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In a practicum, a young student teacher was anxious as she at a table facing her first small group of three students.

She asked the student on her left: "What's 3 times 3?"

The student replied: "106."

Without any sign of disapproval, she asked the student on her right: "What's 3 times 3?

The student replied: "Purple."

Hiding her growing frustration, she asked the student across from her: "What's 3 times 3?"

The student replied: "9."

Feeling at last she was making progress, she asked: "Can you explain how you got 9 for an answer?"

"Simple," replied the student, "I just subtracted purple from 106."