If you’re a parent of school-aged children, you know that one of the main job requirements is helping out with homework as needed.

But when L8asUsual noticed an unusual word problem on her daughter’s homework, she couldn’t tell if the teacher’s question was a printing error or an instance of Common Core confusion. After sharing the problem on Reddit, other users quickly voiced their own answers to the unclear question.

After reading over the question multiple times, Mom realized that there’s a large chunk of information missing from the problem that is crucial to determining the final answer.

Most commenters, without knowing the exact number of marbles lost, simply wrote their answers as an expression of what they did know.

While others used context clues to give “some” a numeric value.

But after much debate, all of Reddit would have to wait for the mom’s daughter to have her graded paper returned to her.

When that time finally came, mom discovered the real meaning behind the unsolvable problem. In a follow-up to her original post, L8asUsual shared that after asking the teacher about it, they responded by stating that the problem was left open-ended for students to create their own answers. The teacher just wanted kids to take a crack at critical thinking when presented with a roadblock.

(via IFL Science)

Honestly, I think this is pretty clever. School isn’t about showing kids how to regurgitate answers and barrel through easy equations. It’s about forming young people into critical thinkers who can tackle any problem that comes their way.


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