# Thread: Breaking Down A Word Problem

1. ## Breaking Down A Word Problem

Allow me to break down a simple 5th grade word problem. This is an example of how I want my textbook word problems solved by the math professionals here.

Marsha has two boxes of marbles. Box A has 300 marbles and Box B has 400 marbles. She distributed 1/3 of the marbles from the box containing 300 marbles and 1/4 of the marbles from the other box. How many marbles remain after each distribution?

THE BREAK DOWN:

Marsha has two boxes of marbles. Box A has 300 marbles and Box B has 400 marbles.

Box A + Box B =( 300 + 400) =700 marbles.

She distributed 1/3 of the marbles from the box containing 300 and 1/4 of the marbles from the other box.

Box A(1/3) = 300(1/3) = 100

Box B(1/4) = 400(1/4) = 100

So, she distributed 200 marbles in total.

How many marbles remain after each distribution?

As stated above, originally Marsha had 700 marbles.
She distributed 200 marbles. I now subtract 200 marbles from 700 marbles. So, the answer is 500 marbles remain.

MHF Tutors:

Why can't you answer my textbook questions in like manner? Of course, I'll show my effort unless the application is over my head. Explaining a word problem in this fashion will help me and others tremendously. What do you say?

2. ## Re: Breaking Down A Word Problem

First what do you mean by "math professionals here"? Many of the people answering are students, as I presume you are. Second, why do you think you should get to tell people how they should answer your questions? Each person has a way of analyzing and thinking about problems. Perhaps if you were to examine how they analyze the problems, you would learn some much needed reasoning skills.

3. ## Re: Breaking Down A Word Problem

Originally Posted by HallsofIvy
First what do you mean by "math professionals here"? Many of the people answering are students, as I presume you are. Second, why do you think you should get to tell people how they should answer your questions? Each person has a way of analyzing and thinking about problems. Perhaps if you were to examine how they analyze the problems, you would learn some much needed reasoning skills.
1. By math professionals I mean those here who have a solid understanding of mathematics above the basics.

2. I am not bossing anyone here.

3. I am anxious to learn how to solve word problems at the level of most tutors here. This could actually change my life. There are so many tutoring companies in the NYC area seeking math tutors. It would be a dream come true to get a job as a tutor for grades 6 to 12.

4. I REALLY TRY to analyze how each person answers my textbook questions. I understand those who break down each question sentence by sentence. It helps me tremendously.