• Category: PROBLEM-of-the-WEEK
PROBLEM OF THE WEEK (POW!)(FAMILIES: if you are supporting your student with a POW, please don't solve it FOR them. Use these hints to keep them thinking and doing their best. Enjoy the math talk and exchange of ideas in your household without the worry of being RIGHT. Celebrate curiosity and perseverance.)

Problem of the Week Helpful Hints

FIRST: UNDERSTAND the problem! Look up words you don’t know, underline important information, draw a picture just to understand the situation. USE your Getting Started Genuine Questions (also on blog). THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF PROBLEM SOLVING!

SECOND: Decide what math makes sense to use and make a PLAN. Keep your focus on what makes sense and why it makes sense; there are many valid ways to solve these problems. Sometimes you have to go down the wrong path in order to find the right one.

ORGANIZE your work so it can be understood...by anyone.

LAST: DOES YOUR ANSWER MAKE SENSE? Why or why not? REVISE your work if you need to. VERIFY that your thinking is correct by solving the problem a different way.

ALWAYS: COMMUNICATE your entire process CLEARLY with pictures, words, and symbols. INCLUDE mistakes and discoveries you made or questions you have. What did you LEARN?

TURN IN a neat copy of your work EACH Tuesday.

POW's should show YOUR BEST WORK.

ASSIGNED 1/9/12, DUE 1/17/12
POW #1

Pole in the Pond

There is a pole stuck in the mud in the bottom of a pond. One-half of the pole is in the mud, 2/3 of what's remaining is under water, and one foot of the pole is above water. How long is the pole?

ASSIGNED 1/18/12 DUE 1/24/12
POW #2

Marbles in a Collection

Theo has a marble collection. The marbles are red, blue, and yellow. One-fourth of his collection is red marbles. Two-thirds of the marbles are blue.
a. How many marbles does Theo have? Explain.
b. What fraction of his collection is yellow marbles?

Assigned 1/24 DUE 1/31

Gas in the Tank


Daphne has 1/8 of a tank of gas when she pulls into a gas station. After she puts 15 gallons of gas in her tank, the gas gauge reads 3/4 full. How may gallons of gas does Daphne’s tank hold when it is full?

Assigned 2/7 DUE 2/14

Cars in a Lot

A public parking lot has space for 1000 cars and 2/5 of the spaces are for compact cars only. On Tuesday, the parking lot was 3/4 full and 5/6 of the cars were compact. Assuming each compact space is full, how many compact cars are parked in full-size spaces?

Assigned 2/25 DUE 2/21

Numbers Between Numbers

The improper fraction -11/2 is halfway between the two integers -5 and -6, and -23/4 is halfway between -11/2 and -6.

a. What improper fraction is halfway between -23/4 and -6? Show how you found it, and prove you are correct.

b. How many improper fractions exist between -5 and -6? Explain your answer.


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Pat Ciula
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