My twin students felt that buying both pens addressed the dilemma of figuring out how many more. In this case, slowing down and restating the problem in a different way may have helped, such as "You have $.48 in your pocket. How much more money is needed to buy the $.65 pen?" The wording of the problem is challenging for these students. Students have practiced adding "more" in kindergarten and first grade, so their first instinct is to add, without considering the context in which "more" is being used. This process provides opportunity for students to discover and practice the context of "more." The hope was they would explore and discover counting up with large numbers. For some kids, they were able to get there. But the concept of "more" and how it's used in the context of a word problem is critical for students to understand. Students who misunderstand the use of the word "more" may quickly go down the wrong solution road.

My twin students felt that buying both pens addressed the dilemma of figuring out how many more. In this case, slowing down and restating the problem in a different way may have helped, such as "You have $.48 in your pocket. How much more money is needed to buy the $.65 pen?" The wording of the problem is challenging for these students. Students have practiced adding "more" in kindergarten and first grade, so their first instinct is to add, without considering the context in which "more" is being used. This process provides opportunity for students to discover and practice the context of "more." The hope was they would explore and discover counting up with large numbers. For some kids, they were able to get there. But the concept of "more" and how it's used in the context of a word problem is critical for students to understand. Students who misunderstand the use of the word "more" may quickly go down the wrong solution road.