New Math

This word problem was on Mallory's math homework last week:

Lesia has 32 stickers. Diana has a few stickers. Lesia adds their stickers. She has to regroup when she adds. How many stickers does Lesia have? Circle the number.

We puzzled til our puzzlers were sore, but we still couldn't figure out the answer. I wrote a note beside the problem: "Mrs. G., this problem didn't make sense to either Mallory or her parents."

The next day the paper came back with a note from Mrs. G. She circled the last line of the problem and wrote:

"Misprint! This should have said Diana."

Okay! Whew! I was relieved to know that I wasn't, in fact, dumber than a second grader.

Except then I realized that I still didn't understand how the answer could be 3, 5, 6, or 8.*

I can't wait til she gets to algebra.

*Unless what they're calling "regrouping" is what we used to call "carrying the ones." In which case the answer would be 8. I think. Maybe.


Anonymous said...

I think that the problem is poorly worded. And how is a second grader,or anyone else for that matter, supposed to know how many "few" is? I probably would have said 3 because to me 8 is not "few." Does this even make sense, or does anyone care!!


Abbey said...

I agree with your mom! Bad question. However, being a former 2nd grade teacher I do know that "regrouping" is the new fancy word for carrying the ones. :)

aimee said...

What?!? That is like those tricky math questions we had in jr high or high school to keep us busy. Not is 2nd grade.