JC’s math homework asked the following question:

Kira shares a plate of brownies with friends. Her friends each have 2 more brownies than Kira. There were 33 brownies in all. How many friends are there?

Hmmm. Neither my husband nor I could figure this out. I even ran it by some friends who were baffled too. Don’t we need another clue in there?

Some suggested answers were: “11”, “Kira and her friends shouldn’t eat that many brownies,” “How do you fit 33 brownies on a plate?” and “Sharing is nice.”

I hereby challenge all Math Nerds out there in Blogtropolis! I know you’re there (Hi Cousin Denise! Aunt Patty! Clare! David of Sounds Like Orange, I see you!).

Are you smarter than a third grader? Apparently I am not. We went with: “We don’t know how meny Kira has,” as our answer. (I thought the misspelling of “many” made it look more legit- like JC did the homework all by himself).

I’m not sure if the following makes a difference:  The directions say, “Solve. Use the guess and check strategy.” I don’t know what that strategy is or how it could help, but maybe you math teachers are in on the secret. Also, JC came home declaring the answer “6,” but I still can’t figure it out. That “6” answer may have just been playground gossip. Or maybe the number of pretzels he ate off the floor, or the number of kids playing “piggy patrol” during recess. Who knows? He’s nine. But maybe it’s the right answer. I dunno.

If you want to give it a shot, good luck! Let me know if you figure it out.

Homework!  AHH!
Homework! AHH!

Thanks for reading and have a nice night!

28 thoughts on “Are You Smarter Than a Third Grader?

    1. I knew you’d figure it out! Dana wears the patient pants and you wear the smarty pants. MotherJam came up with an alternate answer too.


    1. Genius! Pure Genius! I must say I was shocked they used brownies in the example and not rice cakes or apple slices. I bet they couldn’t get away with that in public school haha.


  1. Well, let’s have fun with this. I would express it as the following equation:

    3x – 3 = 33

    So we add 3 to balance it out.

    3x = 36

    Then divide by by 3

    X = 12.

    As a test, let’s plug this back in.

    12 + 12 + 9 = 33


  2. What’re you doing to me? I spent more time on this than I should have, and its not even my kid’s homework. 🙂 I can’t resist brain teasers. I think there’s more than one answer. I got 4 friends, who each had 7 brownies, and Kira had 5 brownies. BTW, I love the misspelling of “many”. Too funny! 🙂


  3. Why is Kira sharing brownies? She should set up a stand in her front yard and sell them for $1.25 each. The real math you want to do is $1.25 x 33 = $41.25 – $10.00 COGS = $31.25 profit. They should be teaching kids equations that matter. 😉


  4. Ok – I would agree with JC and say 6 friends! If the friends have five each – then six times five is thirty. That leaves three left for Kira (which is two less than her friends.). I used guess and check because I knew that Kira would have two less than the friends and I just played with numbers until it worked out. Not very scientific but my guess is they are working on number sense!


  5. Thank you Jess for liking my post ( Don’t rush we can wait).Best regards.jalal


  6. Hi Jess, I can see why your mind is so logic. I have non of these questions or something to add, sorry; but you have a great blog. God bless and have a stunning day.


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