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How Many Apples?

Date: 09/19/2002 at 17:11:25
From: Michelle Kolb
Subject: Math riddle word problem

John had a part-time job picking apples. One day his boss let him take 
a box of apples home. Along the way John gave half of his apples plus 
3 more to the chairman of a charity bazaar. Later he met Hiko and gave 
her half of the remaining apples plus 3 more. Finally, John got home 
and gave his mother half of the remaining apples plus 3 more for an 
apple pie. After all this, John had 10 apples for himself. How many 
apples did John get from his boss?

I tried to do the problem in reverse and just use several random 
numbers. My parents even helped me too.


Date: 09/19/2002 at 19:47:41
From: Doctor Greenie
Subject: Re: Math riddle word problem

Hello, Michelle -

You say you tried to work the problem backward; that is undoubtedly 
the easiest way to find the answer. But evidently you had trouble 
trying to find the answer that way.

We don't know why you are having trouble without seeing the work you 
have tried to do on this.  

Here is how I might start an answer to this problem by working 
backwards:

  10  =  # John ended up with
  13  =  # he had before he gave those last 3 to his mother
  26  =  # he had before giving half of what he had to his mother
  29  =  # he had before giving those last 3 to Hiko
 ...

Did your work look anything like that?

- Doctor Greenie, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ 


Date: 09/20/2002 at 03:36:16
From: Michelle Kolb
Subject: Thank you (math riddle word problem)

Thank you from my daughter and me. I think that this is a great 
service to both parents and students.

Karen Kolb
Associated Topics:
Elementary Word Problems
Middle School Algebra
Middle School Word Problems

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