Word Problem Wednesday – Marbles

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from an article in the Daily Express, a UK newpaper.

The headline teases: This is the maths puzzle that is baffling everyone – but could you solve it?

Yes, we can! So, don’t lose your marbles over this one.

This appears to come from a Maths No Problem! workbook, probably 2A as the article states it is a problem for 7-year-olds. The author interviews a math professor:

Math expert, Dr. James Hind, of Nottingham Trent University, said the confusing question is above the level it was set for and to reach a conclusion it is best to try a number of equations.

Dr. Hind then proceeds to use a guess and check method to solve the problem. Maybe they asked the wrong expert.

Programs based on a Singapore Math approach start bar model drawing in either 2nd or 3rd grade, making this a challenging problem for many 2nd graders, but not a guess and check problem. Visualization of problem-solving actually starts in kindergarten!

See if you can solve this one like a 7-year- old. Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Our last Word Problem Wednesday problem was from the chapter on the “Model Method and Algebra” from The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics.

We had several correct answers submitted. Here’s a worked example from Shirley Davis:

How did you do?


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Word Problem Wednesday – Ava, Ben, and Carlos

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from the chapter on the “Model Method and Algebra” from The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics.

The book models the Unitary Method as well as 3 variations on an algebraic solution. The author’s end this problem with the following commentary

The Model Method is a means, not and end in itself. It helps students formulate an algebraic equation to solve the problem. While more able students can proceed quickly to the absract algebraic method to solve problems without drawing a model, others may still need to rely on drawing the model as a problem-solving heuristic.

-The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics, p. 58

Wise words, indeed! On to the problem:

$120 is shared among 3 friends, Ava, Ben, and Carlos. If Ava receives $20 less than Ben, and Ben receives 3 times as much money as Carlos, how much does Carlos receive?

Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Last month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem was from the chapter on Real-World Problems Math in Focus 2A:

We had several correct answers submitted. Here’s a worked example from Minnesota math teacher and coach Kris Simonsen:

How did you do?Scridb filter

Word Problem Wednesday – Comic Books

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from the chapter on Real-World Problems Math in Focus 2A: 

Tom has 275 comic books in his collection. Chris sells 82 comic books to Tom. Then Chris has 148 comic books left. How many more comic books does Tom have than Chris now?

Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Last month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem was from Dimensions Math 4A (available spring of 2019).

We had several correct answers submitted. Here’s a worked example from intrepid reader Shirley Davis:

How did you do?Scridb filter

Word Problem Wednesday – Screws and Nails

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from Dimensions Math 4A (available spring of 2019).

There are twice as many nails as screws in a bin. If 510 of the nails and 75 of the screws are used, there will be the same number of nails as screws. How many nails were in the bin to start with?

Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Last month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem was from Math in Focus Grade 3.

How did you do?Scridb filter

Word Problem Wednesday – Farmer Fred

This month’s Word Problem Wednesday problem comes from Math in Focus Grade 3.

Farmer Fred makes 4 quarts of orange juice on Monday. He makes 2 quarts more orange juice on Tuesday than on Monday. He makes 2 more quarts on Wednesday than on Tuesday. He carries on making 2 more quarts of orange juice every day than the day before. In how many days will he make a total of 80 pints of orange juice?

Submit your solutions by the end of the month!


Last month’s problem was from Primary Mathematics Challenging Word Problems 3:

How did you do?Scridb filter

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