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The Problem With Problem Solving

By Jessica Smith
Meet the Author

"How do mathematicians communicate their ideas to each other and to the public? If math is just numbers and symbols, how can we talk about math?"

 Understandings & Objectives

Strategy: Guess and Check

 At A Glance

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Strategy: Guess and Check

Instructional Time: 1 hour a day for 2 days

Sue, Peggy, Maggie, and Arlene all collect comic books.  Sue collects Superfrog, Peggy collects The Incredible Hulk, and Maggie and Arlene both collect Totally Awesome Wonder Woman.  Sue has collected twice as many comic books as Peggy; Maggie has collected three times as many comic books as Peggy, and Arlene has collected two less than three times as many comic books as Peggy.  The four friends together have collected 97 comic books.  How many comic books does each friend have?

Jarrod and Malcom are at the mini-market once again.  “Good Mornin,” said the manager, “this is the sixth day in a row you’ve been here!”  Jarrod and Malcom have been earning money by collecting cans and bottles, and turning them in at the store.  There is a 5-cent refund on cans and a 10-cent refund on bottles.  In two months they collected 450 cans and bottles altogether and received $32.50.  How many cans and how many bottles did they collect?