In November, PARCC, one of the two multi-state consortia developing Common Core assessments, released some more sample questions. CCSSI Mathematics has good analysis of them. As they right note, this is an exercise in factoring, not in multiplication. The 10 x 10 grid prohibits a student from arranging the tiles in a 2 x 24 or 4 x 12 grid. Only the 6 x 8 or 8 x 6 rectangular shape is possible.
I have one more criticism to add for his math problem: the user interface is awful. To answer the question, the students need to click on at least 48 squares. This is a tedious task. With a pencil, the students could easily shade them in broad strokes across columns or rows. The user interface does not permit them to select tiles by click-and-drag or using the keyboard. To un-select the tiles, the student must click each one. So an error in selecting them, could require a child to make more than 48 mouse-clicks.
Then there is part C:
This is a multiplication question that Andy could have written. It doesn’t represent the problem in C, but the item-writers did not require the test subject to do so. All they asked for was an multiplication equation that used ? to represent the number of row. Is this a correct answer? Or this:
Neither demonstrates any understanding of the problem posed in C, but they are mathematically accurate multiplication equations that Andy could have written. And quite sophisticated ones indeed.