Word Problem Wednesday: Busy Bees

Apr 22, 2020
Do you ever find yourself buzzing around with tons to do? Take it from these busy bees: practicing math sure does come in handy sometimes! From selling toys to running a business, they'll need your skills to ensure success!
Find the word problem below that’s the right skill level for you and give it a go! Take your time working it out — no peeking! — and when you feel you’ve found the solution, look below to check your solution against ours.

Enjoy your fun math practice, and be sure to check back next week for more!

Lower Elementary:
Question: Kylie sold books at a yard sale for 10¢ each and toys for 50¢ each. If she sells 6 books and 3 toys, how much does Kylie earn altogether?
Upper Elementary:
Question: Eight groups of children are performing skits at their summer camp comedy show. Each skit is 5 minutes long. If each group performs once and the campers must be done with the comedy show by 9:15 PM, then what is the latest time they can start the show?
Middle School:
Question: A 9-foot tree casts a 6-foot shadow. Cameron’s dog casts a 2-foot shadow. Cameron is twice as tall as the dog. How tall is Cameron?
Algebra and Up:
Question: The profit earned by a coffee company, measured in thousands of dollars, is modeled by the function f(t) = t2 – 8t + 16, wherein t is measured in months and t = 1 is January 2012. What month does the coffee company earn the least amount of money? How much do they earn?

Have you worked out the answer to the word problem you chose? Take your time finding the solution, we know you can do it! When you’re ready to check your work, look below to find our solutions.
Lower Elementary:
Answer: $2.10
Solution: Kylie earned 10¢, 6 times for the books. That’s 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60¢. She earned 50¢, 3 times for the toys. That’s 50, 100, 150¢, or $1.50. So, altogether, Kylie earned $1.50 + $0.60 = $2.10.
Upper Elementary:
Answer: 8:35 PM
Solution: The amount of time is takes for all of the groups to finish their skits is 8 × 5 = 40 minutes. Since they have to finish the show by 9:15 PM, we count back 40 minutes before 9:15 PM to 8:35 PM.
Middle School:
Answer: 6 feet
Solution: The tree’s shadow’s length is two-thirds the height of the tree. So, the length of the dog’s shadow is two-thirds its height; 2 feet is two-thirds of 3 feet, so the dog must be 3 feet tall. That means that Cameron is 6 feet tall because he’s twice as tall as the dog.
Algebra and Up:
Answer: The coffee company earned $0 in April.
Solution: This function is a parabola that opens upward, so the lowest value is at the vertex. To find the month, we find –b/2a = –8/–2 = 4. So the vertex is at t = 4, which represents the month of April. To find how much they earned, we set t = 4 and solve: 42 – 8(4) + 16 = 16 – 32 + 16 = 0. So, they earned $0 in April.


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