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Math Help - Story problem help

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Story problem help

    I have a story problem that I'm having a hard time with. Can someone please help me solve this. I'm teaching a 5th grade class and this is one that is supposed to stump us! Thanks!

    It says:
    Can the following story problem about Jim's medicine be solved by subtracting 1/3-1/4? If so, explain why. If not, explain why not and solve the problem if it can be solved. Write a different story problem that can be solved by subtracting.

    Here is the story. Jim has a small container filled with one tablespoon of medicine. Jim poured out 1/3 tablespoon of medicine. Jim then poured out 1/4 tablespoon of medicine. Now how much medicine is left in the container?

    I said no the following story problem can't be solved by subtracting 1/3 and 1/4. They are part of different wholes. I need help on if it can be solved and if so how or if not what kind of problem can 1/3-1/4 work for? Thanks everyone!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member yeKciM's Avatar
    Joined
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    Quote Originally Posted by MathMack View Post
    I have a story problem that I'm having a hard time with. Can someone please help me solve this. I'm teaching a 5th grade class and this is one that is supposed to stump us! Thanks!

    It says:
    Can the following story problem about Jim's medicine be solved by subtracting 1/3-1/4? If so, explain why. If not, explain why not and solve the problem if it can be solved. Write a different story problem that can be solved by subtracting.

    Here is the story. Jim has a small container filled with one tablespoon of medicine. Jim poured out 1/3 tablespoon of medicine. Jim then poured out 1/4 tablespoon of medicine. Now how much medicine is left in the container?

    I said no the following story problem can't be solved by subtracting 1/3 and 1/4. They are part of different wholes. I need help on if it can be solved and if so how or if not what kind of problem can 1/3-1/4 work for? Thanks everyone!
    sure, why not ?

     1 - \frac {1}{3} = \frac {2}{3}

    only question is, is he spilling 1/4 from the starting value or from what left there after first spilling ???


    if he spilled 1/4 of tablespoon as wrote there in "story" than

     1 - \frac {1}{3} = \frac {2}{3}

     \frac {2}{3} - \frac {1}{4} = \frac {5}{12}


    but if what he spilled 1/4 from what left after first spill than

     \frac {2}{3} - \frac {1}{4} = \frac {5}{12}

     \frac {2}{3} - \frac {5}{12} = \frac {3}{12}

    i have little problem here because English is not my first language which can be concluded from the post
    Last edited by yeKciM; October 9th 2010 at 11:11 PM.
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