Need for a Helpers Forum

pka

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Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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11,009
Joshua is packaging 18 land cards and 12 creature cards to sell at a yard sale. Each package will have the same number of cards, using cards of only one type in a package. What is the greater number of cards he can place in a package. How many packages will there be of each number of cards?1.
  1. what different combinations would work for each set of cards?
  2. what combinations work for both set of cards?what is this called?
  3. what combination will give the greatest number of cards in a package?
  4. what is the greatest common factor
As many of you know that in my former life I read/edited thousands of test questions. But the above question is a complete and utter mystery to me. Mostly I have had some idea, no matter how vague, of what is going on. But not with this one. There are at least two helpers who seem to understand the meaning of question . I would really appetite any expiation of the question. Is it a regional specific question; is it a sport specific question; or is it a game specific question? I really would like some answers.
 
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Dr.Peterson

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Nov 12, 2017
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I just made wild guesses, myself!

I hear about kids playing games with sets of cards representing aspects of an imaginary world, so without knowing any details about what game this is or whether it is a specific real game at all, I just assume there are categories called "land cards" and "creature cards". That's all I need in order to follow the question. (As I imagine it, there are different kinds of creatures (monsters? races?) that live in different lands (countries?), and maybe can do different things in combination with a place; but that doesn't affect the problem.)

I have no idea whether a kid would be as baffled as you are, or as unsure as I am, if he lacks specific experience with such card games. (I have taught probability from textbooks that teach the details of a standard card deck, knowing that some students, adult in this case, may never have played with one for cultural reasons. Here it seems to be assumed that kids either all know about these cards, or at least have the ability to imagine them.)

The aspect of the problem that bother me is the use of vague (and informal) terms like "combinations" and "work", and the assumption that the student will see the connection to GCF without letting that awareness get ahead of understanding the earlier parts of the problem.
 

pka

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Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
11,009
Thank you so much for that detailed reply. As I thought, it seems one has to be in-the-know to attempt to answer the question.
 
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