New Yorker writer Helen Rosner recently
shared an image from a math workbook that her
friend was working on with their child.
The friend, an MIT grad, was stumped.
“Neither he nor I have even the tiniest
clue what the kid is supposed to do here,”
Rosner wrote in her Tweet caption.
The image in question showed two
baskets. One basket contained two
bananas and three oranges and the
second basket contained nothing.
The math problem asked for “math drawings”
to be used to “make the picture equal”.
The first confusing thing of note right off
the bat is the phrase “math drawings.” Many people
seemed to not understand what that meant.
Thankfully one woman shared a completed
homework sheet that made a little more sense.
Basically, the point of the lesson is teaching
kids that the equal sign in an equation doesn’t
necessarily mean “this is the one and only answer”.
So for Rosner’s friend, the student could fill the
empty basket with four bananas and one orange.
They could also fill it with three
bananas and two oranges. Either way,
both baskets would equal five fruits