I was checking the math work of an unnamed blonde daughter of mine whose name begins with “S”.
She is usually a good student, but on one problem, the answer key said that the answer was 100. S_____’s answer to the question was 50. Looking at her work, I could see that she did the math right. 25 x 2 = 50. So far, so good. So what did she do wrong?
It was a word problem. The question was:
How many shoes do you need for 25 horses?
I decided to ask the question again to see how quickly she could figure out her mistake.
Dad: How many shoes do you need for 25 horses?
D: OK, let’s try this again. How many shoes do you need for 25 men?
S: 50,…. oh, I get it. You need 100 horseshoes for 25 horses. [If she was a teenager she would have said “Duh!” here.]
D: Good. I have just one more question. How many shoes do 25 women need?
S: [Thinking hard…] Oh, about a thousand.