Question

Dear Mitch,

Can you post some Thanksgiving problems that would be challenging but not impossible for middle school __and__ high school math classes?

(If possible, multiple choice ones would be perfect, because this year our district is making a concerted effort to provide practice with the format of the standard achievement tests throughout the curriculum to reduce students' test anxiety.)

My colleagues and I always enjoy your responses and have used quite a few of the problems you've presented. Very nice!

Warm wishes for a safe holiday season, and remember to buckle up!

Mrs. Wessing

Ohio

Answer

Dear Mrs. Wessing,

It will be my pleasure to provide thanksgiving problems for middle school and high school students, and providing opportunities for students to become comfortable with multiple choice questions sounds like a great idea!

As it happens, I wrote a bunch this morning while waiting for a meeting to begin, and I'll post them in small groups a couple of times a week from now until the holiday. Here's the first installment:

1. If 10 pounds of stuffing cost d dollars, how many pounds of stuffing can be purchased for 3 dollars?

(A) 30d

(B) (3d)/10

(C) 30/d

(D) d/30

(E) (10d)/3

2. If p pounds of sweet potato pie costs s cents, 10 pounds of that pie will cost

(A) (ps)/10 cents

(B) 10ps cents

(C) (10s)/p cents

(D) (10p)/s cents

(E) (s + p +10) cents

3. One week before Thanksgiving last year a gourmet food store reduced the price of their "family-sized" turkey dinner by half the regular price, and then, 3 days later, when the chef became concerned that he had prepared more than they were likely to sell, had the owner reduce the sale price by 10%. The final price is what percent of the original price?

(A) 5%

(B) 10%

(C) 25%

(D) 40%

(E) 45%

4. On the night before Thanksgiving, Stanley S., who, although 22-years-old, still lives with his parents, sneaked into the kitchen and ate one-fourth of the pumpkin pie his mother had spent all day preparing. The following morning, he woke up early (having cleverly set his alarm clock), tip-toed downstairs, slipped back into the kitchen, and helped himself to one-half of what was left of the pie. What fraction of the entire pie did Stanley eat before the holiday dinner?

(A) 1/2

(B) 7/8

(C) 3/8

(D) 5/8

(E) 3/4

Answers will be posted before schools break for the holiday!

Hope this helps,

Mitch