Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How Many Could I Have?

This week we are working on word problems that have more than one answer. Today the students were given this problem to solve:
I have 5 crayons.
Some of them are red and some of them are blue.
How many of each could I have?

A few students right away wrote down the answer 10, thinking they had both 5 red crayons and 5 blue crayons. Some of the students looked a little blank in the face. While others started drawing 5 crayons, coloring some of the them red and some blue. It was fasinating to see their stratgies. It was also amazing the different recording strategies they used to show their answers.

Give your child a similar problem at home to see how they solve the problem. Encourage them to find more than one answer. With the help of their classmate Bryce, the class also discover how to tell when they have found all the combinations. Look under one heading either the red crayons or the blue crayons. Check to see if you have used each number. For the above problem, they looked to see if they used 1,2,3 and 4. We also talked about why the combination of 0 and 5 does not work in this problem. If your not sure why, it is because the problem states I have some of each color.

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