Illuminations: Classic Middle-Grades Problems for the Classroom

This lesson presents two classic problems (Mangoes Problem and Sailors and Coconuts) that can be represented and solved in several different ways.

Middle-grades students work in groups on the problems to promote communication of mathematical ideas, and a variety of classroom solution attempts are described. This lesson plan was adapted from an article, written by Jerry Stonewater, which appeared in the November‑December 1994 issue of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.



Algebra & Pre-Algebra
Middle School, Educator

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Illuminations (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)

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