I want to discuss a problem from a test I gave recently.
Problem. My dog, Fudge, likes books. He brought two books to his corner in the morning and three more books in the evening. How many books will he read tonight?
As I expected, many students didn’t pay attention and just summed up the two numbers in the problem and gave five as the answer. Here are three answers that I especially liked.
Answer 1. Zero, because most dogs can’t read.
This cautious student added most to be on the safe side.
Answer 2. You cannot tell how many books he will read. Just because he brings books to his corner doesn’t mean he will read them.
The second answer demonstrates great logical thinking, were Fudge a human. But the third answer made me laugh.
Answer 3. Three. If he brought three more books to his corner in the evening, it means he finished the two from that morning, so there are three books left for him to read.