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News from Mathnasium of Tyrone

Word Problem Wednesday: Pleasant Pastimes

Nov 25, 2020

There are so many fun ways to pass our time. And whether we’re fishing, visiting theme parks or jet skiing, there are always opportunities to put math into the mix.

This week’s word problems will help your child think critically and fine-tune their math skills while pondering their own favorite hobbies. Look below and choose the one that’s the right skill level for your child. Have them give it a try. And when they feel they’ve found the answer, check their solution against ours on the next page.


Lower Elementary:
Question: Chloe had an excellent fishing day. She caught 6 snappers, 4 mackerels, 1 grouper, and 1 soggy boot. She threw half the snappers and half the mackerels back into the ocean. How many fish did she take home?

Upper Elementary:
Question: Landon goes to a theme park where ride tokens cost 25¢. A roller coaster ride takes 3 tokens. A ride on the Ferris wheel takes 5 tokens. Landon rides the roller coaster and the Ferris wheel 7 times each. How much money did Landon spend on rides?

Middle School:
Question: A hamster and a guinea pig are running on wheels. The hamster’s wheel is 6 inches in diameter. The guinea pig’s wheel is 18 inches in diameter. How much farther does the guinea pig run for each rotation of its wheel?

Algebra and Up:
Question: It costs $20.00 to rent a jet ski, plus $1.50 for each hour of use, plus the cost of gas. James rents a jet ski for 2 hours. He uses 3 quarts of gas, which costs $2.98 per gallon. How much did the jet ski rental cost altogether?



Excellent!  Are you ready to check your child’s answer? Look below to see if their solution matches ours.

Lower Elementary:
Answer:   6 fish
Solution:  Chloe caught 6 + 4 + 1 = 11 fish in total. She threw 3 snappers back because half of 6 is 3, and she also threw 2 mackerels back because half of 4 is 2. That means she went home with 11 – 3 – 2 = 6 fish.

Upper Elementary:
Answer:   $14.00
Solution:  Three tokens for the roller coaster cost 25¢ × 3 = 75¢. Five tokens for the Ferris wheel cost 25¢ × 5 = $1.25. The total cost for 7 rides on the roller coaster cost $0.75 × 7 = $5.25, and 7 rides on the Ferris wheel cost $1.25 × 7 = $8.75. So, Landon spent $5.25 + $8.75 = $14.00 on rides.

Middle School:
Answer:   12π inches
Solution:  The formula we use to find the circumference of a circle is C = πd, d being the diameter of the circle. The hamster runs π × 6 = 6π inches. The guinea pig runs π × 18 = 18π. So, the guinea pig runs 18π – 6π = 12π inches farther than the hamster.

Algebra and Up:
Answer:   $25.24
Solution:  To find the price of the rentals, we can use the expression C = $20.00 + $1.50t + $2.98g wherein C is the total cost of the rental, t is the number of hours spent with the jet skis, and g is the gallons of gas used. James rented 1 jet ski for 2 hours and used 0.75 gallons of gas, so he spent $20.00 + $1.50 × 2 + $2.98 × 0.75 = $25.24 after rounding.