Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A New Word Problem

Today we learned about a new kind of math problem. It was different than other word problems we've done.   Usually word problems ask questions like:  

How many in all?         How many more?       How many fewer?

This was a new kind of word problem.
Panda and Hoppy left 25 comments. Hoppy left 5 more comments than Panda. 
How many comments did Panda leave? 
How many comments did Hoppy leave? 

Here is a tutorial a student made illustrating one way to solve this type of problem.  

What do you think of this process?

Here is another math problem to solve. 

Photo by Mrs. Ranney

Frogger and Curious George left 45 comments on the blog.
Frogger left 5 more comments than Curious George. 

How many comments did Frogger leave? 
How many comments did Curious George leave?

The answer is:
Frogger: 25 comments
Curious George: 20 comments

Write one of these new word problem for the class to use for practice?  


  1. Hello Mrs. Yollis' Class,
    I loved this question. I also loved the strategy.
    I will give you an open ended problem to solve. That means that there are multiple answers!

    Panda and Hoppy left 25 comments. Panda left a single digit number of comments and Hoppy left a 2 digit number of comments. What are the possible number of comments that each left?

    Mr. G. (Grade 3 - Malaysia)

    1. Dear Mr. G,

      Thanks for the fabulous comment!

      We will solve your problem:

      Hoppy: 20/ 15/ 14
      Panda: 5/ 10/ 9

      Now we want to make a problem of our own:

      Cleopatra and Anthony together had 35 diamonds. Cleopatra had 10 more than Anthony. How many diamonds do each person have?

      Can you solve our problem?

      Chl♥e and J♥mma

    2. Hi Chloe and Jemma - that was really tough!! We realized that we needed to split a number in half so we discovered that Cleopatra would have 22.5 and Anthony would have 12.5. We haven't learned fractions yet but this was a good introduction! Thanks for your challenge.

      Have a great day of learning!

      From Mr. G and Grade 3 in Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA

  2. I thought this tutorial was excellent! The student spoke very clearly and slowly and explained each step. The check at the end made me feel confident about the answer. I really like the way the diagram showed what it means to split the 20 comments between Panda and Hoppy!

    My grandson is learning these math problems in his school right now, so I will tell him to look at the video on this page. I think he will like it! Thank you for sharing!!!

    Here is a word problem based on the letters in my name - my whole name, with the middle name, too.

    So, my whole name has 18 letters. My first name and my last name have the same number of letters, but my middle name has 3 letters more than my first name (so that means it has 3 letters more than my last name also). Can you figure out how many letters there are in my first name, in my last name, and in my middle name?

    That is kind of tricky, because there are three things to figure out, not just two, like Panda's comments and Hoppy's comments.

    Maybe you can make a word problem based on your first name and your last name, and your middle name if you have one.

    Don't peek yet but here is my full name...

    Laura Kathleen Gibbs
    (5 letters in first name, 8 letters in middle name, 5 letters in last name for 18 letters total)

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have my own word problem.

    Buck and Rocky collected pine cones together. Together, these dogs collected 999 pine cones. Rocky collected 99 more pine cones than Buck. How many pine cones did they each collect?

    Now, here is the correct answer:

    Rocky has collected 549 pine cones.
    Buck has collected 450 pine cones.

    Did you get the problem right?

    If so, please comment back.

    Your problem-loving student,

  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I have my own word problem.

    Cooper and Rocky were collecting bones. Together, these dogs collected 998 bones. Cooper collected 98 more bones than Rocky. How many bones did they each collect?

    Here is the correct answer:

    Cooper collected 548 bones
    Rocky collected 450 bones

    Did you get the problem right?

    If so, please reply.


  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    The new word problem post is very informative. It felt like I was actually in the class! I love third grade homework! It put a big wide smile on my face, when I finished my homework.

    I hope to see you tomorrow! (because I've been sick)

    Your class-loving student,


  6. G'day Mrs Yollis,

    Davo Devil was reading your post and decided to write a problem for your students.

    Davo and Miss W. have been to 81 states of the US between them but Miss W has been to 7 more than Davo. How many states has Miss W. visited?

    1. Dear Miss W,

      I have the answer to your problem. Miss W has been to 44 states, and Davo Devil has been to 37 states. I figured it out by subtracting 7 from 81 which gave me 74. Then I split 74 in half and I added 7 to Miss W's column.

      I have a problem for you. Fred and Bob have 207 pieces of candy altogether. Bob has 20 more than Fred. How many does Bob have? How many does Fred have?



    2. G'day Nate,
      Thanks for answering my problem so accurately.

      Now let me check out yours.
      Oh dear, I can't divide that equally among two people unless they get half each.

      Chomp, chomp, gulp. Oh, that was a chewy candy.

      Now Fred can have 93 and Bob can have 113 which adds to 206. Where did the other one go? I couldn't have Bob and Fred arguing so I ate it.

      Thanks for the candy,
      Davo Devil

  7. Dear Class,
    Darius and Adam had a total of 700 pieces of Halloween candy after trick-or-treating. Darius had 40 more pieces of candy than Adam. How many pieces of candy did Darius and Adam each have?


  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Here is my word problem:

    Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse got lost in the park at 12:00 a.m. Altogether, they checked if there were any scary tigers roaming around 38 times. Mickey checked 6 more times than Minnie.

    How many times did Mickey go around the park? How many times did Minnie go around the park? How did you split the number you got after you subtracted the difference?


    P.S. Here are the answers to my questions: Minnie went around the park 16 times. Mickey went around the park 22 times. After I subtracted my real number 38, I got 32. I split it into 16 and 16.


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