You can’t get much more of a real-life connection to problem-solving than this.
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The picture of the Halloween treat bags on the far right was taken on my dining room table! Every year I buy some chocolate bars and some non-chocolate candy (usually the Child’s Play mix), and I try to give each little ghost and ghoul a piece of chocolate and a couple of pieces of the other candy. This year, I thought it would be infinitely easier to just drop a little treat bag into each out-stretched pumpkin container!
Here’s the problem-solving situation I came up with:
Laura’s mom bought one bag with 40 mini candy bars and another bag with 72 pieces of assorted candy. How many treat bags with 1 mini candy bar and 2 pieces of assorted candy can she make? What candy will be left over?
Looking at the problem I created, can you think of ways to adjust it to make it more or less challenging? Probably lots of ways! Feel free to share your version in a comment. And if you try this problem with your students, please let me know how it went!