1: Chapters 4 and 5: PSAT and New Score Information

Part 2 Chapters 6 – 17: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

Part 3 Chapters 18-24: Math

Info on the new SAT: There will be an official PSAT 10 and PrePSAT known as PSAT 8/9 (similar to the ACT Aspire, Explore and Plan) and no more penalty for guessing
Reading  65 minutes, 52 questions
Writing and Language 35 minutes, 44 questions
Math Test – No Calculator  25 minutes, 20 questions
Math Test – Calculator  55 minutes, 38 questions
Essay is optional  50 minutes

When: New SAT Test Dates
March 5, 2016 is the FIRST ONE!!  This will affect rising juniors and younger students.

New PSAT Dates Weds Oct 14 or 28  PSAT Practice here!!!
Current 10th graders will take the PSAT 10 between Feb. 22 and March 4, 2016.

Reading Test: page 70: “Wrong answers are often tempting.  Therefore, you must base your answer on a close reading of the text and any associated graphics.”

ESSAY info here
The SAT essay will be optional and will be the last section.  It has a totally new feel and focuses on developing an argument that is powerful and persuasive.

OK SIT DOWN…SOME OF THE MATH DOES NOT ALLOW A CALCULATOR.  Since 1994, the SAT has allowed a calculator (disclosure: I am from BC: Before Calculators).  On the first read of the chapters, I do not see which problems allow the calculator and which do not…

The Additional Topics include very fancy shmancy Math like 3D geometry, Trig incl radians, and Complex Numbers

and will be starting Part 4: Four Official Practice Tests with Answer Explanations

The new SAT Week 1: Studying for 3/5/16

SAT Study Guide 2015

Week 1 of studying:

Registered for the first administration of the new SAT on March 5:

Signed up for Khan Academy’s FREE SAT Prep
Completed 3 of the 4 Math diagnostic quizzes and 2 of the 4 verbal diagnostic quizzes

Tweeted to College Board re: SAT Question of the Day

Received the new Official SAT Study Guide shown above from amazon on Weds 7/1 and have read through Chapters 1 – 3
Here are the Key Content Changes and the Redesign Specifications


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