jgpix wrote:Hi all,

My 5 th grader was given a packet of challenging word problems. I have not done this stuff in so long that I don't even know where to begin. I want to understand how this works. I need the process. The basic idea of the word problem is this: Suzie wants to break the high score of the game which is 118. In the game she has to move a frog across the street , jumping on obstacles to smash them along the way. She gets 5 points for smashing worms, 13 for bugs, 9 for birds, and 3 for soda cans. How many of each item must she smash before she breaks the high score?

These are not the exact values or even the right wording. But I am just trying to understand the process.

Thanks

Does the question ask for any combination that works? Best to do would be, give the exact problem description, word by word.

Your child would want to find a sum of numbers that gives a score of 118.

5 points for worms

13 points for bugs

9 points for birds

3 points for soda cans

What seems troubling at first, is that this is a multivariable problem and is asked to a fifth grade student. Presently, I can only suggest to look for a combination of counts for each scoring object which works, and I'm not sure yet if there is only one answer, or more than one answer. Is your child in fact studying some algebra? Are any relationships among the scoring objects also given?

[ ]*5+[ ]*13+[ ]*9+[ ]*3=118

What whole numbers can be fit into each pair of square brackets?

Note that you cannot allow more than 9 bugs because 9*13=117 and therefore any further single point scoring object will make the score exceed 118.