Challenging Money Word Problem for Gifted Fourth Grader


Here is a money math word problem that was given to gifted students at Military Heights Elementary School in Roswell,NM. It involves spending a fraction of your total money (2/3) at one store and then one third of what you have left at another store. At this point you have $4 remaining and the question is how much money did you start with.

Challenging Math Money Word Problem
Challenging Math Money Word Problem

What follows is a direct translation from this money word problem into an algebraic equation where we let x be the amount of money we had when we walked into Alpha-Mart. The the first expression you see is the amount of money that was spent at Alpha-Mart and Dartmart combined as a function of the unknown variable x. We then subtract this expression from x(the amount of money we started with) and set it equal to four dollars.

Solution to Challenging Direct Translation Word Problem for Gifted and Talented 5th Graders
Solution to Challenging Direct Translation Word Problem for Gifted and Talented 5th Graders

As you can see, when you you solve for x, you get $18.

For more practice with direct translation word problems, view this easier one that involves four consecutive positive integers also known as natural numbers.

Also related, but easier than this problem on fractions is the easier problem: Bonita evaluated 5/6 × 1 2/3 and got an answer of 7/3. How can you tell that her answer is wrong?  Solution:  5/6 times 5/3 equals 25/18 which does not reduce to 7/3.  The word evaluate in this context means to perform the indicated operation of multiplication.


23 comments on “Challenging Money Word Problem for Gifted Fourth GraderAdd yours →

  1. Thanks to Betty Debnam for making fractions easy. She will replace the void left by Keith Bell’s to the point cartoons. Does anybody know why he was fired from Daily Record?

    1. I don’t know why Bell was fired but Albert Lin, who writes for DiversityInc, levied racism criticisms against a few of the free thinking cartoonist’s efforts including the infamous Roswell signage suggestion one referencing MLK, Ceasar Chavez and Larry Bird.

      Perhaps Mr Lin and other knee jerk racists wrote or called the RDR and along with the many other liberal opponents of Bells truth speaking gave the newspaper no choice but to terminate him?

      1. Hudson G. Boue’, who wrote an excellent gun control letter to editor of the liberal bastion Roswell newspaper, would be able to tell you why cartoonist Keith Bell was fired. For that matter, any conservative reader could tell you her initials are B.B.

        1. Your friend Hudson G. Boue, who truly values his own opinion, thinks anti-gun types need to “broaden their perspective”. Gun loving Hudson characterized Barack’s actions as impotent. The president’s actions are quite potent from gun control advocate point of view. I wager Mr Boue is has erectile dysfunction given his predilection for misusing certain reserved for sex only terms.

          1. I am quite surprised there was a statement about my letter to the RDR about the lickspittles who tout gun control as the solution to violence; surprised because from what I understand that Willie is usually too busy to do anything but spank his wonka.

                1. You know Hudson, I appreciate the identifying information you have provided in your comments. We dine at cattle baron occassionally. It is a little pricey you know. I think you must have been seated at adjacent booth because the old fart behind me uttered lickspittle three or four times. I guess obsequious must be too much of a challenge for you to pronounce. Lickspittle(your Victorian literature influence self evident here) and ass sucking must be synonyms, at least, by your usage of term. Based on your contempt for private ownership of firearms, I am guessing you are still smarting over the devastating defeat inflicted on the female democratic candidate by TRUMP

                  1. Rocket Power,

                    Your post is perfect example of not knowing your opponent (or perceived opponent). Please see my most recent reply to Mr. Sanchez, plus the fact that I have been in Santa Fe twice in the last 2 weeks to lobby against HB 50 which would curtail private sales of firearms in New Mexico without going through an FFL. I believe that the way Mr. Rivera worded his sentence in his post led many to believe that I am anti-gun, but the opposite is true. Mention my name in any gun shop in Roswell, and listen to the results. I am a Life Benefactor member of the NRA. As far as your guess is concerned about smarting over President Trumps victory over H. Clinton, please check out the fact that in 2016 I was campaign manager for Greg Nibert, Republican Representative for District 59, plus Chaves County Coordinator for Republican Justice Judith Nakamoura of the New Mexico Supreme Court, and in 2014 campaign manager for Republican Sheriff Britt Snyder; plus, my wife was the recent past president of the Chaves County Federated Republican Women. Republican state senator Cliff Pirtle, Republican state representative Bob Wooley, District 66, are all very good friends of mine. Has there been some misunderstanding here?

