[Numeracy 455] Re: Monday Puzzle

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Mark.Trushkowsky at mail.cuny.edu Mark.Trushkowsky at mail.cuny.edu
Tue Aug 3 11:11:09 EDT 2010


I actually think it is a pretty good math problem in the sense of getting
students to use mathematical reasoning. I would imagine that hardest part
of this problem for students is that there is "unsound" logic in the
question itself and it requires them to go back to the beginning and
replay the scenario and come up with a model that makes sense. As a GED
teacher, one of the biggest issues students have with math is having spent
too much time in classrooms laden with rules and procedures that students
never understood. The most damaging result of going through all of that
is students often start of thinking that math isn't supposed to make
sense, it is only supposed to be memorized. Problems like this help
students practice their ability making sense of things with numbers. It
also gives them an opportunity to devise and assert a more correct logic
over the "erroneous" and misleading logic in the problem itself. The
problem is making a mistake in its mathematical reasoning and the goal is
for students to fix that mistake while developing their own mathematical


Mark Trushkowsky
Mathematics Staff Developer
CUNY Adult Literacy and GED Program
101 W. 31st Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Ladnor Geissinger <ladnor at email.unc.edu>
Sent by: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov
08/03/2010 09:47 AM
Please respond to
The Math and Numeracy Discussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>

The Math and Numeracy Discussion List <numeracy at nifl.gov>

[Numeracy 450] Re: Monday Puzzle

You might call this an accounting muddle, but hardly a math problem.
Just note who pays out money and how much (3 guys in room, $27), and who
receives money and how much (manager $25 and bellhop $2).

On 8/2/2010 6:11 PM, Istas, Brooke wrote:
Three men go to a motel to rent a room for the night. The manager is not
there so the bellhop waits on them. He doesn’t know how much the room is
so he decides to charge them $10 per person making the total cost for the
room $30 dollars. When the manager returns, the bellhop tells the manager
what he did. The manager tells the bellhop that the room is not that much
and gives $5 dollars back to the bellhop to give to the men. On the
bellhop’s way to the room, he thinks about the trouble of dividing $5
dollars among the three men so he puts $2 in his pocket and gives each man
in the motel room $1 dollar back. Now, if they each paid $9 for their
room, 3 X $9 = $27 plus the $2 the bellhop put in his pocket equals $29
dollars. What happened to the other $1 dollar?

If you figure this riddle out, please reply with your answer and
explanation. Good Luck this one is tricky but my adult learners love
these types of activities.
Happy Monday!

Brooke Istas

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