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Student Creativity: L.P. Rules!

Students often give creative solutions to problems that are unexpected and often humorous.

For example, teacher S.D. gave this MathNEXUS Archive problem to his middle school students: Put nine horses into four rectangular pens so that each pen contains an odd number of horses.

Student L.P.'s response: "Place 2 horses in each of the 4 pens, then you place a quarter horse in each one. A quarter horse is a real horse (used in sprintin)! So technically each pen has 3 horses in it, but the 3rd one in each one was worth only 1/4 of a horse....12 horses with the value of 9."

You have to admit, her solution is quite clever!

Also, if you want to consider the full commentary underlying this problem, consider: Even Horses Can Become Odd.

NOTE: This problem is from the MathNEXUS Problem Archive (dated January 1, 2006). Thanks S.D. for using the Archive...and I suggest others do so as well. And if your students have creative solutions (or humorous), please share them with me for posting.