                    1. Sir you make some good points, but some residents of Alien City were offended if not downright pissed off at the way you got Tamra Gedde “disqualified” from state representative race for invalid signatures. She canvased her district, obtaining signatures by hard word and an impeccable reputation in our community. That seemed dirty to me. Something you would not have done had she not been competing against whoever it was you campaigning for. Tamra and her husband would have have make a fine political pair and served their constituents admirably.

                      Which side of the coin are YOU on for Ralph Rivera’s half baked piece of crap idea to have ONLY ONE HIGH SCHOOL IN ROSWELL? That man has rocks in his head. I mean…..I know RISD has perpetual teacher shortages, but Jesus H. Christ man!!!!

            1. Dear Mr Boue,

              Your opinion would change if you had to watch your wife or loved one being sodomized by a repeat offender black felon after a home invasion. Yes, I had to suffer through that and it is permanently seared in my memory. I have a handgun under my bed to protect me and my only surviving daughter!!!

              1. Ummm, Juan, I’m not too sure about about your comment about changing my opinion if I had the misfortune to witness the heinous act you describe. My opinion is, and remains so, that deadly force would certainly be justified to prevent/stop the act you describe; in fact, I encourage you, if you already aren’t, to become quite proficient with your handgun, and work out a plan with your daughter for her defense.

                1. Juan,

                  I believe that you misread my initial post; please re-read it. There was no error, but possibly a misinterpretation. My letter to the RDR referenced by Mr. Rivera was pointing out the futility of Liberals for blaming firearms instead of human behavior for violence. I am a Life Benefactor member of the NRA, was an instructor for self defense for female victims at the NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, VA, and performed some Pro Bono work for them while I was in Washington, D.C. We square?

                  1. My apologies sir. I clearly can not match your intelligence. Thank you for efforts at helping women defend themselves against scum that cowardly attack them. I am probably oversensitive because of what happened to me. There are some days where I don’t know if I will be able to get out of bed because of my level of grief. It does get better slowly as each day passes from that horrifying crime. We square!

                    1. No need to apologize, Juan. You are fighting the good fight. Please keep it up. I will keep you in my thoughts; be strong and you will persevere.

                      Semper Fi, Hudson

                    2. Hi Hudson,

                      I read the RDR online and have followed your letters to the editor with immense interest. Your statement to the troubled young man “I will keep you in my thoughts” bothers me as it could indicate an atheistic point of view. You did NOT choose the spiritual term prayer. Am I reading too much into this?

  2. I am sure all the RISD algebra teachers are ecstatic about the enthusiasm Tom Burris has for word problems. Beck’s editorial staff saw fit to publish a word problem assigned to his daughter about 4 ounces of peas in a package at a certain cost per package. How much will 5 pounds of peas cost. I sure hope our superintendent was able to help her. RDR framed this as his frustration with common core.

  3. Michael,

    Yes, you certainly are reading too much into my terminology. I choose my words carefully. I used “thoughts” in the context of: “An opinion or belief in the mind” which encompasses both religious and secular significance.

    – Hudson

    1. Thank the good Lord! I knew you must be a man of faith. In these trying times with an eratic national leader and the the entire planet looking World War 3 square in the eye, faith in a higher power is a must!

      Have you considered political office yourself? We need a city manager and also a stable RISD superintendent?

      1. Michael,

        Thank you for your kind words. Please keep in mind that the city manager and school superintendent positions are hired/appointed and not elected; AND, albeit important, no matter what one does they are probably the two most thankless/tedious local public positions I can identify.

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