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Friday, March 19, 2010

Sample 8th Grade POW essay

The title of this week's P.O.W is Unraveling. In this problem, the Captain finds a book called Our Historyand in it, she reads about Captain of the Ferdinando, Jurakan, who made seven journeys around the Carribean. On each of those seven journeys, he got a famous treasure which he deafeted an opponent to get. In this problem, you have to find out the order of his voyage and each of the people he deafeated and prizes he acquired. The pertinent information in this problem are that there were seven places that he went on his voyage and each of the 13 clues are the other important information. The main math topic in this problem is solving word problems.

The first step I took to solve this problem, was that I made a list of all the islands, people, and prizes involved in the problem. Then I made a chart with all of the places, people, and prizes in a row on the top and the numbers 1-7 in a column on the side of the top row for all seven voyages Jurukan took (look at previous post for chart.) Then I put x's in the boxes for all of the things that could not be possible and +'s for all of the things that were true in the voyage. To find all of the possible and not possible steps in his trip I used all of the thirteen clues. The first clue I looked at was Clue 11, which said that on Jurukan's 7th and last voyage, he stole the Princess Parlina, who became his wife and that on his first voyage, he sailed to the Goya Island. I filled in those two clues and put x's in all of the other prizes on the 7th voyage and all the places for the first voyage. Then, I mostly looked at the clues that said which things came before others like Clue 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9 because it helped me determine which things could not be on which voyage because it was too early or too late. Once I figured out more things by doing that, I looked at which things couldnt be with something else like in Clue 6 or 10. When I found a new thing that was true, I marked that any other thing in that category could not be possible for that voyage and that eliminated a lot on the chart. I just kept going back and reading the clues throughout the problem to find another detail. When I had filled out the whole table, I read back through all of the clues and made sure they were true in my table and that nothing was repeated in my table. I knew that I should try this strategy becuase when I made lists seperating all of the places, prizes and people, it seemed the easiest to organize my thoughts on a chart because it showed every detail of the problem by marking what things were possible and not possible along the way instead of just having the final answer written down. A problem I dealt with was remembering which step I last took becuase there are so many spaces on my chart and if I messed up and figured out that something did not match up with one of the clues, I would have to delete a lot of things in my table until it made sense again. A resource I used was James because he showed me what kind of chart he used and it helped me figure out how to make my chart to put my answers in.

My solution is that the first voyage Jurukan took was to Goya Island, where he defeated Pirate Guanin for the Black Pearl. Then he went to Lukiyo Island where he defeated Viejo Tomas for the Lamp of the Ditas. From there, he went to Amabala for the Sapphire of Sezu which he got from Zerena. His fourth voyage was to Jutia Island, where he got the Caribe Ruby from General Bure. Then he went to Natia for the Mime Emerald from Macana. His sixth voyage was to Tabata, where he defeated Queen Nasa for the Inriri Diamond. Lastly, he went to Baya where he defeated Chief Fotu for Princess Parlina. I know my solution is correct because I read through all of the clues to make sure that it matched up with them. There are no other possible answers for this problem.

Something that was interesting about this P.O.W is that I thought it would be very easy when we first got the problem because it was just like a puzzle but it turned out being the hardest P.O.W and it took me a VERY long time. This problem challenged me because, to solve it you had to organize the problem really well becuase there were so many clues and that was challenging for me. This problem reminded me of the problems where we had to figure out the ages of people in a problem by using different clues or comparisons between each of the peoples ages. I think I managed my time well and much better than I usually do with other P.O.W's but the problem was so challenging that it still took me a really long time. Next time, I might try to start even earlier so that if the problem is really hard, I can solve a little more of it everyday instead of spending a lot of time on it for one day because it is so hard. 

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