Tag Archives: Math in Real Life

The Problem of Anwar’s Camels

I just started reading Fractions in Realistic Mathematics Education by Leen Streefland, and there, on page 5, Streefland gives as an example an old puzzle problem that I remember giving my students more than 40 years ago.

Camels

“An old Arab, Anwar his name, decreed before he died that his eldest son inherit one-half, his second son one-quarter, and his youngest son one-fifth of all his camels. He died leaving 19 camels and his three sons could not agree on how to divide them. A dervish–passing by on his camel–observed the disagreement, dismounted, and stated helpfully, “I will loan you my camel.” Each son now took his share of the 20 camels. The dervish then remounted his beast of burden and continued along his way, leaving all three heirs contented. And so did come to pass the last will of Anwar.”

What’s going on?  What do you notice?  What are you wondering?

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part Three

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part Three

This is my last post in the series; Making Word Problems More Engaging. Creating analogies for students to understand addition and subtraction is important. Whether you use Trevon, Bobby, Jada, and Maya, or come up with your own characters is not important. What is important is giving students a complete conceptual understanding of addition and subtraction.… Continue Reading

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part One

Making Word Problems More Engaging, Part One

As I watched my daughter Bethany do her homework last night I had an Aha Moment. She complains almost every day that she has addition and subtraction homework. Apparently, she does not have her mother’s love of math. (I’m working on that.) Her paper had simple numeric addition and subtraction, and she decided that she… Continue Reading

One Object Three Shapes: Circle Square Triangle

One Object Three Shapes: Circle Square Triangle

Front and back, top and bottom, and left and right are ideas that we use to describe objects in our three-dimensional world. Young children learn these positional words in Kindergarten. In fact, learning the meaning of these words is one of the Common Core Kindergarten geometry standards. In reality these are big ideas that are… Continue Reading