This week’s Carnival of Education, hosted by History is Elementary, features a post by an engineer turned third-grade teacher and Learn Me Good blogger. He asked his third graders to write their own word problems using addition and subtraction.

“T had 5 sisters. 2 of them went to college. How many sisters does he have now?”
well, still 5 I think. Unless of course, they went to Carolina, in which case it would stand to reason that they are dead to him.

. . . “Mister Teacher has 99 markers. He received 900 more markers. Mister Teacher has a nice haircut. How many markers does Mister Teacher have in all?”
— interesting choice of random extra information…

And finally, a question from one of my little girls who just doesn’t understand the concept…

“D had $22 in his account. He spent $32 for his lunch. How many more money does he have left?”

Well, D probably put lunch on his credit card, so he’d have $22 left.

About Joanne


  1. mike from oregon says:

    “How many more money does he have left?”

    I don’t think he can have ‘many more money’ – he needs to learn english first we can work on math as a close second.

    Second – he’s now either overdrawn, or he stole something because he just spent more money than he had. Last time I was in the checkout line they wouldn’t let me walk out if I handed them less money than what they asked for.

    Basic, stupid question.

  2. Joanne,
    Thanks for linking to my site.

    And Mike from Oregon, maybe you missed the fact that this was written by a third grader (and a girl, if we are going to nitpick) who does indeed struggle with mathematical concepts. English IS her first language, but she does not have very good writing skills, either. Thanks for the constructive criticism, though.