Word Problem Wednesday: Patterns

Jun 13, 2017 | Tustin

Get ready math fans, it’s time to PLAY BALL! This week’s word problem is all about PATTERNS. Patterns are one of the most common and interesting forms of everyday math. Can you think of some examples of patterns in your life? Here’s a hint: Petals on a flower, colors in a rainbow, choosing sides for a game at school...all of these use patterns. Are you ready? Put on your thinking caps and let’s get started!
Aria, Brett, and Chelsea bounce a beach ball between them 100 times. Aria bounces the ball to Brett, Brett bounces the ball to Chelsea, Chelsea bounces the ball to Aria, and the pattern continues. Who bounces the ball the 100th time?
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Solution: There are three beach ball bouncers in the group, and Chelsea is the third. So, for each bounce that’s numbered a multiple of 3, Chelsea must bounce the ball. The closest multiple of 3 before 100 is 99, so Chelsea bounces the ball the 99th time. That means that Aria bounces the ball the 100th time because she’s next in the pattern.